Majority of people want borders closed as fear about COVID-19 escalates

More of us now believe someone close to us will be infected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Canada, Public Affairs
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A majority of people across 12 nations think the borders of their country should be closed until the coronavirus outbreak is contained, according to the latest Ipsos survey.

In a survey of 12,000 people across 12 major countries from March 12 to 15, countries in the Asia-Pacific region are most supportive of border closures – led by India (79%) and Vietnam (78%)  ̶ which is not surprising, given where the disease was first encountered.

More than 3 in 4 people in the world’s other hot spot, Italy (76%), are also in agreement of this drastic measure followed by those in China (73%), and Russia (70%).

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A significant driver in the growth for concern about COVID-19 is that more of us now believe someone close to us will be infected by the virus. The majority of people in Vietnam (67%), the United Kingdom (57%), India, Australia and Japan (51%) think someone close to them will get the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the countries that saw the biggest jump in this measure from a previous poll conducted on February 28-29 are all developed markets – the U.K. (+31 points), Australia (+29), and Canada (+28).

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In addition to this, there’s been an increase of people who think their job is under threat as the pandemic spreads. There’s been a significant rise on this measure from previous polling done in Italy (63%, up 36 points)  ̶ considering closures in its economy, followed by France (44%, up 14 points) and the U.K. (33%, up 13 points).

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Overall, the perception of the threat the pandemic poses to a country has increased with a majority of people citing it as least as a high threat in all countries, except for in Canada (32%), Russia (37%), the U.K. (45%) and Australia (46%).

These are the results of an Ipsos survey conducted March 12th to 14th, 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, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Russia, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. Where available, tracking results from Wave 3, conducted February 28-29, February 14-15, and February 7-9 are presented. Sample sizes are consistent wave to wave.

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Canada, Public Affairs