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 Royston residents how they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic - Credit: PA

We asked Royston residents to take part in our survey asking how the past year of social distancing and lockdown restrictions has impacted their lives.

More than 50 people responded, with 43 per cent saying that their priorities have changed a great deal since the start of the pandemic, and nine per cent saying their priorities haven't changed at all.

Sixty-three per cent of respondents said that their mental health has been worse than usual over the past 12 months, while 44 per cent said that their level of physical activity has decreased.

When it comes to employment, 11 per cent of respondents said they had suffered a job loss as a result of COVID-19 - a lower percentage than in any other part of Herts - and of those currently employed 63 per cent are not worried about losing their job in the next year.

With many employees working from home or furloughed, 17 per cent said they are looking forward to returning to their place of work once restrictions are lifted.

The vaccine programme is now moving forward, and 17 per cent of respondents from Royston said they now feel completely safe from contracting COVID-19, with just two per cent saying they still do not feel safe at all.

There is nonetheless hope for the future, with 41 per cent saying they are very likely to visit high street shops once they reopen. 

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However eating and drinking habits may not significantly change, with 43 per cent of respondents saying they will visit the pub about as often as they did pre-COVID once non-essential businesses reopen - and 46 per cent said they will eat out as often as they did in normal times.

Only nine per cent of respondents plan to book a long-haul holiday this year, with 46 per cent planning to travel within the UK, six per cent planning to go to Europe and 39 per cent saying they will not go on holiday this year at all.

Royston residents have largely complied with lockdown restrictions. Fifty-six per cent said they have followed all the rules, with 44 per cent admitting they have largely followed the rules with a few minor indiscretions. 

None of those surveyed said they had been disregarding lockdown entirely, making Royston the most rule-compliant area across Herts.