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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.

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3. Attitudes towards Restrictions and Recent Changes

To understand attitudes towards Coronavirus restrictions, respondents were asked their views onthe current restrictions and whether they felt these were eased at the right pace, whether advice from the Scottish Government was clear and whether they trusted the Scottish Government to make decisions around lifting and re-imposing restrictions.

Views on Restrictions

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement ‘I support the way that restrictions in Scotland are being handled’. As shown in Figure 12, in March, over 6 in 10 (between 61% and 66%) respondents agreed that they supported the way restrictions were being handled. This dipped at the end of June (to 54% of respondents). At 24-25 August, 55% of respondents supported the way restrictions are being handled.

Figure 12: Proportion who tend to/strongly agree with the statement ‘I support the way that restrictions in Scotland are being handled’ [8]
Line chart showing 61% agreement on 2-3 March, this fluctuated and dropped to 55% on  24-25 August.

Source: YouGov Scotland survey. Base: Adults (n=980-1028)

There has been a decline in the numbers of respondents who agree with the statement ‘It feels like the restrictions and rules are working in Scotland’. In March, over 6 in 10 (64-66%) agreed that restrictions and rules were working. At 24-25 August, this figure had decreased to under 4 in 10 (37%).

Figure 13: Proportion who tend to/strongly agree or disagree with the statement ‘It feels like the restrictions and rules are working in Scotland’ [9]
Line chart showing 64% agreement on 2-3 March, dropping to 37% on 24-25 Aug.

Source: YouGov Scotland survey. Base: Adults (n=980-1028)

Respondents were asked what they thought about the speed at which restrictions in Scotland were being eased. As shown in Figure 14, at the beginning of March, when ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions were still in place, around half of respondents felt that the speed of easing restrictions was ‘about right’, 12% felt the speed was ‘too fast’ and 32% that this was ‘too slow’. Overall, as restrictions eased, an increasing number of respondents felt that restrictions were being eased ‘too fast’, and decreasing numbers felt this was ‘too slow’. By August 24/25, 41% felt that the pace was still ‘about right’, 30% felt the restrictions were being eased ‘too fast’ and 21% ‘too slow’.

Figure 14: Proportion who feel the restrictions are being eased too fast, too slow or about right
Bar chart showing an increase from 2-3 March to 24-25 August in those who felt they were being eased too fast and a decrease in those who felt they were too slow, with 41% feeling they were about right on 24-25 August (down from 49% on 2-3 March).

Source: YouGov Scotland survey. Base: Adults (n=807-1063)

Respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement ‘I think the advice from the Scottish Government is clear and helpful’ in relation to the current Coronavirus pandemic. In March polling, over 6 in 10 (64%) respondents agreed the advice given was clear and helpful. At 29-30 June, this decreased to just over 5 in 10 (51%). At 24-25 August, 54% of respondents agreed that advice from Scottish Government is clear and helpful.

On 9-10 March, just under 8 in 10 (79%) respondents agreed with the statement ‘I feel clear what is required of me under the current restrictions’. This fluctuated over April and May and from the end of June, there has been a decline in those who agree. At mid-August (10-11), 55% of respondents agreed that they feel clear what is required of them under the current restrictions.

Figure 15: Proportions who tend to/strongly agree with the following statements [10]
Line chart showing a decrease from 79% on 9-10 March to 55% on 10-11 August in those who feel clear about what is required, and a decrease in those who think advice is clear and helpful (from 64% to 54% on 24-25 August).

Source: YouGov Scotland survey. Base: Adults (n=807-1055)

As shown in Figure 16. At the beginning of March, 63% of respondents reported that they trust the Scottish Government to provide information on Coronavirus and 59% reported that they trust the Scottish Government to decide when and how it's best to lift and reimpose restrictions. By mid August (10-11), this was 56% and 51%.

Figure 16: Proportions who trust the Scottish Government to do the following: [11]
Bar chart showing trust around decisions on lifting and re-imposing restrictions fell from 59% on 2-3 March to 51% on 10-11 August, and a decline in trust around providing information on Coronavirus from 63% to 56%.

Source: YouGov Scotland survey. Base: Adults (n=1001-1028)

Contact

Email: covid-19.behaviours@gov.scot

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