Public attitudes to coronavirus: November update

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

This document is part of a collection

Key Points

  • Worry about the effect of restrictions on jobs and the economy has remained high (over 70%).
  • The pandemic has continued to have an ongoing negative impact on wellbeing. Around half of respondents have felt lonely at least some of the time and over one third have consistently reported high levels of anxiety.
  • Levels of optimism fluctuated between March and August. From March to the beginning of June over half of respondents (53% to 63%) consistently agreed that things would get better soon, however this then dropped below 50%. By the end of August, optimism had fallen to its lowest levels, with 36% agreeing that things would get better soon.
  • Support for the way the restrictions have been handled in Scotland has remained high (at over half of respondents). However, there has been a decline in those who feel the restrictions and rules are working in Scotland.
  • People continue to feel that advice from the Scottish Government on Coronavirus is clear and helpful, and have trust in the Scottish Government to decide when and how to lift and re-impose restrictions, although both of these have seen a decline over time.
  • Levels of self-reported ‘high’ compliance has remained relatively stable (around 70%) throughout this period, with the majority reporting they are following the rules and regulations.
  • From April through to August, there has been high agreement on the importance of the protective measures, such as wearing a face covering and washing/sanitising hands. Respondents rated opening windows/doors (when with people from outside of the household) as the least important protective measure.
  • The public have remained cautious as restrictions have eased, with around 7 in 10 agreeing that they do not want to rush into doing things, and over 4 in 10 agreeing that thinking about resuming activities makes them feel anxious.
  • At the end of August, there was support for a Covid vaccine certificate, with 74% of respondents (excluding any who selected “not applicable”) agreeing they would be happy to use a certificate if it allowed them entry to certain venues.[3]



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