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London: Less than half of young people in Britain are wearing face masks in public, a poll by YouGov suggests, but eight in 10 over-65s are continuing to use them.
The survey suggests use of masks among 18 to 24-year-olds has slumped since July 19, with around 46 per cent saying they have worn a face mask in a public place in the past two weeks, compared with 58 per cent on July 16 and 64 per cent on June 2.
People walk over London Bridge on “Freedom Day”, marking the end of coronavirus restrictions.Credit:AP
It is the lowest level of compliance since July 2020, when 42 per cent of that age group said they were wearing them.
Meanwhile, roughly 69 per cent of other age groups were still wearing face coverings when they went out, compared with 71 per cent on July 16 and 73 per cent on June 2. The findings come from a survey taken of 1742 British adults between July 21 and 22.
Among over-65s, 83 per cent said they were still wearing them in public places.
YouGov also said that young people were less likely to be fully vaccinated and more likely to have disabled their NHS COVID-19 app.
But one government adviser said public behaviour has changed more “gradually” and “cautiously” than expected post-“Freedom Day”. Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, was speaking to the Institute for Government about his new book about the pandemic and said Britain should “celebrate” the reduction in cases in recent days, but added that it was too early to tell whether July 19 had had an impact.
“I think people’s behaviour has changed, to take Chris Whitty’s advice, much more gradually and much more cautiously than perhaps anybody could have imagined 10 days ago,” he said.
He added that, on the occasions when he had left his home recently, he had seen a “more gradual and cautious lifting of restrictions and I would hope that therefore we will not see a massive rebound if we continue to be gradual and cautious about what we do”.
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