French, Germans and Italians divided on pace of lockdown easing says Euronews poll

This place is opening up again. but not everyone is rushing back out
This place is opening up again. but not everyone is rushing back out Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Nial O'Reilly
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The desire to ease restrictions in Italy, France and Germany is tempered by anxieties about the ongoing risk of coronavirus infection, an exclusive Euronews survey shows.


Across Europe, societies traumatised by the COVID-19 pandemic are cautiously emerging from lockdown. What kind of future do Europeans face, and how will our lives be transformed?

A survey commissioned by Euronews shows that people in Italy, France and Germany have different views on the pace of easing restrictions. The poll, carried out by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, involved 1,500 participants from each of the three EU countries.

While 45 per cent of Italians surveyed say lockdown measures are being eased at the right pace, 42 per cent of Germans think things are moving too fast. In contrast, the prevailing view in France is that the pace is too slow.

The question of social distancing is also divisive. It's not only difficult to maintain in urban settings, it's alien to cultures where shaking hands and greeting others with kisses are a reflex.

Just over half of Italians are eager for social distancing measures to end (54 per cent), a feeling shared by 63 per cent of the French. Germans seem more concerned, with most (54 per cent) wanting to keep their distance for now.

Ready to go back to work, but not to the restaurant

These complexities feed into how we see everyday life after lockdown.

Just over half of the French surveyed said it still won't feel safe in June to leave their homes. The Germans and Italians, meanwhile, overwhelmingly said it will feel safe.

All three populations appear confident about returning to the workplace. But around two thirds of respondents in each country are not ready to go back to bars and restaurants.

With the holiday season approaching, how will people feel about doing these things abroad? There's still uncertainty over quarantine conditions and also the possibility of a sudden return of lockdown. That's perhaps leading people to conclude it's better to stay at home.

Nearly half of Germans and Italians don't plan to travel at all, while the prevailing view in France is to remain within the country’s own borders this summer.

In all three countries, the reason overwhelmingly cited for the change in plans is safety.

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