Barriers to adherence with COVID-19 restrictions
This report presents information from qualitative research into people’s experiences about how they understand and feel able to adhere to coronavirus restrictions.
This document is part of a collection
1. What restrictions respondents found easiest to follow and why
The most commonly reported factor respondents noted as making it easier to follow various restrictions and guidance was clear, regular and accessible guidance. Respondents mentioned various information sources, including daily briefings, BBC News, schools and social media.
“I think the communication of the restrictions has been excellent, both in terms of the rationale for each of the constraints being well explained, but also the regularity and visibility of the messages” man aged 70+, retired, not disabled
“Daily briefings from FM and general communication from FM/Scottish Government have made the rationale behind restrictions clear” woman aged 25-34, employed full time, not disabled
“Regular letters from the school on how they are tackling it has been helpful” woman aged 55-64, self-employed, not disabled
“Consistent Scottish Government messages. Jason Leitch on Twitter. Janey Godley clips reinforcing message but in a humorous way!” woman aged 45-54, self-employed, disabled
“Visual information in BSL and subtitles from BBC Scotland / Scottish Politics at lunch time news” man aged 65-69, self-employed, not disabled
The most commonly reported restrictions
and guidance that people found easiest to follow were wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing, and washing their hands regularly.
Far fewer respondents reported that they found avoiding crowded places easy, and only a couple reported finding self-isolating easy. Only a very few respondents also mentioned the FACTS and Hands Face Space guidance explicitly as being helpful.
“The things that apply to everyone – social distancing, mask wearing, handwashing and keeping to well ventilated places” woman aged 45-54, employed full time, not disabled
“I do not mind wearing a mask. On a cold day it keeps my nose warm” woman aged 45-54, not working due to long-term illness or disability
“the FACTS are good and clear guidance and knowing clear restrictions – even if they seem severe are better than layers and tiers” woman aged 55-64, employed full time, not disabled
“wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing, avoiding crowded places and using establishments with good controls is very easy to follow…HANDS-FACE-SPACE is a good reminder” man aged 70+, retired, not disabled
Working from home and living arrangements
Many respondents commented that it has been easy to follow working from home guidance. In particular, respondents noted the benefits of supportive employers and suitable living arrangements, as well as some challenges.
“I find working from home for the most part easy as I have adapted to it. Although I do miss the face to face contact with my colleagues and my clients…I sometimes feel lonely and isolated working from home but I understand that it is safer for me to be working this way” woman aged 45-54, employed full time, not disabled
“Supportive employer, lucky enough to have the space at home for husband and I to work in separate rooms” woman aged 35-44, employed full time, not disabled
“The organisation I work for have made home working possible, provided flexibility, equipment and a wellbeing support network” woman aged 35-44, employed full time, not disabled
Other respondents acknowledged their comfortable living arrangements which enabled them to work from home and follow other regulations and guidance. Several respondents also noted the benefits of living in a rural area.
“I am fortunate to have large garden space, good internet connectivity/digital skills, private car and in fairly close (5 minute drive) proximity to essential shops and services. This means I have been able to control my behaviour to the extent of minimising my risk to the virus without much negative impact on my quality of life” woman aged 35-44, employed full time, not disabled
“Living in a village while shielding has made it much easier I think. I have open countryside on my doorstep and have still been able to walk my dog in the fresh air and avoid people” man aged 55-64, not working due to long-term illness or disability, disabled
Protecting other people
Another theme raised by respondents was a desire to protect other people, which was a helpful motivation that made it easier to follow various restrictions and guidance. This altruism and consideration of others included specific family and friends, as well as others more generally. Respondents also noted that understanding the risk of different behaviours is helpful.
“Knowing that my actions benefit others and, in particular, keep my elderly parents as safe as possible” woman aged 35-44, employed full time, not disabled
“Thoughts of my sister and her safety have always been top in my thoughts with everything I have done” man aged 55-64, employed part time, not disabled
“A sense of civic duty and social solidarity” man aged 55-64, employed part time, not disabled
“I am concerned for others rather than myself, so do not want to be responsible for passing on the virus to anyone, so this makes me very wary and willing to follow the restrictions” woman aged 45-54, employed part time, disabled
“I understand that these are not normal times and that activities where people come together are high risk for transmission” woman aged 45-54, employed part time, disabled
Compliance of other people
Respondents also shared that the compliance of other people helped to make it easier to follow various restrictions and guidance, with specific comments highlighting peer pressure as well as appreciation of, and support from, others in the same situation.
“Since there are always at least two people or households involved, ‘peer’ pressure makes it easier to follow the rules. If ‘I’don’t want to break the rules, it is difficult for ‘you’ to make me do so!” woman aged 55-64, self-employed, not disabled
“The glaring from others when you don’t follow the rules” woman aged 25-34, employed full time, disabled
“High degree of compliance, the behaviour of others reminding you” man aged 35-44, employed full time, not disabled
“Friends/family understanding the guidance and also following it” woman aged 55-64, employed part time, not disabled
“We are all in the same mind and keep each other going” woman aged 45-54, employed full time, not disabled
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