Coronavirus (COVID-19): public attitudes and behaviours - April update

Findings from polling work, conducted between September 2021 and January 2022, on public attitudes and behaviours around the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

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Annex A: Methodology


This report draws together findings on key indicators from polling work on public behaviours and attitudes to the Coronavirus pandemic in Scotland. Eight reports covering earlier survey work were published on 8 May 2020, 12 June 2020, 5 August 2020, 9 October 2020, 20 November 2020, 29 January 2021, 24 March 2021, and 30 Nov 2021. As with previous reports, it is not intended to provide comprehensive analysis of the large amount of polling information available, but rather to draw together findings on some key indicators and present these visually. The report contains brief descriptions and explanations of the data from surveys which took place between September 2021 and January 2022. In addition to the visual timeline at the beginning of the report, is a more detailed timeline of key events that occurred while fieldwork was taking place, found in Annex B. These provide wider context when interpreting the data in relation to things such as case numbers and the regulations in place at the time.

Results should be interpreted with the understanding that the surveys were designed and undertaken during a rapidly changing situation and bearing in mind the limitations of the data source noted below.

Data sources

The source is an online survey by YouGov. It is a bespoke commission by the Scottish Government. See the sample sizes for further information about this source, and the data tables are published on website. This report contains results from 7 September to 19 January 2022, inclusive. This period covers two major waves of COVID-19: from just after the summer/autumn peak of Delta variant cases in September 2021, and then the emergence of the Omicron variant in November and its rapid spread in December. On 29 December 2021, Scotland recorded the highest number of positive PCRs to date, with 21,425 positive cases (Public Health Scotland).

In the time period covered, September to January, Scotland has seen a rapid booster rollout. Guidance and measures around Coronavirus have also changed over this period. This included the introduction of the COVID-19 certification "passport" scheme in October for entry to late night venues and large events. For a more detailed overview of key events during this time period, see the timeline.

Fieldwork dates are provided alongside the sample sizes. These dates and what was happening in relation to the pandemic should be kept in mind when interpreting the data. Due to the evolving situation and government responses to Coronavirus (see the visual timeline and Annex B), questions were introduced at different times, or not asked at all waves.


A polling survey has a number of limitations. Sub-group analysis is not always possible due to small sample sizes. Furthermore, the nature of online research inherently excludes those who do not have internet access. The data source nevertheless provides useful and timely information, applying appropriate caveats. As the survey has been conducted using a quota sample, rather than a random probability sample, statistical significance can only be used on an indicative basis. Differences over the survey waves are only highlighted if they are likely to be significant, however not all possible significant differences have been described.

Sample sizes

YouGov results are based on a sample of c.1,000 adults 18+ across Scotland at each wave. YouGov apply weighting to the data to match the population profile to adjust for any over/under representations and to maximise consistency from wave to wave. Parameters used include age, gender, social class, region and level of education. Fieldwork dates cover the period where the bulk of the survey fieldwork was completed.

Name Sample size Age group Field dates
YouGov weekly survey Wave 77: 1021 Wave 79: 1005 Wave 81: 1044 Wave 83: 1003 Wave 85: 1002 Wave 87: 1009 Wave 89: 1001 Wave 91: 1022 Wave 94: 1012 Wave 96: 1005 18+ 7-8 September 21-22 September 5-6 October 19-20 October 2-3 November 16-17 November 30 November-1 December 14-15 December 4-5 January 18-19 January



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