NISRA publish results of NI COVID-19 Public Opinion Survey
The fifth set of results from the NISRA Coronavirus (COVID-19) survey were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.
The results presented in this release relate to data from Phases 1 to 8 of the survey and are based on interviews carried out with members of the public in the period 21 April 2020 to 21 January 2021.
Compliance of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines and Regulations
Six in ten people (60%) agreed that they felt they had enough information about government plans to manage the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Just over half of people (54%) said that they were completely following the Northern Ireland Executive’s regulations and guidelines on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stricter adherence to the regulations and guidelines was associated with increasing age. Seven in ten people aged 65 and over (71%) reported that they were completely following the regulations and guidelines. This was significantly higher than for those aged 45-64 years (59%) and those aged 16-44 years (41%).
Of those people who had not completely followed the regulations and guidelines, more than half (54%) said that they had not always abided by social distancing rules, keeping 1-2 metres apart from other people. Some 34% of people reported that they had visited family or friends when they were not allowed to do so. Approximately, one in ten people stated that they had not worn a face covering in shops (12%), travelled further than necessary or restrictions allowed (11%), not followed restrictions to stay at home during a Lockdown (11%) or socialised in larger groups than those allowed by the NI Executive (9%).
Enforcement of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Regulations
People interviewed in the period September 2020 - January 2021 were asked about the enforcement of rules to help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
One in five people (20%) thought that police were strict in enforcing rules to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) but just under half of people (48%) felt they were lenient.
Concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Almost three quarters of people (73%) interviewed in the period October to December said that they were worried about the effect the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their lives. This was an increase on the level of worry (69%) reported by people in the period July-September and a return to the levels of worry reported in the months of April to June (72%).
There appears to be growing optimism that life might return to normal in the next twelve months or so. The proportion of people who said it would be more than a year before their life returned to normal has halved from a peak of 57% in September 2020 to 29% in December 2020.
People interviewed in the period November 2020 – January 2021 were asked about their alcohol consumption since the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Of those people who do drink alcohol, approximately one in five people (22%) said they were drinking more alcohol since the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Almost half of people (48%) were drinking about the same, whilst just over a quarter of people (26%) said they were drinking less. A small proportion (4%) said that they had not drank alcohol since March 2020.
Concerns about children or young people attending school
Just over half of people (53%) with school aged children in their household were concerned about the children or young people in their household being back in school, whilst just under two fifths (39%) were unconcerned.
Over three quarters (78%) of those who were concerned about the children or young people in their household being back in school said they were concerned about them catching the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at school, whilst just over half (52%) were concerned about them spreading the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Of those people, who said that there had been a Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the first term in the school their eldest child attended, the vast majority (90%) agreed that the school had done a good job in the handling of their Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Overall, just over one quarter of people (26%) expected the financial position of their household to get worse in the next 12 months.
The proportion of people, who expected the financial position of their household to get worse, was highest in the month of May 2020 (35%) but decreased to 23% in December 2020.
The average (mean) wellbeing rating of people interviewed in the period April 2020 – January 2021 for ‘life satisfaction’ (7.47) and feelings that things done in life are ‘worthwhile’ (7.90) 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’ (3.31) was significantly higher (in a statistical sense) than that reported by NISRA for 2019/20 (3.00).
There was no significant difference observed in the wellbeing rating for ‘happiness’ when compared with that reported by NISRA for the 2019/20 year.
The use of face coverings outside the home has increased significantly from 28% in June 2020 to 95% in December 2020.
Overall, 91% of people support the mandatory use of face coverings in shops and supermarkets.
The surveys full findings with accompanying charts can be viewed at: