COVID A Year On - How have Welwyn Hatfield residents fared during the pandemic?

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

We asked Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar residents how they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic - Credit: PA

More than 160 people across Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar responded to the WHT's survey asking how they have coped with a year of social distancing and lockdown restrictions.

Thirty-four per cent of respondents said their priorities had changed a great deal since the start of the pandemic, while just eight per cent said their priorities hadn't changed at all.

Meanwhile, 68 per cent said that their mental health has been worse than usual over the past 12 months, while 62 per cent said their physical activity has decreased.

When it came to employment, 12 per cent of respondents said they had lost a job as a result of COVID-19, with 14 per cent of those currently employed worried about losing their job in the next year. Twenty-seven per cent of residents, many of whom have been working from home or furloughed during lockdown, said they are looking forward to returning to their place of work.

Fifty-five per cent said they had been obeying all lockdown restrictions, with only one per cent admitting they have not been following the rules. Forty-four per cent said they had largely obeyed the rules with a few minor indiscretions.

Despite the effect of lockdown on employment and wellbeing, residents are looking forward to the future as shops, restaurants and other non-essential businesses reopen, with 41 per cent saying they are likely to visit high street shops once they open again.

However the lifting of lockdown may not substantially change residents' eating and drinking habits, with 35 per cent of residents saying that when pubs reopen they will go about as often as they did pre-COVID, and 43 per cent saying they will eat out as much as they did in normal times.

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Only eight per cent of those responding plan to book a long-haul holiday in 2021, with 33 per cent planning to travel domestically, 18 per cent planning to go to Europe and 41 per cent not planning to go on holiday at all.

With the vaccine programme now moving forward, 13 per cent said this has made them feel 'completely safe' from contracting COVID-19, while five per cent said they do not feel safe at all.