A majority of people in nine out of 16 countries think opening businesses now puts too many people at risk of contracting COVID-19, according to the latest Ipsos survey.
More people also say most jobs lost during the lockdown will not return, suggesting those that support reopening are doing so in spite of the risk rather than believing the risk is low.
In a poll of 16,000 people in 16 major countries conducted from May 21 to 24, people in Brazil (71%), India (69%), Mexico and South Korea (65%), Japan and the United Kingdom (62%) and the United States (60%) are most likely to say we need to wait at least a few more weeks before opening businesses, because opening now would put too many people at risk of contracting COVID-19.
But on the opposite end, those in hard hit countries of China (65%), Italy (64%), France (59%), Germany (57%) and Russia (55%) are most likely to say the health risk is minimal if people follow social distancing rules, and we need to get the economy moving again.
People most divided on taking this action are in Spain, Australia and South Africa with only 2 percentage points between those who think opening businesses now puts too many people at risk versus those who say the risk is minimal.
Added to this, a majority of people in France (69%), Spain (62%), South Korea and South Africa (61%), Italy (60%), Japan (58%), the U.K. (57%), and Russia (52%) don’t think most jobs lost during the pandemic will return as soon as the stay in place and lockdown restrictions are lifted.
A majority of respondents in India (73%) and Germany (51%) are the only ones out of 15 countries to believe most lost jobs will return once restrictions are eased.
A number of countries are divided on this question with only 2 points separating those who agree and disagree on whether jobs will be recovered in Australia and Mexico, followed by the U.S. (3), Brazil (7), Canada (9) and Germany (10).