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Report 10: Public response to UK Government recommendations on COVID-19: population survey, 17-18 March 2020

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Title: Report 10: Public response to UK Government recommendations on COVID-19: population survey, 17-18 March 2020
Authors: Atchison, C
Bowman, L
Eaton, J
Imai, N
Redd, R
Pristera, P
Vrinten, C
Ward, H
Item Type: Report
Abstract: On Monday 16th March 2020 the UK government announced new actions to control COVID-19. These recommendations directly affected the entire UK population, and included the following: stop non-essential contact with others; stop all unnecessary travel; start working from home where possible; avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues; and to isolate at home for 14 days if anyone in the household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough. To capture public sentiment towards these recommendations, a YouGov survey was commissioned by the Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC), Imperial College London. The survey was completed by 2,108 UK adults between the dates of 17th – 18th March 2020. The survey results show the following: • 77% reported being worried about the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK. • 48% of adults who have not tested positive for COVID-19 believe it is likely they will be infected at some point in the future. • 93% of adults reported personally taking at least one measure to protect themselves from COVID-19 infection, including: o 83% washed their hands more frequently; o 52% avoided crowded areas; o 50% avoided social events; o 36% avoided public transport; o 31% avoided going out; o 11% avoided going to work; o 28% avoided travel to areas outside the UK. • There is high reported ability and willingness to self-isolate for 7 days* if advised to do so by a health professional (88%). • However only 44% reported being able to work from home. This was higher among managerial and professional workers (60%) than manual, semi-skilled, and casual workers (19%)^, reflecting less flexible job roles for manual and lower grade workers. • 71% reported changing behaviour in response to government guidance. The figure (53%) was lower for young adults (18-24 year-olds). • Hand washing (63%), avoiding persons with symptoms (61%), and covering your sneeze (53%) were more likely to be perceived as ‘very effective’ measures to prevent COVID-19 spread than common social distancing measures (avoiding going out (31%), to work (23%), to shops (16%) or to schools (19%)).
Issue Date: 20-Mar-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/77581
DOI: 10.25561/77581
Start Page: 1
End Page: 7
Copyright Statement: © 2020. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Sponsor/Funder: Medical Research Council (MRC)
National Institute for Health Research
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust: Research Capability Funding (RCF)
Funder's Grant Number: MR/R015600/1
Keywords: COVID19
Population survey
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 10
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School
Imperial College London COVID-19
School of Public Health