Support for reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants 'on the rise' in Wales as fears over economy grow

Support for non-essential workers to be able to return to work is on the rise, as well as the reopening of bars and pubs, according to a new survey.

Hundreds of interviews carried out by Public Health Wales showed more than half of people feel workers should be able to return to work in the next three weeks - which is up from 43% the previous month.

Fifty two per cent of people surveyed said they supported shops reopening, while 47% said they would prefer to stay in lockdown until there is "no chance of catching the virus".

It comes as the UK economy shrunk by more than a fifth in the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown.

The Office for National Statistics said the economic activity dropped by 20.4 per cent in April - the largest drop in a single month since records began in 1997.

Support for the reopening of social settings has increased in Wales Credit: PA

The findings also showed men were more likely to support the earlier reopening of shops, workplaces and social settings.

Men were more likely than women to support earlier opening of shops, workplaces and social settings and relaxation of restrictions - but overall support has increased by 10% in the last three weeks,

About one in six men support the ending of social distancing in the next three weeks but only around one in 12 women.

The findings also showed that fears about losing a loved one to coronavirus has fallen from eight weeks ago - from 64% to 50% as the number of cases and deaths continues to fall.

Wales is still under lockdown rules which are stricter than England, with the next review happening next week.

Here is an explanation of what could be likely to change.

Fears over losing a loved one to the virus is falling Credit: PA

Public Health Wales conducts interviews with hundreds of people aged 18 or over across Wales every week to understand how the lockdown measures are affecting the "physical, mental and social wellbeing" of people.

The proportion of people worrying "a lot" about their mental health and wellbeing has reduced in recent weeks from a peak of one in four people to 16%. However, the proportion of people ‘always’ or ‘often’ feeling isolated has stayed at around one in five throughout lockdown.

"Week on week, we are seeing reductions in how many people are concerned about catching coronavirus themselves or losing someone they love to a coronavirus infection", Professor Mark Bellis, Director of Policy and International Health at Public Health Wales said.

“As levels of infection fall and people’s concerns of infection ease, it is still extremely important to remember that this virus has not been eradicated.

"Social distancing is still a critical tool for restricting the spread of the virus and simple measures such as hand washing will not only help prevent coronavirus but also reduce levels of flu, food poisoning and other infections that also make many people ill every year.”

  • The survey was conducted between 1-7 June when 611 people were surveyed and examined trends through interviews with around 5,000 people over the past eight weeks.