Essential Report

International Response

May 5, 2020

Q. Based on what you’ve seen in the media or heard from friends and family, how would you rate the response to the Covid-19 outbreak from each of these countries?

  TOTAL:

Good

TOTAL:

Poor

Very good Quite good Neither good, nor poor Quite poor Very poor
New Zealand 79% 5% 49% 30% 17% 2% 2%
China 21% 56% 6% 15% 23% 20% 36%
United Kingdom 20% 48% 4% 16% 33% 31% 17%
United States of America 12% 71% 3% 9% 17% 23% 48%
  • Australians think New Zealand has managed the Covid-19 well, with 79% rating the countries performance as very/quite good.
  • Around half of Australians rate the response of USA to Covid-19 as very poor (48%). Just 12% think the country has handled the outbreak well.

Coronavirus concerns

Apr 28, 2020

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

  27/04 20/04 13/04 06/04 29/03 22/03 09/03 10/02
Very concerned 39% 44% 45% 51% 53% 39% 27% 25%
Quite concerned 44% 43% 43% 37% 35% 43% 36% 43%
Not that concerned 13% 11% 9% 10% 10% 14% 28% 26%
Not at all concerned 3% 2% 3% 2% 3% 4% 9% 6%
Base (n) 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 39% 39% 42% 37% 41% 36%
Quite concerned 44% 47% 39% 47% 45% 44%
Not that concerned 13% 10% 15% 14% 12% 15%
Not at all concerned 3% 4% 4% 2% 2% 5%
Base (n) 1,054 343 332 379 720 334
  • Concern about the threat of Covid-19 has lessened this again week, with 39% saying they are very concerned (down from 44% last week) and 44% saying they are quite concerned.
  • Concern in both capital and regional areas has eased, with the proportion very concerned in capital cities falling from 46% to 41%, while in regional areas it has moved from 40% to 36%.

Likelihood of developing Coronavirus

Apr 28, 2020

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

  27/04 20/04 13/04 06/04 29/03 22/03 09/03
Very likely 5% 7% 5% 8% 8% 8% 7%
Somewhat likely 21% 25% 28% 33% 36% 34% 24%
Somewhat unlikely 50% 52% 49% 45% 45% 45% 43%
Very unlikely 23% 17% 18% 14% 12% 13% 26%
Base (n) 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 5% 10% 6% 1% 7% 3%
Somewhat likely 21% 29% 21% 15% 22% 20%
Somewhat unlikely 50% 41% 48% 59% 50% 50%
Very unlikely 23% 20% 24% 25% 22% 27%
Base (n) 1,054 343 332 379 720 334
  • The likelihood of catching Covid-19 has decreased again this week, with fewer people saying they are very/somewhat likely to contract the virus (27%, down from 32% last week).
  • 18-34 are most likely to say they are very or somewhat likely to catch Covid-19 (39%) compared to 22% of those over 35.

Reaction to Covid-19

Apr 28, 2020

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

  27/04 20/04 13/04 06/04 29/03 22/03
There has been an over-reaction to the threat of Covid-19 15% 14% 13% 17% 18% 33%
The response to the threat of Covid-19 is about right 68% 63% 59% 46% 39% 39%
The threat of Covid-19 has been under-estimated 18% 24% 29% 37% 43% 28%
Base (n) 1,054 1,051 1,068 1,069 1,086 1,034

 

    Gender Age Group
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
There has been an over-reaction to the threat of Covid-19 15% 18% 12% 21% 15% 10%
The response to the threat of Covid-19 is about right 68% 65% 70% 63% 67% 72%
The threat of Covid-19 has been under-estimated 18% 18% 18% 16% 18% 18%
Base (n) 1,054 526 528 343 332 379
  • Two-thirds of people (68%) now believe the reaction to the threat of Covid-19 has been about right, with the proportion saying that the threat has been underestimated decreasing for a fourth week to just 18%.
  • 18-34 year olds are most likely to say that there has been an over-reaction to the threat of Covid-19 (21%) compared to those over 35 (12%).

Economic expectations

Apr 28, 2020

Q. Which of the following is closer to your expectations of what will happen to the economy following the Covid-19 situation?

  27/04 20/04 13/04 06/04
The economy will rebound within 2-3 months and grow just as strong or stronger than before Covid-19 13% 11% 12% 11%
The economy will be impacted for 6-12 months or longer and will stagnate or show slow growth thereafter 49% 47% 49% 51%
Covid-19 will have long lasting impact on the economy and the country will fall into a lengthy recession 28% 30% 27% 29%
Unsure 10% 11% 11% 9%
Base (n) 1,054 1,051 1,068 1,069

 

    Gender Age Group
Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
The economy will rebound within 2-3 months and grow just as strong or stronger than before Covid-19 13% 14% 11% 20% 11% 8%
The economy will be impacted for 6-12 months or longer and will stagnate or show slow growth thereafter 49% 53% 46% 53% 49% 47%
Covid-19 will have long lasting impact on the economy and the country will fall into a lengthy recession 28% 27% 30% 17% 30% 36%
Unsure 10% 6% 13% 10% 9% 9%
Base (n) 1,054 526 528 343 332 379

 

 

 

 

Government response to Covid-19

Apr 28, 2020

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

  27/04 20/04 13/04 06/04 29/03 22/03
Very poor 4% 5% 6% 6% 11% 9%
Quite poor 9% 10% 12% 15% 21% 20%
Neither good, nor poor 17% 21% 20% 21% 24% 26%
Quite good 44% 42% 40% 37% 34% 33%
Very good 26% 23% 23% 21% 11% 12%
NET: Poor 13% 15% 17% 21% 31% 29%
NET: Good 70% 65% 63% 58% 45% 45%
Base (n) 1,054 1,051 1,068 1,069 1,086 1,034

 

    Gender Age Group Location
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Capital Non-Capital
Very poor 4% 4% 4% 6% 4% 2% 4% 4%
Quite poor 9% 10% 8% 15% 8% 5% 10% 7%
Neither good, nor poor 17% 18% 16% 24% 16% 11% 18% 15%
Quite good 44% 46% 43% 45% 46% 42% 43% 46%
Very good 26% 22% 30% 10% 26% 40% 25% 27%
NET: Poor 13% 15% 11% 21% 13% 7% 14% 11%
NET: Good 70% 68% 73% 55% 72% 82% 68% 74%
Base (n) 1,054 526 528 343 332 379 720 334
  • For the third week in a row, the perception that the Government has done a good job handling the situation (very/somewhat good) has increased (now 70%, up from 65%).
  • The ratings have increased most among those not in paid employment (up 5% to 64%), Labor voters (up 5% to 66%) and those with dependent children (up 5% to 70%).

State Government response to Covid-19

Apr 28, 2020

Q. How would you rate your state government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

  27/04 20/04 13/04
Very poor 4% 5% 5%
Quite poor 9% 9% 11%
Neither good, nor poor 17% 20% 20%
Quite good 41% 39% 38%
Very good 30% 26% 26%
NET: Poor 13% 14% 16%
NET: Good 70% 66% 64%
Base (n) 1,054 1,051 1,068

 

    State
  Total NSW VIC QLD SA WA
Very poor 4% 7% 3% 3% 1% 3%
Quite poor 9% 11% 6% 10% 5% 9%
Neither good, nor poor 17% 19% 14% 20% 17% 12%
Quite good 41% 39% 40% 47% 43% 31%
Very good 30% 24% 37% 20% 34% 45%
NET: Poor 13% 18% 9% 13% 6% 12%
NET: Good 70% 63% 77% 67% 77% 76%
Base (n) 1,054 323 272 217 84 109
  • Across the country, the overall perception of states’ handling of the crisis is in line with government rating their own state’s handling as Very/Quite good (both 70%).
  • Victoria and South Australia now lead the state government response ratings (both 77%), with New South Wales lowest rated at 63%.

Financial situation during Covid-19 outbreak

Apr 28, 2020

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

  27/04 20/04 13/04 06/04 29/03 22/03
I do not expect the Covid-19 will impact my income 27% 25% 23% 24% 26% 24%
I have sufficient savings to deal with a short-term loss of income 26% 27% 29% 28% 32% 26%
I will struggle with a short-term loss of income, but will get by 31% 31% 33% 31% 23% 29%
I will be in serious financial stress with short-term loss of income 16% 17% 16% 16% 20% 21%
Base (n) 1,054 1,051 1,068 1,069 1,086 1,034

 

    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 27% 22% 30% 17% 29% 52%
I have sufficient savings to deal with a short-term loss of income 26% 25% 27% 31% 18% 25%
I will struggle with a short-term loss of income, but will get by 31% 36% 28% 35% 33% 18%
I will be in serious financial stress with short-term loss of income 16% 17% 15% 17% 20% 5%
Base (n) 1,054 349 705 546 261 219

COVID-19 RESEARCH

Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

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