One-Quarter of Brits Won’t See Relatives at Christmas, 40 Per Cent Worry About Isolated Loved Ones: Poll

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More than one-quarter, 27 per cent, of respondents to a poll said they would not be seeing relatives this Christmas, while 41 per cent were worried about loved-ones becoming isolated during the holiday season.

YouGov conducted the survey for the British Psychological Society (BPS) before Boris Johnson declared a regional Tier 4 lockdown. Dr Vivian Hill, chairman of the BPS’s working group on coronavirus and isolation, remarked that figures would be even higher after the prime minister’s decision.

“The numbers feeling lonely after the new announcements on tier 4 will be higher than our findings showed,” Dr Hill said, according to The Guardian on Tuesday, continuing: “Already today I have been in contact with people saying they can hardly bear the thought of it going on much longer.”

After the end of the second lockdown in November, England was thrown into another set of restrictions — the three-tiered system — which forced 99 per cent of the country’s population under the strictest Tiers 2 and 3.

However, Britons were given hope at the prospect of the rules being relaxed for five days over Christmas. Citizens would be allowed to mingle with up to two other households, bringing many families back together after nine months of coronavirus restrictions.

But Mr Johnson announced on Saturday that some 16 million people living in the east and south-east of England would have their family Christmases effectively cancelled. Placed under a newly-created Tier 4, the government banned households mixing, with no easing over the holy period at all.

Earlier this month, a study by YouGov found that of 16 global countries surveyed, Britons were most likely (65 per cent) to say that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic was having a negative impact on their mental health, including ten per cent who said it was having a “very negative” impact. In second were Hong Kongers (63 per cent), followed by the Italian (62 per cent) in third place.

Figures from the Royal College of Psychiatrists reported in November revealed that the number of people having suicidal thoughts under coronavirus lockdown had tripled. Those with anxiety disorders and self-harm saw a similar increase.

The study also revealed six in ten psychiatrists said they had noticed an increase in emergency callouts, including cases where people needed to be sectioned. There was also a reported 19 per cent rise in the number of people being medically detained due to their mental health.

In October, the London Ambulance Service had said they had seen a rise in callouts to suicides or attempted suicides, almost doubling on the year before.

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