An LSJ News poll suggests 73% of Lincoln residents think the reopening of beer gardens, outdoor dining and non-essential shops could lead to another COVID spike.
This comes just over a week after the new guidelines were put in place, which allowed all retail, pubs and restaurants with outdoor seating return to socially-distanced service.
Lincoln has been a hive of activity since April 12 when the rules came in, but many residents have reservations about this new phase of the government ‘roadmap’.
Emma, a third-year student at the University of Lincoln, says she hasn’t been in a non-essential shop yet as she doesn’t feel safe.
She said: “I’ve stuck to essentials still because I’m so anxious that people (specifically students) aren’t getting asymptomatic tests on campus.
“I’ve had people so close to me in shops without masks, maybe they’ve been exempt, but it’s made me feel extremely anxious.
She also thinks more needs to be done to ensure people follow the rules within shops.
“They say to still wear masks in shops, but no one is enforcing that, nor the 2m rule.
“It’s clear the government don’t really care about people’s safety, but more about the economy.”
Others, however, are welcoming new freedoms with long queues seen outside the likes of Primark and Wetherspoons for most of last week.
One Lincoln resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, feels the precautions in place are enough to keep everyone safe, providing the public complies.
“I think we have good precautions in place in campus buildings, pubs and shops with things like sanitizing hands and keeping masks on,” he said.
“I feel like one of the reasons problems will arise is because people are avoiding the rules outside shops and pubs, mixing with loads of households in more confined spaces and taking masks off in shops, which I have seen.
“Those few people avoiding the rules could possibly lead to some rises in cases, but hopefully not.”
As people enjoy the sun in beer gardens and shop on the high street, many will be looking forward to May 17 when more rules are lifted to allow pubs and restaurants to open indoor.