Britons are still spending two or three days at home a week

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Britons are still staying at home for two to three days a week — despite the easing of lockdown, a study has found.

That is down from the average of four days when Number 10 imposed the draconian measures to curb the spread of coronavirus back in March.  

The figures come from University College London’s Covid-19 social survey, which has quizzed 90,000 Brits throughout the pandemic. 

When lockdown began on March 23, Brits were only allowed to go out for one daily exercise session or for an essential trip, such as purchasing food or medicine.

Covid restrictions have since been relaxed to allow unlimited exercise, non-essential outings and to meet up with friends or family.

While Brits increasingly went out more days each week as the lockdown progressed, over the last two weeks this has plateaued.

Low earners and people with diagnosed mental health conditions are spending the most time in their homes, the study found.

This risks increased loneliness, anxiety and depression study, according to the study — which goes up to June 14 and was funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt suggested the results ‘could be in response to poorer weather, or continued worries about the virus’.

The study also found that worries about others, general anxiety and depression have remained stable over the past few weeks, despite measures being eased.

Levels of anxiety and depression have stopped falling and plateaued at a level below that experienced at the start of lockdown but higher than pre-lockdown levels.

71% OF GPS BELIEVE LOCKDOWN HAS BEEN EASED TOO SOON 

GPs have expressed concern that lockdown measures are being eased ‘too quickly’.

A survey of family doctors, conducted by the GP magazine Pulse, found that 71 per cent believe the Government eased measures too soon, including 25 per cent saying it has happened far too quickly.

Many GPs raised concerns about the Government’s response to the crisis, including issues around the test and trace programme as well as shortfalls of personal protective equipment (PPE) earlier in the crisis.

Six in 10 view the Government’s response negatively, according to the survey of 680 British GPs.

Over half said the test and trace system will not stop the spread of the virus.

And 81 per cent of GPs said the Dominic Cummings affair has made people less likely to follow Government advice.

Commenting on the survey, Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘The pandemic is far from over and getting through the next phases of tackling it will necessitate healthcare professionals across the NHS having confidence in decision makers.

‘Many aspects of this pandemic have been unprecedented, and we appreciate that the Government has been faced with making some very difficult decisions in difficult circumstances.

‘However, it is clear from these survey results that many GPs have had concerns about some of these decisions and how they will impact their patients.’

Similarly, life satisfaction and happiness levels have stopped increasing in the past two weeks.  

It comes as a senior Tory said today that the two-metre rule and blanket quarantine for UK arrivals will be eased within weeks.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Treasurer of the powerful backbench 1922 committee, said Boris Johnson had been ‘probed’ on the issues at a meeting yesterday.

The body’s executive made clear that there was need for more ‘consultation’, after a string of U-turns and unrest over the coronavirus response.

Sir Geoffrey told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that although there was no specific commitment from the PM he was ‘certain’ the social distancing restrictions and quarantine would be relaxed soon.

It is understood Mr Johnson told backbenchers he wants to ditch the two-metre rule but cannot unless extra safety procedures are introduced to keep his scientific advisers happy.

But he came under ‘a lot of pressure’ during a virtual 45-minute meeting with the delegation from the 1922. 

Sir Geoffrey’s comments come as GPs have expressed concern that the lockdown measures are being eased ‘too quickly’.

A survey of 680 family doctors found 71 per cent believe the Government has eased measures too quickly.

A quarter even claimed the measures are being relaxed far too quickly, according to the poll conducted by Pulse magazine.

Many GPs raised concerns about the Government’s response to the crisis, including issues around the test and trace programme as well as PPE shortages.

Six in 10 (61 per cent) view the Government’s response negatively, including 27 per cent ‘very negatively’. 

Over half said the test and trace system — which has tracked 90,000 people since it was launched a fortnight ago — will not stop the spread of the virus.

And 81 per cent of GPs said the Dominic Cummings saga has made people less likely to follow Government advice.

Commenting on the survey, Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘The pandemic is far from over/

‘Getting through the next phases of tackling it will necessitate healthcare professionals across the NHS having confidence in decision makers.

‘Many aspects of this pandemic have been unprecedented, and we appreciate that the Government has been faced with making some very difficult decisions in difficult circumstances.

‘However, it is clear from these survey results that many GPs have had concerns about some of these decisions and how they will impact their patients. 

A Government spokesman said: ‘This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we have taken the right steps at the right time to combat it, guided by the latest scientific advice.

‘Our response has ensured that the NHS has capacity for everyone who needs it and that it can provide the best possible care for people who become ill.’ 

WHO DIRECTOR WARNS UK SHOULD NOT LIFT LOCKDOWN UNTIL CONTACT TRACING SYSTEM IS ‘ROBUST’ 

The UK should not lift lockdown rules until the test and trace system is ready to cope with huge numbers of people, a World Health Organization director has warned.

Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO’s chief for Europe, said the Government must only take sure-footed steps and not rush into decisions like scrapping the two-metre social distancing rule.

He said test and trace must be ‘robust’ and ready for ‘aggressive’ use if the number of new cases starts to soar again.

Dr Kluge said: ‘The key words here are to do it gradually. Do it carefully.’ 

Britain is gradually returning to something of a normal way of life as restrictions on spending time outdoors, travelling across the country, and meeting up in small groups have all been lifted.

‘Non-essential’ shops, including clothes stores, will reopen for the first time today, and face coverings over the nose and mouth are now mandatory on public transport.

And Government ministers are coming under pressure to loosen the rule demanding that people stay 2m (6’6″) from others who they don’t live with. Scientific evidence suggests the majority of infectious droplets do not travel that far, but the Government is sticking to the measure as a precaution.

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