Public attitudes to coronavirus: October update

High level findings from recent polling work on public attitudes to the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection

Overall trends and key points

  • Levels of anxiety and low happiness were high at the beginning of lockdown, fell in April and have been fairly stable since. A minority of people continue to report experiencing loneliness in the last week. Optimism that things will start getting better soon rose in May and June but fell again in July and remained relatively low in August.
  • Overall levels of anxiety and worry are reflected in more specific worries about people's finances and their health. Perceived threat from Coronavirus to 'your job' has remained fairly high but stable in July and August. There is also evidence that people may be avoiding the hospital or GP for medical concerns not related to Coronavirus. This has been relatively high through the pandemic period, although it has reduced over time.
  • Claimed compliance in Phase 3 has been high, although a minority report finding it easy to join in with family and friends when they are not following the guidance. The proportion of respondents reporting to wear a face covering at least sometimes when leaving the house rose sharply in July, when wearing a face covering became mandatory in certain settings, and remains high.
  • Levels of trust in Scottish Government to work in Scotland's best interests during the Coronavirus pandemic have been high throughout the pandemic. Trust in NHS Scotland and Scottish Government to deal with the recovery following the pandemic have also remained high over time.
  • Levels of comfort with going to a cafĂ© or restaurant increased steadily in early August, with a majority comfortable with a return to their usual workplace (amongst employees) and children returning to school (amongst parents) in July and August also. Despite this, only two fifths of respondents were comfortable going to a bar or pub in August, and four fifths continue to agree they do not want to rush into doing things.

15% said they felt lonely all, almost all of the time or most of the time in the past week (Aug 25-26)

32% agreed that they are sure things will get better soon (Aug 25-26)

93% reported they are wearing face coverings at least sometimes when leaving the house (Aug 18-19)

80% agreed they do not want to rush into doing things even though restrictions are changing (Aug 25-26)



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