Each week Disability Equality Scotland send out a poll question to our members on a topical issue. For the week beginning 13 July 2020, we asked a question about phase three of Scotland’s lockdown
Do you have any concerns about the measures that are being introduced as part of Phase 3 of the easing of lockdown?
- YES –64% (52 respondents)
- NO –36% (29 respondents)
The following is a summary of the main themes and key concerns of our members regarding phase 3 of the easing of lockdown. We provide verbatim comments where appropriate to illustrate strength of feeling or personal experience.
Concerns Regarding the Easing of Lockdown
Some respondents are concerned that as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, the general public may fail to adhere to the guidelines that remain in place, such as maintaining physical distancing and hand hygiene. In addition, concerns were raised by the speed in which the lockdown restrictions have been eased.
“Covid-19 is still as potent. Already many are not adhering to the rules of social distancing. I fear that this will make it much longer until we can return to ” normal ” life. Really that can only happen when there is a vaccine.”
“I worry that as things open back up people will stop observing many of the things, for example, social distancing, face coverings and hand washing that help to keep everyone as safe as possible from contracting the virus.”
“Yes! It is all much too early! Where I live, we are swamped in tourists already and predictably there is no social distancing, it is just not possible at all!”
“I am in Glasgow and I already feel like a lot of people are just behaving like things are safe and back to ‘normal’.”
Respondents had specific concerns about failure to adhere to guidelines from people who are visiting pubs and consuming alcohol.
“In most cases I think the opening up instructions are reasonable. However, for pubs I do not believe it will work. It will be earlier in the day but as the drink flows, people lose their inhibitions and are more likely to ignore the rules.”
“Although things have been improving, I think people, especially after an alcoholic drink, forget to protect themselves and others.”
People in the shielding category who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 are anxious about going back out in public. It is vital that guidance and support continues to be in place for people who have been shielding.
“After having self-isolated since the beginning of March, I am really scared about going to shops, going on buses. Scared I may catch the virus after having obeyed the rules for so long. Far too many have not been obeying the rules for weeks. Also, folk carrying and passing on the virus and they do not know they have it. All very dodgy for me.”
There were specific concerns from respondents about using public transport. It was suggested that services must become more frequent in order to allow for physical distancing to be adhered to. There were also concerns about how often public transport services are being cleaned and how much of an impact an increase in car travel will have on the environment.
“The measure means that people who have cars will be safer than people who have to rely on buses or trains. Buses and trains should be much more frequent to allow for 2 metre physical distancing.”
“I’m concerned about public transport. In most places there are systems in place to keep a continuous cleaning process going to try and keep on top of the virus and prevent it from reinfecting the population. I have not heard anything of the bus companies employing anybody to clean seats on buses as soon as someone vacates one and before somebody else sits in the seat. Plus, there is the problem of the close proximity of a number of people sitting close together. Are they all going to submit their names before each journey?”
“People are being encouraged to do things, for example, go on holiday, spend money and told not to use public transport unless they have to. I think this is causing people to use cars for journeys they would otherwise use public transport for, which is increasing the volume of traffic and air pollution.”
In conclusion, most respondents shared concerns about the latest restrictions which have been eased during phase three of Scotland’s lockdown. Disabled people are anxious that members of the public will fail to adhere to guidelines in place for physical distancing and hand hygiene. This is of particular concern for people in the shielding category. There were specific concerns on how this will be manageable on public transport, particularly if the number of people traveling increases as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.