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
5. Looking forward

31 page PDF

2.6 MB

5. Looking forward

Changing restrictions

Finally, surveys have examined people’s attitudes towards support for Coronavirus measures and future plans. This section summarises polling data about public confidence and comfort in resuming activities and current trends in activity across different sectors.

In September respondents were asked how they felt about the speed at which the Scottish Government was easing restrictions, and whether this was too fast, too slow or about right. Later respondents were asked whether they felt the level of restrictions currently in place was too strict, too relaxed, or about right.[10] As shown in Figure 26, around half felt the speed was ‘about right’, while one fifth thought it was too fast and less than one in seven thought it was too slow. Figure 26 also shows that the proportion who thought restrictions were ‘about right’ increased in late October, and the proportion reporting the restrictions were too relaxed fell.

Figure 26: Proportion who reported that the speed and level of restrictions is ‘about right’ or otherwise
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart that shows four bars. The first two bars show two waves in which respondents indicated they thought the speed of lifting restrictions was ‘much too fast’, ‘a little too fast; ‘about right’, ‘a little too slow’ or ‘too slow’. The majority responded ‘about right’ (51% to 55%). The second two bars show two waves in which respondents indicated they thought the level of restrictions were ‘much too strict’, ‘slightly too strict’, ‘about right’ slightly too relaxed’ or ‘much too relaxed’. The proportion who responded ‘about right’ increased from 37% to 46% in the latest wave.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1018)

Support for measures

Respondents were also asked whether they agreed or disagreed with two statements about the way restrictions were being handled in Scotland. Figure 27 shows that the majority agreed that they support the way restrictions are being handled, and that they support restrictions being handled in a different way to the rest of the UK. Levels of agreement decreased in the second half of September and have fluctuated since.

Figure 27: Proportion who agreed/strongly agreed with the statements shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Line chart with two lines. The first line shows the proportion of respondents who agreed that they support restrictions in Scotland being handled in a different way to the rest of the UK. This fluctuates between 74% and 65% but is lower (66%) in the most recent wave than the first wave. The second line shows those who agreed that they support the way restrictions in Scotland are being handled. This decreases from 73% when first asked in mid-September to 61% in the most recent wave.

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

Respondents were also asked whether they agreed or disagreed with two statements about the prospect of additional or tighter restrictions. Figure 28 shows that around four fifths agreed they would support additional restrictions in areas where case numbers rise, although this fell during early and mid-October. A similar proportion agreed that they would be happy to follow stricter restrictions if it stops the overall situation getting worse. 

Figure 28: Proportion who agreed/agreed strongly with the statements shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Line chart with two lines. The first line shows the proportion of respondents who agreed that they support the introduction of additional restrictions. This remains high but declines slightly from 83% to 77%. The second line shows those who agreed that they are happy to follow stricter restrictions if it stops the overall situation getting worse. This remains between 77% and 82%.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1023)

Returning to normal

Respondents were asked which places they have visited in the past week, if any, from a list of available options. As shown in Figure 29, there was a decrease in the overall proportion who reported to having visited somewhere in the past week in mid-October due to a decrease in the proportion visiting hospitality.

Figure 29: Proportion who reported visiting each location in the past week
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart with nine sets of bars. Each bar show the proportion of respondents who visited a certain location in the past week, over nine waves. The proportion visited any place decreases from 66% in the first wave to 57% in the latest wave, with a drop in late September.

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

Respondents were asked whether they felt comfortable doing a range of activities in the next month. Figure 30 shows that the proportions who reported feeling comfortable going to their usual workplace were consistently higher than proportion who felt comfortable travelling by public transport, or going to a bar or pub. Levels of comfort for undertaking each of these activities in the next month increased between late September and early October.

Figure 30: Proportion who reported they were ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ comfortable doing each activity in the next month
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart with three sets of bars. Each bar show the proportion who agreed they are comfortable doing each of the following activities in the next month: going to usual place of work, going to a bar or pub, and travelling by bus or train. For each, there is an increase over the two waves shown. In order these are: 59% up to 66%, 30% up to 38%, and 34% up to 40%.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1005-1012)

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with two statements about the future. As shown in Figure 31, around four fifths agreed that they are worried about the long-lasting effect of the restrictions on jobs and the economy, and three fifths agreed that, in the long-term, climate change is as serious a crisis as Coronavirus is.

Figure 31: Proportion who agreed/agreed strongly with the statements shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Line chart with two lines. The first line shows the proportion of respondents who agreed that they are worried about the long-lasting effect of the restrictions on jobs and our economy, which remains between 80% and 82%. The second line shows the proportion who agreed that in the long-term climate change is as serious a crisis as COVID-19 is, which remains between 60% and 62%.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1040)


Contact

Email: covid-19.behaviours@gov.scot