Three-quarters of Britons support quarantining cities and towns to prevent the spread of coronavirus

New global research from Ipsos into attitudes to coronavirus reveals a drop in Britons’ perceptions of how well the government is responding to the virus.

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  • Anna Quigley Public Affairs
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A global poll conducted by Ipsos shows that 74% of people in the UK support the quarantine of cities and towns, preventing anyone from entering or leaving if there has been a large number of coronavirus cases there. Of the countries included in the survey, Vietnam is most likely to agree (91%) while only three in five of those in Italy agree.

Coronavirus / COVID-19: Britons willing to accept quarantines of cities and towns to manage the risk | Ipsos
Ahead of the UK Government Action Plan being announced on Tuesday there was a drop in Britons’ perceptions of how well the government is responding to the virus. When asked on February 14th and 15th, almost two-thirds of the UK public (63%) thought the government was doing a good job in containing the spread of the virus.  One week later this has dropped, with only half (50%) feeling the same way. In comparison, seven in ten (70%) believe national health organisations in the UK are doing a good job. Fifty-seven per cent believe that local health authorities and global health organisations are doing a good job.

Worry about financial impact on ourselves and our families has doubled in the past fortnight. Two weeks ago, when previously asked, only 16% of people in the UK were worried about financial impact; this has now risen to 32%. Half of Britons (49%) believe a global recession is likely and over a quarter believe it is likely that there will be significant layoff in their country.

Despite this increase in worry, there has also been an increase in belief that the media has exaggerated the outbreak. Around a third (31%) believed this when asked two weeks ago, compared to two-fifths (41%) now.

Confidence in the development of a vaccine or treatment has not changed in the past two weeks (47%, compared with 50% in the previous wave).

Anna Quigley, Research Director at Ipsos, says:

These results clearly show that the UK public recognise the potential impact of the virus on the country, and support strong measures to deal with it.  Perceptions of the government’s response have worsened over the past two weeks and it will be interesting to see whether this shifts following the release of the Government’s Action Plan.  It is, however, encouraging that the public still believe health services are doing a good job.

Technical Note

These are the results of an Ipsos survey conducted February 28-29, 2020 on the Global Advisor online platform among 10,000 adults aged 18-74 in Canada and the United States and 16-74 in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

The sample consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each country. The samples in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. can be taken as representative of these countries’ general adult population under the age of 75. The samples in Russia and Vietnam are 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.

Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.

The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.

The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.

This study did not have any external sponsors or partners. It was initiated and run by Ipsos with the intention to share our understanding about the world we live in and how citizens around the globe think and feel about their world.


The author(s)
  • Anna Quigley Public Affairs

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