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Public attitudes to coronavirus: March update

This report presents findings from polling work, conducted in January and February 2021, on public attitudes to the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection


1. Impact of Coronavirus

Data was collected on the day-to-day impacts of Coronavirus on people's finances and health. This section presents some information on how respondent's finances and health have been affected by the pandemic.

Financial impact

Those who are working or furloughed were asked about the perceived level of threat to their job, resulting from Coronavirus. Figure 1 shows that this has remained fairly consistent, around a quarter, during January and February but fell to its lowest level (21%) by mid-February.

Figure 1: Perceived threat to job amongst those employed

Bar chart showing high/very high threat was 24% on 5-6 Jan, 25% on 2-3 Feb and 21% on 16-17 Feb

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=440-454)

Respondents were asked, one month from now, how concerned they were, from extremely concerned to not at all, about paying their bills, about not having a job and not being able to provide for their household. 10-13% were 'very' or 'extremely' concerned.

Figure 2: Proportion of respondents who were very/extremely concerned about the scenarios shown

Bar chart showing % agreeing with each statement were stable between 10 and 13%

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1009-1038)

When asked in mid-January, 80% agreed that they were worried about the long-lasting effect of the restrictions on their job and the economy. This is fairly consistent with levels seen when this question was asked in December.[2]

Figure 3: Proportion of respondents who agreed/disagreed with the statement 'I am worried about the long-lasting effect of restrictions on our jobs and our economy'

Bar chart showing 44% strongly agree, 35% tend to agree, 6% tend to disagree and 2% strongly disagree

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1038)

Health impacts

To understand the potential impact on other health issues, respondents were asked if they would avoid contacting a GP for immediate non-Coronavirus medical concerns. As shown in Figure 4, a quarter or more agreed that they would avoid doing so.

Figure 4: Proportion who agreed/disagreed that 'I would avoid contacting a GP practice at the moment even if I had an immediate medical concern (not related to Coronavirus)'

Bar chart showing 33% agreed on 5-6 Jan, declining to 28% on 23-24 Feb

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1038)

In January, 43% of respondents agreed that they were worried about their mental health with the latest changes. In February, 50% agreed that they were worried about the effect of the ongoing lockdown on their mental health.

Figure 5: Proportion who agreed/ disagreed with the statements about their mental health

Bar chart showing 42-50% agreed and 31-34% disagreed with each statement

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1016-1038)

Contact

Email: covid-19.behaviours@gov.scot

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