As we write this update about tracking the situation with COVID in the UK, the weather seems sunnier and warmer, shops and restaurants are reopening, people are meeting up outside and chatting and the vaccination programme is in full swing.

All in all, the mood is better, which is supported by an uplift in those feeling hopeful – 58% is the highest we have registered since the start of the pandemic! 31% are feeling concerned still, but again, it is the lowest it has been since last year.

Looking at the government’s handling of the pandemic it has been the best rated since May last year with and equal split of  27% rating is positively and 26% negatively, with the rest hanging in the middle.

Not much change to personal health or employment data compared to last month, but we did pick up a 4% drop in those being tested reflecting a delay in vaccine supply in April. Still, 71% of adults in our survey have had the vaccine (at least the first dose), which tallies with the government figures (48,000 adults and 33,000 vaccinated!).

43% report no side effects and 53% only minor ones. Unfortunately, 5% of responses register severe side effects…

Now that shops have reopened, we were curious to see if people would flood the High Street. This does not seem to be the case, with 61% reporting not going shopping. 31% did go and spent a little and 5% went but did not buy anything. 3% have done proper retail therapy and splurged! This does not look promising for the High Street, however, we are not used to queuing to enter a shop and the benefit of in-person shopping might be cancelled out by fitting rooms closed, which actually means that the online experience remains a better option in many cases.

We asked about summer holidays… 9% are optimistic still about going abroad, 33% will holiday in the UK and a further 6% in both. 18% report saving holiday money or spending it on other things. 24% were not intending to go away anyway, and sadly 9% cannot afford a holiday. These figures may be good news for the UK tourism and leisure industry however, as it does look like foreign travel may be restricted still, or not as convenient as we are used to.

So, all in all, news seems more positive in the UK, which cannot be said about other countries, like India. Our thoughts are, of course, with anyone, suffering from the pandemic.

We wish you a healthy and happy May and lots of sunshine!

Market Research