3 in 5 say people have a responsibility to wear facemasks to protect the economy

57% of people believe that Britons have a responsibility to wear face masks in public places to help prevent transmission of Covid-19 and protect the economy, according to a new poll.

The new research for independent price comparison website NerdWallet asked 2,000 UK adults about their thoughts on the economy, their personal finances and protective measures including facemasks.

With restrictions having eased on 19th July, it reveals that nearly 3 in 5 feel that Britons have a responsibility to wear face coverings in public to help prevent transmission of the virus and another lockdown. The data comes amid public debate on facemasks, with some businesses asking customers to continue wearing them in their stores and venues¹, despite the legal requirement to do so having now ended in most areas of the UK.

The survey also found that 85% believe people have a responsibility to take action with their wallet to help support the economy as it recovers from the pandemic. Britons most strongly felt that people should support UK tourism, hospitality and businesses by holidaying in the UK (44%), shopping at local businesses (40%), spending at local pubs and restaurants (39%) or shopping at businesses they know have been hardest hit by the pandemic (29%).

Despite this, the poll also found that Brits are relatively pessimistic about the economy with 74% lacking confidence that it will fully recover from the damage caused by the pandemic. The same percentage of UK adults in the study also lack confidence that consumer spending will return to where it was in 2019.

Looking ahead at potential roadblocks for the UK economy, just 1 in 5 also feel ‘reasonably confident’ that the government can prevent another lockdown this year.

However, Brits are a little more optimistic about their own future spending, with 42% planning to increase their spending from current levels by the close of the year. A further 43% plan to continue spending at current levels, with UK consumer spending having already exceeded pre-pandemic levels following the initial lockdown easing in April’.

Despite this, the study reveals that most lack confidence in their own financial security following the pandemic. Only half of the respondents believe that they will be able to afford their basic living costs and 54% are not reasonably confident of a regular income stream until at least the close of the year. Just 40% are confident that another lockdown wouldn’t strain their finances.

NerdWallet’s Senior Personal Finance Expert, Denise Ko Genovese, comments: “Our research suggests that people are not convinced about the economy’s quick recovery. Many are eager to continue with measures such as facemasks to help protect each other as well as the economy. This perhaps reflects a lack of confidence that things will soon get back to normal. However, it is encouraging that a significant number feel some kind of responsibility to support the economy and local businesses in particular. With 42% of people planning to increase their spending once restrictions are lifted, this will hopefully help those individuals and businesses that have struggled to adapt to the ever-changing guidance during the pandemic to get back on their feet.”

Article from NerdWallet