Essential Report

Easing restrictions

May 19, 2020

Q. When do you think governments should start to ease the restrictions on travel and gatherings to allow offices, shops, restaurants, other workplaces, and public spaces to start operating again?

  18/05 11/05 04/05 27/04 20/04
As soon as possible 9% 13% 10% 10% 9%
Within the next 1 to 2 weeks 13% 12% 9% 7% 6%
Within the next month 23% 22% 21% 18% 14%
By the end of next month 22% 20% 15% 15% 13%
It is too soon to consider easing restrictions 25% 27% 37% 42% 49%
Unsure 8% 6% 8% 8% 10%
Base (n) 1,073 1,067 1,093 1,054 1,051

 

    Gender Age Group
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
As soon as possible 9% 12% 7% 8% 9% 10%
Within the next 1 to 2 weeks 13% 15% 11% 16% 12% 12%
Within the next month 23% 24% 21% 24% 19% 25%
By the end of next month 22% 22% 22% 22% 24% 19%
It is too soon to consider easing restrictions 25% 22% 29% 19% 27% 30%
Unsure 8% 5% 10% 10% 8% 5%
Base (n) 1,073 524 549 339 349 385
  • Openness to easing the lockdown restrictions continues to increase, with just a quarter (25%) now believing it’s too soon to consider easing restrictions.
  • Women (29%) and those over 55 years (30%) are most likely to believe it’s too soon to consider easing restrictions.

Belief in Conspiracy Theories

May 19, 2020

Q. Here are some things people have been saying about Covid-19. They’re all things that some people say are true and others say aren’t true. To what extent do you believe each of the following to true or false?

  TOTAL:

True

TOTAL: False Definitely true Probably true Probably false Definitely false I don’t know enough to make a decision
The outbreak in China is actually much worse than the official Chinese statistics show 77% 11% 33% 44% 7% 4% 12%
The Covid-19 virus was engineered and released from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan 39% 39% 14% 25% 22% 17% 22%
The number of Covid-19 deaths have been exaggerated by the media and governments to scare the population 20% 71% 7% 13% 23% 48% 10%
Bill Gates played a role in the creation and spread of Covid-19 13% 71% 4% 9% 17% 55% 15%
The Covid-19 virus is not dangerous and is being used to force people to get vaccines 13% 79% 4% 10% 14% 65% 8%
The 5G wireless network is being used to spread the Covid-19 virus 12% 75% 4% 8% 14% 61% 13%

 

TOTAL: True   Gender Age Group
Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
The outbreak in China is actually much worse than the official Chinese statistics show 77% 79% 75% 69% 75% 85%
The Covid-19 virus was engineered and released from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan 39% 40% 39% 41% 39% 37%
The number of Covid-19 deaths have been exaggerated by the media and governments to scare the population 20% 23% 16% 30% 21% 10%
Bill Gates played a role in the creation and spread of Covid-19 13% 14% 13% 20% 13% 8%
The Covid-19 virus is not dangerous and is being used to force people to get vaccines 13% 17% 10% 20% 15% 6%
The 5G wireless network is being used to spread the Covid-19 virus 12% 15% 9% 20% 13% 4%
Base (n) 1,073 524 549 339 349 385
  • There is widespread belief that the outbreak in China is actually much worse than the official Chinese statistics show with three-quarters (77%) believe this to be definitely, or probably true.
  • Around the same number of people believe it’s true that the Covid-19 virus was engineered and released from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan as believe it to be false (both 39%).
  • Only a small minority believe other conspiracy theories to be true.

Changing attitudes to people

May 19, 2020

Q. As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, have your views and opinions changes about each of the following groups of people?

  More positive view My views haven’t changed More negative view
Health workers and care staff 56% 40% 4%
People with mental health issues 23% 69% 8%
People who are unemployed 21% 69% 10%
People who are homeless 21% 72% 7%
  • Over half of people now feel more positive towards health and care workers as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak (56%).
  • Around one in five people now feel more positive towards people with mental health issues (23%), those who are unemployed (21%) or homeless (21%).

Employment and Job prospects – Long-term unemployed

May 19, 2020

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about looking for work when the Covid-19 restrictions are eased?

THOSE WHO WERE UNEMPLOYED BEFORE COVID-19 AND WILL BE LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT ONCE RESTRICTIONS ARE LIFTED (n=135)

  TOTAL:

Agree

TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
I’m confident I’ll be able to find a well-paying job in my field at my level of experience 29% 43% 6% 23% 28% 21% 22%
I’m confident there will be many appropriate jobs for me 25% 45% 6% 19% 31% 21% 24%
  • 43% of people who were unemployed before the Covid-19 outbreak disagree that they’ll be able to find a well-paying job in their field at their level of experience and 45% disagree there will be appropriate jobs for them.

Employment and Job prospects – Recently unemployed

May 19, 2020

Q. Once the Covid-19 outbreak is over and restrictions are eased, how long do you think it will be before you are back in paid work?

THOSE WHO LOST WORK DUE TO COVID-19 (n=134)

  TOTAL
I don’t think I’ll find paid work again 10%
I think it will take a long time for me to find paid work 36%
I don’t think I’ll be back straight away but I’m confident I’ll find paid work fairly quickly 36%
I’ll be back in paid work straight away 18%
I won’t be looking for paid work after the restrictions are eased 1%
Base (n) 134
  • Less than one in five of those who have been made unemployed since Covid-19 think they’ll be back in work straight away (18%).
  • 36% think it will take them a long time to find paid work and 10% think they may not find paid work again.

Employment and Job prospects – Employed

May 19, 2020

Q. To what extent you agree or disagree with the following statements about work after the Covid-19 outbreak?

THOSE WHO ARE STILL IN EMPLOYMENT (n=488)

  TOTAL:

Agree

TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
I’m confident I’ll receive a pay rise soon after things are back to normal 21% 50% 6% 16% 28% 24% 27%
I’m confident I’ll be able to get a promotion if I want one 22% 44% 6% 16% 34% 22% 22%
I don’t think my wages will keep up with increases in the cost of living 48% 19% 17% 31% 33% 13% 6%
  • There is low optimism for wage growth following Covid-19. Just 21% agree (strongly/somewhat) that they expect a pay rise soon after things are back to normal and 22% expect to be able to gain a promotion.
  • Around half of people (48%) don’t think their wages will keep up with increases in the cost of living.

Coronavirus concerns

May 12, 2020

Q. To what extent are you concerned about the threat of Covid-19 (coronavirus) in Australia?

  11/05 04/05 27/04 20/04 13/04 06/04 29/03 22/03 09/03 10/02
Very concerned 34% 32% 39% 44% 45% 51% 53% 39% 27% 25%
Quite concerned 49% 46% 44% 43% 43% 37% 35% 43% 36% 43%
Not that concerned 14% 18% 13% 11% 9% 10% 10% 14% 28% 26%
Not at all concerned 3% 4% 3% 2% 3% 2% 3% 4% 9% 6%
Base (n) 1,067 1,093 1,054 1,051 1,068 1,069 1,086 1,034 1,096 1,057

 

    Age group Location
  Total 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
Very concerned 34% 31% 39% 31% 36% 29%
Quite concerned 49% 52% 47% 48% 48% 50%
Not that concerned 14% 15% 11% 16% 13% 18%
Not at all concerned 3% 2% 3% 4% 3% 4%
Base (n) 1,067 341 341 385 718 349
  • Concern about the threat of Covid-19 increased this week with 34% saying they are very concerned and 49% saying they are quite concerned.

Likelihood of developing Coronavirus

May 12, 2020

Q. How likely do you think it is, that you will develop Covid-19?

  11/05 04/05 27/04 20/04 13/04 06/04 29/03 22/03 09/03
Very likely 6% 5% 5% 7% 5% 8% 8% 8% 7%
Somewhat likely 24% 26% 21% 25% 28% 33% 36% 34% 24%
Somewhat unlikely 48% 46% 50% 52% 49% 45% 45% 45% 43%
Very unlikely 21% 23% 23% 17% 18% 14% 12% 13% 26%
Base (n) 1,067 1.093 1,054 1,051 1,068 1,069 1,086 1,034 1,096

 

    Age group Location
  Total 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
Very likely 6% 7% 11% 2% 7% 5%
Somewhat likely 24% 27% 28% 18% 26% 20%
Somewhat unlikely 48% 43% 42% 58% 46% 52%
Very unlikely 21% 23% 19% 23% 20% 23%
Base (n) 1,067 341 341 385 718 349
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