Britons least likely to believe the economy and businesses should open if Coronavirus not fully contained

Across 14 countries, Britons were the least likely to agree that the economy and businesses should be reopened

The author(s)
  • Gideon Skinner UK Head of Political Research
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People in 14 major countries are divided over whether the economy and businesses should be allowed to open if the coronavirus pandemic is still not fully contained, according to the latest Ipsos survey.

In a poll of more than 28,000 people conducted on April 16 to 19, a majority of respondents in eight of the 14 countries are against opening the economy if the virus is not fully under control. This sentiment is highest in the developed economies of the United Kingdom and Canada (70%), followed by Mexico (65%), Spain and Australia (61%) and the United States (59%).

At the same time, more respondents agree that reopening should take place in Russia (60%), China (58%), Italy (53%), India (51%) and Germany (50%).

People are divided over whether the economy should open if COVID-19 is not fully contained | Coronavirus | Global Advisor | Ipsos

The country where respondents remain most undecided on whether businesses should open even if the virus is not fully contained is India – with just 8 percentage points between those who agree and disagree, followed by the European nations of Germany (9-point difference), France (11-point difference) and Italy, and Brazil (13-point difference).

People nervous about leaving home

However, even if governments decide to reopen the economy from a COVID-19 lockdown, safety has to be at the forefront of their planning with seven in ten Britons being nervous about leaving the home after the lockdown.

A majority of people in 12 out of 14 countries say they are going to be nervous about leaving their homes even if businesses are allowed to reopen and travel resumes. This sentiment is strongest in India (78%), Japan (77%), China (72%), the U.K. and Mexico (71%) and Brazil and Canada (68%).

Only  in Germany (52%) do a majority disagree, while only 4 points separate those who agree and disagree in Italy. Other countries less nervous about leaving home are in Russia (37%), and France and Australia (32%).

People are divided over whether the economy should open if COVID-19 is not fully contained | Coronavirus | Global Advisor | Ipsos


Gideon Skinner, Head of Political research at Ipsos said:

Our latest polling across 14 countries show that Britons are the most cautious when it comes to reopening the economy, being the least keen for businesses to reopen if the Coronavirus is not contained. Furthermore, seven in ten Britons say that they will be nervous about leaving the house after the lockdown eases. These suggest that the turnaround in the economy might not be quite so fast as hoped for.


Technical Note

These are the results of an Ipsos survey conducted April 16th to 19th, 2020 on the Global Advisor online platform among 28,000 adults aged 18-74 in Canada and the United States and 16-74 in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Where available, tracking results from previous studies, conducted through April and March and selected results from February are referenced by date.

The sample for April 16 to 19th consists of approximately 2,000 individuals in each country. The samples in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. can be taken as representative of these countries’ general adult population over age 16 or 18 (as above) and under the age of 75. The sample in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and is more urban, more educated and/or more affluent than the general population and should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of the population. The data is weighted so that each market’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult population according to the most recent census data.

The author(s)
  • Gideon Skinner UK Head of Political Research