Publication - Research and analysis

Public attitudes to Coronavirus: November update

Published: 20 Nov 2020

This report includes some high level findings from recent polling work on public attitudes to the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

31 page PDF

2.6 MB

31 page PDF

2.6 MB

Contents
Public attitudes to Coronavirus: November update
2. Compliance

31 page PDF

2.6 MB

2. Compliance 

Views on guidance

As well as tracking the impacts of Coronavirus on people’s finances and health, polling surveys have been used to monitor people’s attitudes to the Coronavirus response. This section presents data about public awareness of, and reaction to, Coronavirus measures.

Respondents were provided with statements about government advice and guidance, and asked about the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with them. Figure 5 shows that around three quarters agreed that the best thing to do is to follow the government’s advice, which has remained stable during September and October. The vast majority agreed that they understand the need to have the rules we have about meeting up, although agreement decreased from early September to early October and then fluctuated around the lower level after that. There was an increase in the proportion who are finding it hard to always stick to the government rules between September and October.

Figure 5: Proportion who agreed/agreed strongly to the statements shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Line chart with four lines. One line represents the proportion who agreed that the best thing is to follow the Government’s advice. Another shows the proportion who agreed that they understand the need to have the rules we have about meeting up. Both fluctuate but stay above 72%. Other lines show the proportion who agreed that it is easy to join in when others are not sticking to the rules (which increases steadily from 21% to 28%), and the proportion finding it hard to always stick to the guidelines (16% in the first wave and 19% in the latest wave).

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1053)

Views on recent restrictions

National restrictions were announced on Tuesday 22 September[2] and additional temporary measures came into effect on Friday 9 October.[3] Respondents were prompted with the details of these restrictions and asked to what extent they were aware of them before taking the survey, and had followed them since they were introduced. As shown in Figure 6, on prompting, the vast majority reported they were ‘fully aware’ or ‘aware of some details’, and had ‘mostly’ or ‘fully’ followed them.

Figure 6: Proportion who reported they were aware of the restrictions, and that they have complied with the measures since they were introduced
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart with two sets of five bars. The first set represents the proportion who reported they were aware of the measures. These stay between 94% and 98% over the five waves. The second set represents the proportion who reported they have followed the restrictions. These stay between 91% and 93% over the waves.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1004-1023)

Levels of compliance

Respondents were asked to assess their compliance with the Coronavirus guidance on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is 'not at all' and 7 is 'completely'. At the beginning of September four fifths rated their compliance as complete or almost complete (i.e. scored themselves as 6 or 7 out of 7), while by the end of October this had decreased to three quarters. At the beginning of September around one fifth rated their compliance as less good with a score of between 1 and 5. Three fifths of respondents consistently agreed that the new restrictions have made them think more carefully about how they behave.

Figure 7: Proportion who rated their compliance as 6-7 or 1-5, and proportion who agreed/agreed strongly with the statement shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Line chart with three lines. One line represents the proportion who rated their compliance as 6 or 7 out of 7. This has decreased from 79% to 74% over the nine waves. Another line shows the proportion who rated their compliance as 1 to 5 out of 7. This has been between 18% and 24% over the nine waves. The third line shows the proportion who agreed that the new restrictions have made them think more carefully about what they do and don’t do. This has been between 60% and 63% over three waves.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1053)

Respondents were provided with a list of activities and asked, what, if anything, they had done in the past week. The lists included a range of activities, some of which were permitted in the guidance, and others that were outside of the guidance. Table 1 shows that, at the end of September claimed compliance with face coverings was high, with only 3% or less not wearing these when required. A slightly higher proportion reported hugging or kissing someone outside of their household (6%), not keeping a 1 metre distance (6%), and having shared a car with someone aged over 12 not in their household without windows open or face coverings on (5%), all of which were outside of the guidance.

Table 1: Proportion who reported having done each activity in the past week
Activity done in the past week %
Met up with people and managed to stay at least 2 metres/ 6 feet away from anyone aged 12 or older not in my household 24%
Met up with people but didn't manage to stay even 1 metre away from others aged 12 or older not in my household 6%
Shared a car with someone aged 12 or older not in my household with windows open and/ or face coverings on 5%
Shared a car with someone aged 12 or older not in my household without windows open or face coverings on 5%
Met up with people from more than 4 other households in total (whether indoors and/ or outdoors) in a day 2%
Travelled on public transport with a face covering 16%
Travelled on public transport without a face covering 1%
Shopped in a supermarket/ other shop without a face covering 3%
Met up with up to 6 people aged 12 or older from one other household indoors - at home/in someone else's home 3%
Met up with up to 6 people aged 12 or older from one other household indoors - in a bar, pub, café or restaurant 6%
Met up with more than 6 people aged 12 or older and/ or more than one other household anywhere indoors (at home/ in someone else's home / in a bar, pub, café or restaurant) 1%
Met up with up to 6 people aged 12 or older from one other household outdoors (in a garden, other outdoor location or outside area of a bar, pub, café or restaurant) 7%
Met up with more than 6 people aged 12 or older and/ or more than one other household outdoors (in a garden, other outdoor location or outside area of a bar, pub, café or restaurant) 1%
Hugged/ kissed someone aged 12 or older not in my household when meeting up with them 6%
None of these 43%
Don't know 4%
Prefer not to say 2%

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey 29-30 September. Base (n=1004)

Personal protective actions

Respondents were asked how important various personal protective actions (FACTS behaviours) were in helping to keep the spread of Coronavirus under control, and then the extent to which they were following them.[4] As shown in Figure 8, the vast majority consistently viewed each of these protective actions as important. 

Figure 8: Proportion who reported each action as ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ important
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart with six sets of five bars. The sets represent the proportion of people who report different FACTS behaviours are important, including staying a 2 metre distance, wearing a face covering, avoiding crowded places and cleaning hands regularly. Over the five waves the proportions for each action remain between a minimum of 87% (for wearing a face covering) and maximum of 98% (cleaning hands regularly). 

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1004-1053)

Respondents were asked how well, if at all, they are at following various personal protective actions (FACTS behaviours). Figure 9 shows that the vast majority reported following each action ‘well’ or ‘fairly well’. In particular, more than nine in ten reported good compliance with wearing a face covering when required, avoiding crowded places, and washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

Figure 9: Proportion who claimed to do each action ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ well
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart with six sets of two bars. The sets represent the proportion of people who report doing different FACTS behaviours well or very well, for two waves. Values are similar for each wave, however some behaviours have a higher proportion than others, for example, wearing a face covering (96%, 94%) is higher than carrying and using hand sanitiser (81%, 78%).

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1008-1040)

Testing

Test and Protect

Respondents were told what the main Coronavirus symptoms are, were provided with a list of response options, and asked which would best describe what they would do if they if they experienced any Coronavirus symptoms.[5] As shown in Figure 10, at the end of October around three quarters said they would self-isolate and book a test straightaway if they had any symptoms, which was an increase from the end of September. Sizable minorities reported that they would take an alternative action not within the guidance, for example, self-isolate but wait a day or two before booking a test, although this decreased from the end of September to the end of October.

Figure 10: Respondents’ descriptions of what they would do they had any COVID-19 symptoms
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart with different options for what respondents would do if they developed symptoms, showing the proportion who chose these responses over two waves. It illustrates that 69% to 74% chose to ‘self-isolate and book a test straightaway’. The next most common response was to ‘self-isolate but wait for a day or two to see whether I get better/get other symptoms before I book a test’ (18% in the first wave 13% in the latest wave).

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1004-1008)

Respondents were also asked whether they agreed or disagreed that they understand the importance of the Test & Protect in stopping the spread of Coronavirus, and with other statements about their willingness to comply with the programme. Figure 11 shows that the vast majority agreed that they understand the importance of Test & Protect programme for stopping the spread of the virus, would be willing to provide details of those they had been in contact with if they developed symptoms, and would be willing to comply with self-isolation guidance. Levels of willingness to provide details of other people, and to self-isolate and book a test through Test & Protect were slightly higher at the beginning of September than in the most recent wave. 

Figure 11: Proportion who agreed/agreed strongly with the statements shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart with four sets of five bars. Each set has a different statement about Test and Protect and shows the proportion who agreed. Agreement for all measures stay are 85% to 88% in the first wave, and slightly decrease to 82% to 84% in the latest wave.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1053)

Respondents were asked to think about whether they had self-isolated since March 2020, and select the reason, if any, for this. As shown in Figure 12, 13% to 14% of all respondents reported that they had self-isolated since March 2020, either because they had Coronavirus symptoms, someone else in their house had symptoms, had returned from overseas and were required to quarantine, or they had been alerted to self-isolate by the Test and Protect programme.

Figure 12: Proportion who responded with the statements shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart showing the proportion of respondents who have self-isolated, and reasons for this for two waves. It shows that 76% to 79% have not had to self-isolate. It also show that, for both waves, 6% to 7% had to self-isolate because they experienced symptoms, and another 5% to 6% because someone in their household did.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1004-1008)

Respondents who indicated that they had self-isolated were also asked about the number of many times, if at all, they left their home during their period of self-isolation.[6] As shown in Figure 13, the majority reported that they had not left their home at all during the isolation period (72%). However, around one quarter reported they had left home during this period, either for one last trip before the period began, once or twice, or more than twice.

Figure 13: Proportion who responded with the statements shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart with different options for reasons for leaving the house during self-isolation. It shows that 72% of those who self-isolated reported they did not leave home at all, and smaller proportions (8% to 11%) responded that they left once or twice, didn’t leave home at all apart from for one last time before they started the isolation period, or had left more than twice.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=186-196)


Contact

Email: covid-19.behaviours@gov.scot