Life - Articles - What most are looking forward to after lockdown

SunLife’s Covid-19 Study asked more than 1,000 people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s what is the ONE thing you are most looking forward to getting back after lockdown, and holidays/travelling came out on top; the research follows reports that holiday and tour operators have seen a doubling in demand from over 50s expecting to haven received their Covid-19 vaccines by the summer

 Next on the list was ‘seeing grandchildren’, which was just slightly ahead of ‘seeing children’, followed by ‘not wearing a face mask’ which will be a huge relief for many, while ‘hugging people’ and ‘being in someone else’s house/having people round’ came next. Other things over 50s are desperate to get back to include ‘meeting up with more than one friend’, having a pint ‘without a substantial meal’ and ‘shopping freely.’

 When looking at priorities of different age groups, holidays were top for all, but after that the priorities changed; those in their 50s put not wearing a facemask above any rekindled human contact and were the only age group to have ‘going to gigs’ in the top 10.

 In contrast, seeing family and hugging people were all ahead of not wearing a face mask for people in their 60s, while for over 70s, many of whom either live alone or just with one other, being in someone else’s house/having people round made the top 5.

 There were also quite a few differences between men and women in terms of the things they are most looking forward to, with men more excited about not wearing a facemask than seeing their grandkids, and keener for a pint than a hug! Being able to return to sports events were also much higher than any other group. For women, seeing and hugging family and friends were above not having to wear a facemask, and shopping freely was the top ‘activity’ they are most looking forward to.

 Regions-wise there was not a huge amount of difference, but it is worth noting that over 50s in the East Midlands were the only group to put seeing their grandkids again above holidays.

 Age groups 


 Men vs Women


 Lower down the list people are looking forward to things like having a haircut, pampering and going back to classes, hobbies and church, while those who don’t live with their partners are understandably keen to see them again and rekindle their love lives; in fact ‘having sex with my partner’ came above ‘seeing my partner’ in the full list (available here)

 Ian Atkinson, marketing director at Sunlife said: “There are aspects of social distancing that may continue even when they’re not mandatory – for instance, more than a quarter of people over 50 intend to continue using face masks even if they become non-compulsory, and almost a third will try to maintain a two metre distance even if restrictions are lifted.

 “But it’s clear from our research that there are plenty of things that people over 50 are desperately missing and can’t wait to get back to. We found that four out five who had a holiday booked between March and December 2020 had it cancelled, so it is perhaps no surprise that holidays top the list.”

 SunLife’s research shows a huge uplift in the number of over 50s using video calls to keep in touch since the start of lockdown – 48% now have an online call at least weekly, more than double the number that did before – but it is no substitute for the real thing.

 Ian says it is also interesting to see that there are certain things that lockdown has ‘forced’ upon people, that they say they will continue to do, even when they don’t have to.

 For example, 39% of respondents say they have started walking more and say they will continue to make it part of their routine, even when things return to normal. One in five say they have done more gardening and will keep it up, while the same number say they have been doing more baking and intend to continue that. 24% say they have been using their car a lot less and will try to keep it that way.

 “At the start of the pandemic, we surveyed people over 50 and asked them how they felt about the lockdown, and there was a real ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude, with many saying there could be some real positives- like the revival of ‘traditional’ activities like baking and gardening.

 “And now, 10 months later, as we interview this age group again, it would appear that most have kept their spirits up and that there has been a revival of more homely activities. So, while they are obviously keen to get back to life as they once knew it, they have also shown they are able to stay strong, calm and, most importantly, positive in a crisis.”

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