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Romanians are still reluctant to return to pre-pandemic lifestyles, even though restrictions have lifted

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52% of Romanian respondents to a survey conducted by FREE NOW, a European mobility platform that offers taxi and ridesharing services in Romania, say they are still reserved about resuming the pre-pandemic lifestyle, and another 24% say they still he avoids making plans to go out on the town. However, almost two-thirds of them feel the need to recover from delays during the pandemic.

Romanians consider themselves very sociable people, as almost half of the respondents say, but even among them, 24% said they want to socialize less than in 2019, as a post-pandemic effect and are still concerned about limiting the spread of the virus. In addition, 1 in 2 respondents said they had canceled their plans to go public since the restrictions were lifted due to social anxiety.

Despite the reluctance regarding socialization, 62% of the Romanian respondents to the FREE NOW survey feel the need to recover the activities that were limited during the pandemic. Of these, most missed were travel (48%), unrestricted family and friends meetings (47%), recreational social gatherings (37%), unrestricted shopping (25%), and participation. at cultural events (25%). Parties, participating in music festivals or big concerts and sporting events were also on the list of activities he would like to recover now. 13% of Romanian respondents missed socializing with colleagues at work, an interaction that, as a result of the pandemic, became increasingly mediated by technology.

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“People who strictly follow the rules during the pandemic tend to continue to behave in the same way for several reasons. Fears of their health and that of their family have become so ingrained in their daily lives that they have come to believe that giving up rules still carries the same risks as during the health crisis. In addition, the pandemic has led to better management of personal time, thanks to the hours saved by giving up moving between office and home, but also the efficiency of financial costs, and these things weigh heavily in the balance when considering the return to lifestyle pre-pandemic “, says Nicoleta Muşat, clinical psychologist.

Moreover, the pandemic influenced the travel habits of Romanians. In this sense, among the top activities that trigger Romanians’ anxiety are trips by public transport (30%), the appearance reflected in the behavior of others that things have “returned to the times before the pandemic” (30%), as well as and the fact that people no longer follow the rules related to social distance (25%) and no longer wear masks (23%), in addition to long-distance travel or abroad (15%).

“Romanians can be characterized as sociable people, as they identify themselves, so that is why they have felt in these two years the lack of activities specific to their lifestyle before the pandemic. It is recommended that the resumption of daily activities be done gradually, with the maintenance of those protection measures that help them feel safe and that protect them from anxiety “, adds the psychologist.

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When it comes to urban travel, the main criteria that continue to influence Romanians’ mobility preferences are safety, price, comfort, cleanliness and speed. Thus, 1 in 4 Romanians ranked ridesharing and car-sharing services in first place when it comes to choosing the option of urban mobility, followed by taxi (12%) and micromobility with scooters, scooters or bicycles (11%).

“At FREE NOW we notice that Romanians are returning to their pre-pandemic lifestyle. The number of taxi and ridesharing trips in recent weeks is growing at a steady pace. We also notice that returning to the habit of going out or participating in social events takes some time for some people. At FREE NOW, we continue to care about the safety of passengers who choose our mobility options and promote safe travel through ridesharing or taxi options, because, we hope, this is how we can support users and their lifestyle decisions. and I want it “, says Daria Marinescu, Head of Marketing FREE NOW Romania.

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