More than eight in ten people think that workers should be able to work from home if possible until a COVID-19 vaccine is found, researchers say.
A team of academics a King’s College London found that 86% of the public thinks its should be up to employees to decide it they feel safe to go back to the office.
A similar number (87%) said they would accept local lockdowns being imposed in the future, with 85% saying they would accept their own local area being subject to such limitations.
The findings illustrate the growing tensions between those who believe that the economic pain being caused by the lockdown is less important than public health, in spite of split opinon about the impact on COVID-19 on certain parts of the population.
Some academics and commentators believe that the long-term economic damage caused by the lockdown could result in greater suffering than any benefit created by a continued lockdown.
They also point to spiralling waiting lists for procedures in areas like cancer and cardiac care, caused by NHS hospital capacity being set aside for a deluge of COVID-19 patients that is not forthcoming.
But it seems that the public is, on the whole, becoming increasingly cautious and willing to see the economy crash than to risk a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Gideon Skinner, research director at Ipsos MORI, which carried out the survey, said results show that few Britons expect a return to life as normal any time soon, with “many prepared to undertake a wide range of measures over a longer period of time to reduce the risk of spread”.
The Government’s furlough scheme, which has covered a proportion of some workers’ wages in a bid to prevent widescale unemployment, is soon to come to an end.
A total of 2,237 interviews were carried out online with UK residents aged 16-75 last month.