Are we feeling informed – Did Boris Johnson’s speech clarify or confuse?

Are we feeling informed – Did Boris Johnson’s speech clarify or confuse ?

Are we feeling informed – Did Boris Johnson’s speech last weekend clarify or confuse the public’s understanding of lockdown procedures?

This week, our COVID-19 impact tracker reviews how UK citizens feel about the latest updates and rules from the UK Government relating to the lockdown and how the messages landed with us.

At Delineate, we have a solid understanding of how the nation reacted as the restrictions took hold. Our platform allows us to understand consumer opinion in real-time, and with our COVID-19 Impact Tracker, we’re following the #StayAtHomeNation as we move through this crisis.

To help brands, and especially marketers and communicators, with the changes and challenges they’re facing, we recently published a free white paper “#StayAtHomeNation: Understanding the impact of COVID-19”. If you missed it, you can download it here

Do we understand our new lockdown restrictions?

For the last two months we have stayed at home, socially distant, waiting for the spread of the coronavirus to flatten out. And as the rate of infection slowed, a feeling of cautious optimism has grown that the lockdown would ease and we could start to re-establish some sort of normal life.

On 10 May 2020, the UK watched the Prime Minister’s address with huge anticipation. We wanted clear instruction on what would happen next – fueled perhaps by media speculation, the actions of other countries as their restrictions are lifted, and the hope that Boris Johnson’s return after illness would reignite confidence as we progress to the next stage of the pandemic.

But as has happened before in this crisis, many of us are confused by the announced changes. What would the new rules mean to the #StayAtHomeNation in a practical sense, and to whom exactly do they apply? Our COVID-19 tracker reveals that only part of the Government’s message has hit home.

Glued to the News

75% of the UK population watched live as Boris Johnson gave the most important address to the nation since lockdown began, and with catch-up services a total of 91% of us have seen the announcement informing us of the changes that came into effect on 13 May.

Unsurprisingly, all age groups were watching – 85% of people aged 18-34 saw the address, 90% in the 35-54 age group, and 95% of people over the age of 55 tuned in to find out what our new lockdown rules would be.

We hoped we would be informed about the new changes, but for many of us the message didn’t come through clearly. Overall, only 35% of the population feel the new rules are clear. And only 39% feel we have sufficient information to make decisions about what we can do now. More than half of us (53%) think the information applies purely to England, while 43% believe it applies to the whole of the UK.

Clear and Simple

Some announcements were easier to follow than others. Most of us (75%) understand that a new five point COVID alert scale has been introduced, although only 51% of us think the scale is clear.

We have a good grasp on our exercise allowances, perhaps because the message was straightforward. In total, 75% of us are aware we can now exercise as much as we want to outside, provided we stay socially distant. And most of us (80%) know that we can take trips in the car if we adhere to the 2m distancing rule once we reach our destination.

Out of Office

The rules about going back to work aren’t as easy to take on board. Just over half (52%) of 18-34 year olds understand what’s meant by returning “immediately, if it’s safe to do so”. However, the message seems much clearer for the 35-54s (70%), and over 55s (82%). The rules about avoiding public transport to work are also considered vague.

Schools Out

There’s even more confusion regarding when children can go back to school. Currently, only 39% understand that secondary schools might potentially reopen before summer for pupils taking their exams next year. However, 63% have a better understanding that primary schools could partially reopen from 1 June.

Stay Alert

As we head into our third month of restricted living, many of us feel there are more questions than answers. Can we return to work anytime soon? When will our children be going back to school? If the lockdown is eased too quickly is it likely we’ll have to become a #StayAtHomeNation once more, due to a second wave of the virus?

Once thing seems clear, we still must proceed with caution and … stay alert?

To help marketers, communicators and brands understand the challenges they’re facing, we will continue to provide snapshots of changing opinions from our impact tracker, which is part of our always-on data products. If you’re interested, please see our COVID-19 page which is updated daily for more information.

Download the COVID-19 Impact Tracker White Paper  – #StayAtHomeNation

Our White Paper #StayAtHomeNation,  reveals our findings from the first couple of weeks of lockdown. You can download a free copy of the white paper.

Our COVID-19 Impact Tracker which is part of our always-on suite of data products, is helping marketers and communicators access the latest information and take action.

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