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Australians more worried about a second wave of COVID-19 than the economic downturn

Toluna and Harris Interactive bi-weekly COVID-19 Barometer shows that Australians are bracing for a second wave, and plan to go out less than they did pre-pandemic.

With the daily rate of new infections plummeting and restrictions lifting, life in Australia is starting to return to normal. However, new research by Toluna and Harris Interactive reveals that Australians are bracing for a second wave, and plan to go out less than they did pre-pandemic.

Worried about a 2nd wave
As winter hits, nearly half (49%) of Australians surveyed said they’re more concerned about a 2nd wave of COVID-19 than an economic downturn; compared with 42% who were more worried about the economy. A carefree 9% weren’t concerned about either. 

Australians more likely to go out if venues implement health and safety measures 
Despite restrictions easing, Australians are cautious about their activities over the coming months, with many respondents stating they plan to spend less time frequenting bars, restaurants and cinemas than they did before the crisis.

Over the next 1-2 months Australians plan to spend less time eating out (26%), going to bars (23%), going to movie cinemas (24%), and watching live sports matches (18%). One out of five (20%) stated they’d prefer to hold off going out altogether until the pandemic has passed or a vaccine has been found.

However, many would be more likely to visit entertainment venues that implemented the following health precautions:

  • 47% want venues to limit numbers through social distancing
  • 48% would be more likely to visit venues which provided hand sanitiser and masks
  • 43% would like venues to temperature check patrons to allow entry
  • 33% would like to see Perspex screens between people, where possible

A reduction in GP visits but telehealth a success
From a health perspective, a quarter of respondents (26%) avoided seeing their doctor during the pandemic in fear of catching COVID-19 in the waiting room. However, 20% had a telehealth appointment with their doctor in the past two weeks, with 82% stating they were satisfied with this type of appointment – suggesting a wider adoption of these types of services will be beneficial moving forward.

The pandemic has also seen a change in pharmaceutical purchasing habits, with a quarter (25%) stating they buy more nutritional supplements now than before COVID-19, with 18% buying more cold and flu medication.

The economic fallout of COVID-19 has forced many Australians to rethink their finances
Following the economic shock, many Australians are looking to review their savings (28%), their investments (17%), their insurance policies (15%), and where they bank (12%).

Australians are prepared to do it all again
If a second wave were to hit, Australians said they’d be prepared to go into lockdown again with a massive 43% saying they could cope with lockdowns that lasted longer than 12 weeks. 14% could only cope with lockdowns of up to 4 weeks, 22% could manage another lockdown for 5-8 weeks, with 12% ok to spend another 9-12 weeks in isolation, should we be faced with a second wave.

Website: Toluna and Harris Interactive

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