Reaction to Covid-19

Mar 24, 2020

Q. Which of the following is closer to your personal views of the Covid-19 outbreak?

    Gender Age Group Location
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
There has been an over-reaction to the threat of Covid-19 33% 36% 30% 39% 37% 23% 34% 30%
The response to the threat of Covid-19 is about right 39% 40% 39% 40% 33% 44% 39% 39%
The threat of Covid-19 has been under-estimated 28% 24% 32% 21% 30% 33% 27% 31%
Base (n) 1,096 519 515 342 327 365 703 331
  • A third of people believe there has been an over-reaction to the threat of Covid-19. Men (36%) and those aged 18-34 (39%) are more likely to think there has been an over-reaction than women (30%) and those aged 55+ (23%).
  • 39% think the reaction has been proportionate to the threat and 28% believe the threat has been under-estimated.
  • Those who think there has been an over-reaction are less concerned about the threat of Covid-19 (69% very/somewhat concerned, compared to 92% who think the threat has been under-estimated) and think they are less likely to contract the virus (38% to 49% very/somewhat likely to catch Covid-19).

Government response to Covid-19

Mar 24, 2020

Q. Overall, how would you rate the Government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

    Gender Age Group Location
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
Very poor 9% 11% 7% 10% 11% 6% 10% 8%
Quite poor 20% 19% 21% 28% 20% 14% 23% 15%
Neither good, nor poor 26% 26% 26% 30% 31% 18% 25% 27%
Quite good 33% 32% 34% 25% 28% 44% 31% 36%
Very good 12% 11% 12% 7% 10% 17% 11% 13%
NET: Poor 29% 30% 29% 38% 31% 20% 32% 24%
NET: Good 45% 44% 46% 33% 38% 62% 43% 49%
Base (n) 1,034 519 515 342 365 324 703 331
  • 45% of people rate the performance of the government to the threat has been quite or very good. Those aged over 55 are more likely to rate the performance as good (62%).
  • Those aged 18-34 were most likely to rate the performance as poor (very/quite poor, 38%).
  • Those who think the threat of Covid-19 has been under-estimated have a low rating of government performance (46% very/quite poor).

Information about Covid-19

Mar 24, 2020

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the information you’ve received about the Covid-19 outbreak?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
I feel informed about the situation and the impact on me and my family 64% 14% 18% 46% 22% 9% 5%
I trust the Government to provide honest and objective information about the Covid-19 outbreak 56% 20% 19% 37% 24% 12% 8%
The information I’ve received has been clear and consistent 51% 24% 15% 37% 25% 17% 7%
I trust the media to provide honest and objective information about the Covid-19 outbreak 35% 40% 7% 27% 26% 23% 17%
  • Around two-thirds of people agree that they feel informed about the situation (64%) and over half (56%) trust the government to provide honest and objective information about the outbreak.
  • Half think the information they’ve received has been clear and consistent (51%).
  • Those who think the threat of Covid-19 has been under-estimated are more likely to disagree that they feel informed of the situation (22%), that the information they’ve receive is clear and consistent (33%) and they trust the government to deliver honest and objective information (34%).
    Gender Age Group Location
NET: AGREE Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
I feel informed about the situation and the impact on me and my family 64% 63% 65% 58% 59% 73% 65% 61%
I trust the Government to provide honest and objective information about the Covid-19 outbreak 56% 57% 54% 48% 51% 66% 57% 53%
The information I’ve received has been clear and consistent 51% 53% 50% 49% 47% 58% 54% 47%
I trust the media to provide honest and objective information about the Covid-19 outbreak 35% 38% 32% 31% 35% 37% 36% 32%
Base (n) 1,034 519 515 342 327 365 703 331
  • Those aged over 55 are more likely to agree that they feel informed about the situation (73%), that they have trust in the information from the government (66%) and that the information they’ve received has been clear and concise (58%).
  • People in non-capital areas are less likely to agree that the information they have received has been clear and consistent (47%) compared to those in capital cities (54%).

Changing behaviour due to Covid-19

Mar 24, 2020

Q. Have you changed your behaviour in any of the following ways since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak?

    Gender Age Group Location
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
Increased personal hygiene measures (e.g. hand washing) 72% 70% 74% 72% 67% 76% 73% 70%
Limited attending social spaces, shops, restaurants or group events 60% 56% 63% 60% 58% 61% 61% 56%
Stopped physical greetings (e.g. shaking hands, kissing, hugging) 60% 57% 63% 57% 57% 65% 60% 60%
Bought additional groceries to stock-up 33% 32% 35% 38% 36% 27% 37% 25%
Reduced use of cash to pay for purchases 23% 20% 25% 30% 23% 17% 24% 19%
Changed working patterns (e.g. changed hours, or working from home) 20% 24% 17% 33% 24% 6% 23% 14%
None of these 12% 13% 11% 8% 15% 13% 10% 16%
Base (n) 1,034 519 515 342 327 365 703 331
  • Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, a majority of people have increased their personal hygiene (72%), limited their social interactions (60%) and reduced physical greetings (60%). A third of people say they have stocked up on groceries (33%).
  • Younger people aged 18-34 were more likely to have changed their working patterns (33%) and reduced using cash for payments (30%)
  • Just 12% of people say they have not changed their behaviour as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Financial situation during Covid-19 outbreak

Mar 24, 2020

Q. Which of the following best describes your financial situation during the Covid-19 outbreak?

    Gender Age Group Location
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
I do not expect the Covid-19 will impact my income 24% 22% 26% 16% 18% 37% 22% 28%
I have sufficient savings to deal with a short-term loss of income 26% 29% 22% 19% 26% 31% 28% 21%
I will struggle with a short-term loss of income, but will get by 29% 30% 28% 40% 28% 20% 31% 26%
I will be in serious financial stress with short-term loss of income 21% 18% 24% 25% 28% 11% 19% 25%
Base (n) 1,034 519 515 342 327 365 703 331
  • One in five people expect to be in serious financial stress due to a loss of income (21%), a further 29% say they will struggle.
  • Women (24%), those aged 18-34 (25%) or 35-54 (28%) and those living in non-capital areas (25%) are most likely to be in serious financial stress.
  • Around half people say they either have sufficient savings to manage a loss of income (26%) or will not suffer a loss of income as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak (24%).
  • Those aged over 55 are more likely to be in a strong financial position, with 37% not expecting their income to be impacted and 31% having sufficient savings to manage a short-term loss of income.
    Household Employment
  Total Have dependent children Do not have dependent children In paid employment Not in paid employment Retired
I do not expect the Covid-19 will impact my income 24% 18% 28% 12% 31% 41%
I have sufficient savings to deal with a short-term loss of income 26% 23% 27% 27% 14% 36%
I will struggle with a short-term loss of income, but will get by 29% 32% 27% 37% 25% 17%
I will be in serious financial stress with short-term loss of income 21% 26% 18% 23% 30% 7%
Base (n) 1,034 372 662 519 255 228
  • A quarter of families with dependent children in the household expect to be in serious financial stress with a short-term loss of income.

Federal opposition during Covid-19

Mar 24, 2020

Q. Which of the following is closest to your view on the role of the Federal Labor opposition during the response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

    Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Coalition Labor Greens NET: Other
Opposition should accept the Government recommendations to ensure decisions are made quickly 49% 52% 45% 46% 46% 54% 66% 40% 35% 49%
Opposition review and challenge Government decisions to ensure the best decisions are made 33% 35% 31% 33% 30% 36% 24% 45% 41% 33%
Unsure 19% 13% 24% 21% 24% 10% 10% 15% 25% 18%
Base (n) 1,034 519 515 342 327 365 324 344 108 126
  • Half of people (49%) prefer decisions to make quickly by to Government to react to the Covid-19 outbreak. This is highest among Coalition voters (66%).
  • A third (33%) want decisions reviewed and challenged by the opposition.

Coronavirus concerns

Mar 10, 2020

Q To what extent are you concerned about the threat of the Coronavirus in Australia?

  Mar’20 Feb’20 Difference
Very concerned 27% 25% +2
Quite concerned 36% 43% -7
Not that concerned 28% 26% +2
Not at all concerned 9% 6% +3
Base (n) 1,096 1,057
  • Net concern about the threat of Coronavirus has decreased overall with 36% of participants now ‘quite concerned’, down from 43% in Feb’20.
  • 9% of participants are now ‘not at all concerned’ about Coronavirus, up from 6% last month.

Likelihood of developing Coronavirus

Q How likely do you think it is, that you will develop Coronavirus?

    Age group Federal Voting Intention
  Total 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Very likely 7% 11% 9% 2% 6% 7% 6% 10%
Somewhat likely 24% 25% 27% 21% 27% 26% 18% 21%
Somewhat unlikely 43% 35% 42% 49% 40% 48% 37% 38%
Very unlikely 26% 29% 22% 27% 27% 19% 38% 31%
Base (n) 1,096 341 370 385 347 359 92 171
  • Overall, two-thirds (68%) of participants think it’s unlikely that they will develop Coronavirus.
  • Especially those over 55 years old (77%) tend to believe it’s unlikely they will develop Coronavirus.
  • Greens voters tend to believe it’s very unlikely they will develop Coronavirus (38%) compared to all other voters (24%).

Actions taken since Coronavirus outbreak

Feb 25, 2020

Q. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, do any of the following statements apply to you?

    Age
Total 18-34 35-54 55+
I have stayed away from cities or town centres 20% 27% 22% 13%
I have avoided going to restaurants 20% 26% 23% 11%
I have stayed away from shopping centres 17% 23% 19% 9%
I have cancelled an overseas trip 15% 26% 16% 4%
None of these 70% 57% 66% 84%
Base (n) 1,090 341 374 375
  • 30% of participants have changed their behaviour in some way listed – with 20% saying they have either stayed away from cities or town centres, or avoided going to restaurants.
  • 18-34 year olds (43%), university educated (39%), capital city residents (34%) and those with dependent children (36%) are most likely to report changing their behaviour since the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Whereas 55+ year olds (16%), those with a secondary school education (20%), non-capital residents (23%) and participants without dependent children (27%) are least likely to report behavioural changes.

COVID-19 RESEARCH

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