Support for lockdown restrictions

Survey of attitudes to COVID-19 shows public respect messaging.

Staying at home to save lives is recognised as a vitally important action in tackling coronavirus (COVID-19).

Over 90 per cent of people who responded to surveys carried out for the Scottish Government during April agreed that by remaining at home, they would be saving lives and protecting the NHS.

There was also general compliance with the guidance about physical distancing, with up to 80 per cent of those surveyed saying that they are keeping to the two metre distancing advice.

The polling also reveals that 85 per cent of respondents believe that the best thing to do during the COVID-19 crisis is follow government advice.

The findings are contained in a report published by the Scottish Government today summarising two surveys on public attitudes carried out weekly during the COVID-19 crisis.

The surveys, by Ipsos MORI and YouGov, are part of a range of analysis undertaken by the Scottish Government to understand the impact of the virus and measures to suppress it.

The weekly online surveys provide information about key issues including the national mood, wellbeing, awareness, public behaviours and trust in government.

Key trends from the report, covering a six week period from 16 March to 24 April, are:

  • Levels of anxiety and worry associated with COVID-19 remain relatively high
  • Awareness of and support for compliance measures is high
  • The NHS was consistently rated highly in terms of doing a good job to contain the virus
  • Levels of trust in information from the Scottish Government were high

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“It is vital that we collect and analyse as much information as possible to inform our decisions on tackling the COVID-19 outbreak and these surveys provide valuable evidence about public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours.

“The surveys show compliance with physical distancing measures is high and we thank the public for their continued observance of these vital rules at this critical time.

“We recognise that public tolerance of the distancing measures is hard to sustain, and that these measures in turn have wider impacts on society and the economy, but we ask the public to continue to comply with them until we are certain we will not be risking a resurgence in infection rates.

“The surveys also highlight the very high regard the public has for the NHS and that levels of trust in information from the Scottish Government remain high.”


The Scottish Government is undertaking a range of analysis to understand the short, medium and long term impacts of Covid-19 on different parts of the economy, society and environment.

As part of this work we have been commissioning weekly online panel polling surveys from Ipsos MORI and YouGov to provide information about the national mood, public behaviours, attitudes, and trust in government.

Information from these surveys has been used in the work of SGoRR, as well as summarised and disseminated across Scottish Government.

Read Public Attitudes to Coronavirus April summary.


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