How the UK reacted to being in ‘Lockdown’

How the UK reacted to being in ‘Lockdown’ 880 721 Shaun Richards

Using the CitizenMe platform, we went out to our UK COVID-19 community, which is an open-data research project designed to enable the world’s citizens to share real-time opinions and data about COVID-19 with the institutions fighting the Epidemic.

At the start of this week (23rd March) we sent out a survey about the latest announcement of the new ‘lockdown’ measures within an hour of it going live. The results were collected overnight. If you missed the announcement it said
These measures mean that people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following, very limited, purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities only, and as infrequently as possible;
  • one form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of the household;
  • any medical need, in order to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • traveling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

Although people are still scared/worried about the lockdown in place, there is also positivity (‘relieved’, ‘hope’, ‘necessary’). The data on the left was collected on the 21/22 March and the data on the right was collected on 23/24 March:

21/22 March
23/24 March

Question: Do you think the UK Government has made the right decision in evoking the UK ‘Lockdown’?

IMPORTANT! – The key metric we set out was if the Government made the right decision – overwhelmingly it was a Yes (93%). Even with the sense that you will have to sacrifice a huge part of our lives, it shows that UK people understand why we need to do this!

Question: Where did you hear about the announcement?
2/3 of UK citizens surveyed said they watched the announcement live on TV as the PM spoke:

However, the groups of 18-24, those from Scotland and those that think we will be in lockdown for only 3 weeks were more likely to have heard of the announcement via some form like social media / mobile communication

Question: The PM has just announced the UK nationwide ‘Lockdown’. Were the instructions clear on what you are – and are not – allowed to do?
3/4 of the UK public thought the instructions were clear, but around 20% still said they were not. The instructions felt clear to me personally but perhaps these are on some issues not yet discussed, i.e. car travel, etc.:

Question: Do you think the ‘Lockdown’ will only be for 3 weeks, as announced, or longer?
The majority of the UK public thought that we will be in this ‘lockdown’ for the long haul, and that we will be inside for longer than the 3 weeks announced. This could have an effect on how people might stockpile, and the mental resolve people will need: