Half of Brits wouldn't actually mind if COVID rules stay for Christmas

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
Happy little sisters wearing Christmas pajamas opening gift boxes by a fireplace in a cozy dark living room on Christmas eve. Celebrating Xmas at home.
A YouGov poll found that half of Brits wouldn't actually mind if COVID restrictions stayed in place over the festive season. (Stock image: Getty)

Half of Brits say they won’t mind if COVID restrictions remain in place over the Christmas period.

According to a YouGov poll, 50% of Britons said they wouldn’t be too bothered if restrictions like the ‘rule of six’ or a ban on households mixing are in force over the festive season.

Four in ten (42%) say such restrictions wouldn’t affect their usual Christmas activities anyway, the poll found, but more than half (54%) said it would have a noticeable impact on their festive fun, including 27% who say it would cause “a great deal” of disruption.

The government has been under pressure to ‘save Christmas’, with reports that ministers are mulling over proposals to temporarily relax the COVID restrictions, including the extension of family support bubbles to two or three households for a few days over the festive period.

According to YouGov, half of Brits wouldn't mind COVID restrictions at Christmas. (YouGov)
According to YouGov, half of Brits wouldn't mind COVID restrictions at Christmas. (YouGov)

Whether rules are relaxed over Christmas or not, it seems some people don’t think it matters, with three quarters of Brits (76%) thinking most people will break the rules in order to meet together and visit other people, while a third (31%) saying they’re adamant this will happen.

However, despite predicting that most people will break the rules, just a quarter of Brits (24%) are prepared to admit that they won’t follow restrictions, according to the poll.

That is higher amongst younger people, with 40% of those 18 to 24-year-olds saying they’d break the rules (including 14% who say they definitely would) — more than double the rate among their eldest peers (15% of the over-65s).

Watch: Christmas is the best time for new lockdown measures, says expert

Despite that - the majority claim they won’t flout the rules, with two thirds (67%) saying they plan to follow restrictions during the Christmas period.

YouGov said combining responses to both questions suggested that almost half of Britons (47%) see themselves as virtuous, despite the lawless around them - predicting they will follow rules even though they think most people will break them.

A further quarter (24%) consider themselves part of the problem – saying that most people will break the rules, including themselves, while only 17% think they and most people will follow the rules. Barely 1% expect to be in a minority in breaking the rules themselves.

Watch: These are the exceptions for going outside during England's second national lockdown