Covid A Year On - how have residents fared during the pandemic?

The whole of Hertfordshire will be in Tier Two when lockdown ends. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/

We asked residents of St Albans district how they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic - Credit: PA

We asked St Albans and Harpenden residents to take part in a survey and tell us how they have found the past year of social distancing and lockdown restrictions.

For those living in the district, 29 per cent said their priorities have changed a great deal since the pandemic began, while 18 per cent said their priorities have not changed at all.

Sixty-seven per cent of respondents said their mental health has got worse over the past 12 months, and 59 per cent admitted that their level of physical activity has declined.

In terms of employment, 12 per cent said they had suffered a job loss as a result of COVID-19, and among those currently employed only eight per cent are worried about losing their job in the next 12 months.

With many employees furloughed or working from home, 24 per cent said they are looking forward to returning to their place of work.

Despite the pandemic's effect on employment and wellbeing, there is hope on the horizon, with 47 per cent of respondents saying they are very likely to visit high street shops once they reopen.

However eating and drinking habits may not substantially change from pre-pandemic times once pubs and restaurants reopen - with 33 per cent of respondents saying they are likely to visit the pub about the same amount as they used to, and 35 per cent saying they are about as likely to dine out.

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Fourteen per cent of people said they intend to visit the pub more than they did before the pandemic, while 16 per cent said they will visit it less.

Meanwhile only eight per cent of respondents plan to book a long-haul holiday this year, with 31 per cent planning to travel within the UK, 20 per cent planning to go to Europe and 41 per cent not intending to travel at all.

As the vaccination programme moves forward, 16 per cent said they now feel completely safe from contracting COVID-19, while six per cent said they still do not feel safe.

Meanwhile the majority of those who took part in the survey said they have been complying fully with lockdown restrictions, while 37 per cent said they have generally been following the rules with a few minor indiscretions, and four per cent admitting they have not been complying with restrictions.