Public support for end to COVID restrictions and keen to continue and extend self testing
Survation polling, commissioned by Prenetics, has found strong public support for regular self testing for COVID to continue until the disease becomes endemic and for the self testing principle to be extended to other viruses and diseases.
While the public broadly supports the decision to end COVID restrictions and to learn to live with the disease, there is also concern that the ending of mandatory testing for travellers into the UK will reduce the ability to detect new variants.
Key poll findings
- By 47% to 17%, the public is now more likely to carry out self-testing for other diseases and viruses, and a majority believe it should be the ‘new normal’ to take pressure off the NHS.
- A majority of the public believe self tests should be free for cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and flu, post covid.
- 76% believe self testing for COVID is part of being a responsible citizen
- Strong support for self testing for COVID to continue until it becomes endemic
- 66% are more likely to take a simplified lateral flow test
- 56%, to 33%, are concerned the ending of mandatory tests for inbound travellers to the UK will reduce the ability to spot new variants and 50%, to 37% say it will give them anxiety about air travel from high case countries.
- A majority of the public, 63%, will continue to self test anyhow on return to the UK.
Summary and graphics of poll findings
The highest level of support, 41% is for regular self testing for COVID to continue until the virus is endemic, with 19% believing it should stop now, and 18% for it to continue regardless.
And further, the COVID pandemic has made the public more likely, by 47% to 17% to continue self resting for other viruses and diseases.
The lateral flow test (LFT) for COVID is relatively simple for people to use but requires swabbing your nose or throat. A large majority of the public, 66%, say they’d be even more likely to use a LFT if it was speeded up and didn’t require a throat or nose swab.
Free self testing is strongly supported with the public, 66% believe LFTs should remain free for everyone, and in a post covid world, a majority believe self tests should be provided with no cost for cancer (71%), sexually transmitted diseases (57%) and flu (51%).
Finally, the largest section of the public, 49%, support the ending of COVID related restrictions and accept we need to live it as part of everyday life, while 32% disagree.
Survation interviewed 1,117 UK adults over 18 years online on Tuesday 25 January 2022.
Full tables are available at: