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NISRA CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) OPINION SURVEY

The fourth set of results from the NISRA Coronavirus (COVID-19) survey were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency. These results are based on 6,357 interviews with members of the public carried out in the period 21 April to 7 November 2020.

Concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • In October, more than three quarters of people interviewed (76%) said that they were worried about the effect the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their lives. This was an increase following the June to September period, when this proportion was in the range (68%-70%) and it was a return to the levels of worry reported in the months of April (75%) and May (77%).
  • Just under a half of people (49%) thought it would be more than a year before life returns to normal.  A further 8% said that life would never return to normal. The proportion of people who said it would be more than a year before life returned to normal has increased from 21% in April to 56% in October.

Access to Medical Care

  • Not all people would be comfortable interacting with healthcare services in a hospital environment at this time.  Whilst 65% of people said they would be comfortable attending a hospital appointment if their doctor asked them to, 25% stated that they would be uncomfortable with this request.
  • Just over half of people (55%) said they would be comfortable attending Accident and Emergency (A&E) if they had an urgent health problem but 34% stated they would feel uncomfortable about having to do so.

Financial Concerns

  • The proportion of people who reported that it was difficult to pay their usual household bills has increased from 4% to 13% since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Buying Consumer Products

  • Almost one in five people (19%) reported that they had shopped around more than usual when buying items such as food and toiletries but a similar proportion (22%) said they had shopped around less than usual for these essential items.

Protecting Older and Vulnerable People

  • Nine out of ten people (91%) interviewed in April 2020 said that they had avoided contact with older or vulnerable people because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  This proportion consistently decreased each month, reaching its lowest level in September (58%) before increasing again to 71% in October 2020.

Personal Wellbeing

  • The average (mean) wellbeing rating of people interviewed in the period April-November 2020 for ‘life satisfaction’ (7.57) and feelings that things done in life are ‘worthwhile’ (7.92) were significantly lower (in a statistical sense) than those reported by NISRA for the 2019/20 year (7.86) and (8.05) respectively.
  • The average (mean) wellbeing rating of people interviewed in the same period for ‘anxiety’ (3.27) was significantly higher (in a statistical sense) than that reported by NISRA for 2019/20  (3.00).
  • There were no significant differences observed in the wellbeing ratings for ‘happiness’ when compared with that reported by NISRA for the 2019/20 year.

StopCOVIDNI App

  • In the period August–November 2020, just over two-fifths of people (41%) said that they had downloaded the StopCOVIDNI App at the time of interview.
  • Almost half of people (47%) aged 16-44 years had downloaded the StopCOVIDNI App. This was significantly higher than those aged 45-64 years (40%) and those aged 65 and over (28%).
  • Of those people who had not downloaded the StopCOVIDNI App at the time of interview, just over half (56%) stated that they would be unlikely to download the StopCOVIDNI App, whilst 13% reported being neither likely nor unlikely to do so but 31% said they were likely to download the app.
  • The most common reasons given by those people who said they were unlikely to download the StopCOVIDNI App were they didn’t have a smartphone or tablet (35%), concerns about their privacy and confidentiality (25%)  or they could not be bothered or they were not interested (21%).

Socialising and Support Bubbles

  • One in two people (50%) interviewed in the period August-November 2020 reported having family or friends visit them at home in the seven days prior to interview.
  • The proportion of people who reported having had family or friends visit them at home decreased from 66% in August to 36% in October.
  • Slightly less than half of people (45%) reported having formed a support bubble with another household, whilst over half (55%) had not.
  • The vast majority of people (81%) reported seeing or visiting family members, living outside their household, less than they did before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
  • A higher proportion (90%) reported seeing or visiting friends less than they did before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Face Coverings

  • The use of face coverings outside the home has increased significantly from 28% in June to 94% in October.
  • Support for the mandatory use of face coverings in shops and supermarkets increased from 86% in August to 92% in October.

Enforcement of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Regulations

  • People interviewed in the period September-November 2020 were asked about the enforcement of rules to help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Almost three quarters of people (74%) said that police should be strict in enforcing rules to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) but one in ten people (10%) said they should be lenient.
  • One in five people (20%) thought that police were strict in enforcing rules to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) but half of people (50%) thought they were lenient.

ENDS

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