SCOTS are more anxious about coming out of lockdown than people in the rest of the UK, a new survey has revealed.

Over 58% say they are scared, anxious or apprehensive and a further 38% say it will be a long time before they will feel comfortable socialising in the same way as they did pre-pandemic.

The survey found that 26% are worried about their ability to readjust to normal levels of social interaction again and 12% worry they have forgotten how to have a proper conversation.

The survey, which was conducted by OnePoll for The Big Lunch, a National Lottery and Iceland Foods supported initiative, found 15% are worried about social pressure increasing post lockdown and around 66% of people in Scotland are anxious about visiting crowded places.

There are also mixed feelings about physical contact, with half (51%) saying they feel confident and comfortable with the idea of hugging once restrictions are lifted and the other half planning to keep their distance

In the UK as a whole, 55% of the population say they are scared, anxious or apprehensive about coming out of lockdown restrictions.

However, 870,000 of the Scottish population now feel closer to their neighbours and two thirds are now comfortable meeting small groups locally outside.

People are now being encouraged to build on their connections by taking part in The Big Lunch, an idea from the Eden Project, from June 5.

Last year saw the event go virtual for the first time with over four million people taking part across the UK.

Sophie Bridger, of the Eden Project, said taking part was a good way for people to ease back into socialising.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging year, and for many of us, the connections we made in our communities have helped us get through it,” she said. “As we emerge from the toughest of times, we want to support people and communities as we start to reconnect with the world around us.

“By seeing your neighbours for some cake and a natter, you can keep friendship and community spirit going. There’s plenty of different ways to take part – outdoors, online, over the fence or on the doorstep from June right through into July. It’s so important to find ways we can get used to socialising, connecting and making new friends again and The Big Lunch can help people do that.”