Essential Report

Time to return to normal

Jul 28, 2020

Q. Thinking about the future, how long do you think it will take for the following to occur?

LAST MONTH (22/06) Within the next six months Seven months up to one year One to two years More than two years Never
A Covid-19 vaccine will be developed 11% 22% 43% 20% 4%
Quarantine will no longer required after international travel 12% 27% 35% 22% 4%
The housing market will return pre-pandemic levels 11% 22% 38% 25% 4%
International travel will be allowed without restriction 10% 23% 39% 24% 4%
Unemployment will return to pre-pandemic levels 8% 17% 37% 33% 6%
The population will build resistance to Covid-19 through exposure (herd immunity) 8% 15% 31% 27% 20%
Australia will pay off its national debt 5% 9% 12% 52% 22%


  • Expectations of the effect of the Covid-19 have lengthened in the past month, with more people now thinking the impacts will last for more than two years.
  • 32% expect it will be over two years before quarantine following international travel is removed (up from 22% last month). Similarly more people now think it will be over two years before housing prices (25% to 38%), unrestricted international travel (24% to 38%) and unemployment (33% to 48%) return to pre-Covid levels.
  • 26% do not think a population-wide resistance to the disease will ever be achieved.


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

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