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Nearly nine-in-ten Australians (85%) think the ‘worst is yet to come’ over the next month in regards to COVID-19

Source: Roy Morgan web survey of Australians conducted on the weekend of March 28-29, 2020 in Australia, n=988 and UK survey conducted on the weekend of March 18-20, 2020, n=2,094. Base: Australians & British aged 18+.
Nearly nine-in-ten Australians (85%) say the ‘Worst is yet to come’ over the next month in regards to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic; however only 43% of Australians agree that the Australian Government is handling the Coronavirus well according to a special Roy Morgan web survey of an Australia-wide cross-section of 988 Australians aged 18+ conducted over the weekend of March 28-29, 2020.

Australians are more pessimistic than their counterparts in the UK with 82% of Britons answering that the ‘Worst is yet to come’ over the next month. While only 43% of Australians agree the Australian Government is handling the Coronavirus well, the re in the UK is slightly higher at 49%.

Interviewing in the UK was conducted on the prior weekend of March 18-20, 2020 with a UK-wide cross-section of 2,094 respondents aged 18+ by the London-based ORB International which is the UK Member of the Gallup International Association and affiliated with Roy Morgan. 

It is important to compare the Australian and United Kingdom results as both countries are facing the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic which poses a threat to livelihoods. Australia and the UK share a similar culture so these questions will be repeated in both Australia and the UK over the coming weeks.

Australians, and Britons, were asked a series of six questions to determine their views regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world including both Australia and the United Kingdom: The first five questions were on a five point scale with strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree and don’t know the available responses.

  • Question 1: “I am afraid that either myself or someone in my family may actually catch the Coronavirus?”
  • Question 2: “I think the Australian/UK Government is handling the Coronavirus well?”
  • Question 3: “I believe the threat from the Coronavirus is exaggerated?”
  • Question 4: “I am willing to sacrifice some of my human rights if it helps prevent the spread of the virus?”
  • Question 5: “If a new Coronavirus vaccine became publicly available, I would be willing to be vaccinated?”

The final question was posed as a choice between three outcomes. People surveyed were asked: “When thinking about the Coronavirus here in Australia/the UK which of the following do you think is most likely to happen over the next month. Either the ‘Worst is yet to come’, the ‘Situation will remain the same’ or ‘Things will begin to improve’.”

The survey was conducted before Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Sunday evening talk to the nation creating a new two-person rule on gatherings and further financial help for people losing their jobs.

More Women than men are afraid they or someone in their family may catch coronavirus

Three-quarters of Australians (75%) are afraid that they or someone in their family may actually catch the Coronavirus compared to a slightly higher 78% of Britons.

Just over a quarter of Australians (26%) strongly agree they are afraid they or someone in their family may actually catch the Coronavirus and an additional 49% agree. In contrast only 2% strongly disagree and a further 17% disagree.

Nearly four-fifths of Women (79%) agree they are afraid they or someone in their family may actually catch the Coronavirus compared to 71% of men. In terms of age agreement is highest amongst those aged under 25 (80%) and aged 50-64 years old (80%).

Britons are happier with the Government’s handling of Coronavirus than Australians

Only 43% of Australians agree that the Australian Government is handling the Coronavirus well compared to 49% of Britons. Of Australians that agree the Government is handling the Coronavirus well only 9% strongly agree while a further 34% disagree.

In contrast a total of 49% of Australians disagree that the Australian Government is handling the Coronavirus well compared to only 37% of Britons. One-in-six Australians (16%) strongly disagree the Australian Government is handling Coronavirus well and a further 33% disagree.

Women (45%) are slightly more likely than men (42%) to agree the Australian Government is handling the Coronavirus well and support for the Government’s handling of the pandemic is strongly correlated to age.

Only 33% of those aged under 25 or 25-34 agree the Government is handling the Coronavirus well compared to 41% of 35-49 year olds, 49% of 50-64 year olds and a majority of 59% of those aged 65+.

Analysis by State reveals that those in Tasmania (56%) and Western Australia (53%) are the most likely to agree the Australian Government is handling the Coronavirus well.

The biggest deficit is in New South Wales in which only 38% say the Australian Government is handling Coronavirus well compared to a majority of 55% who say disagree.

Men are more likely than Women to agree the threat from Coronavirus is exaggerated

Only 15% of Australians agree that the threat from Coronavirus is exaggerated. This is significantly lower than the 26% of Britons who agree with this statement.

Analysis by Gender reveals that a fifth of men (20%) compared only 10% of Women agree that the threat from Coronavirus is exaggerated.

Interestingly, only 5% of those aged under 25 agree the threat from Coronavirus is exaggerated – far lower than any other age group. Those aged 25-34 are the most skeptical with 25% agreeing the threat is exaggerated, almost double all three older age groups.

Analysis by State reveals that respondents in Western Australia (23%) and Queensland (21%) are the most likely to agree the threat from Coronavirus is exaggerated. The least likely to agree are respondents in Victoria (11%), Tasmania (11%) and New South Wales (12%).

Australians are more likely than Britons to willingly sacrifice their human rights

Four-in-five Australians (80%) agree they are willing to sacrifice some of their human rights if it helps prevent the spread of the Coronavirus compared to only 72% of Britons.

Women (81%) are slightly more likely than men (79%) to agree they would willingly sacrifice their human rights if it helps prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Analysis by Age shows that it is the youngest, and oldest Australians who would be most willing to sacrifice some of their human rights if it helps prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Super majorities of 85% of those aged 65+ and 84% of those aged under 25 say they would be willing to sacrifice their human rights if it helped prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Analysis by State reveals that respondents in Victoria (82%), Queensland (82%) and South Australia (82%) are the most willing to sacrifice their human rights if it helps prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. The least likely to willingly sacrifice their human rights are Tasmanians (73%).

More Australians are willing to be vaccinated for Coronavirus (COVID-19) than Britons

A large majority of 86% of Australians say they are willing to be vaccinated for Coronavirus (COVID-19) if a new vaccine became publicly available compared to 77% of Britons.

Analysis by Gender reveals little difference between Women (86%) and men (85%) on willingness to be vaccinated. Young Australians aged under 25 (93%) and those aged 65+ (92%) are clearly the most willing to be vaccinated for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Analysis on a State-based level shows 97% of Tasmanians are willing to be vaccinated for Coronavirus (COVID-19) if a vaccine became publicly available compared to 91% of South Australians. Queenslanders (83%) are the least likely to agree to be vaccinated just behind respondents from Western Australia (84%).

Australians are incredibly pessimistic about Coronavirus (COVID-19) over the next month

A large majority of 85% of Australians say that the ‘Worst is yet to come’ over the next month when it comes to Coronavirus compared to only 11% who say the ‘Situation will remain the same’ and even fewer, 4%, who say ‘Things will begin to improve’.

Analysis by Gender reveals 88% of Women say that the ‘Worst is yet to come’ over the next month compared to 82% of men.

Analysis by Age shows that it is those aged 25-34 years old who are the most pessimistic about the next month with 92% saying the ‘Worst is yet to come’ with Coronavirus compared to only 1% saying ‘Things will begin to improve’.

Analysis on a State-based level shows Queenslanders (91%) are the most pessimistic that the ‘Worst is yet to come’ over the next month with regards to Coronavirus. This is followed by respondents in South Australia (88%) and New South Wales (87%).

Only 74% of Tasmanians say the ‘Worst is yet to come’ over the next month in regards to Coronavirus but it is Victorians who are in fact the most optimistic about the next month. Nearly one-in-ten Victorians (9%) say ‘Things will begin to improve’ over the next month in regards to the Coronavirus.


Selected Charts

Question 2: Do you think the UK/Australian Government is handling the Coronavirus well – By UK, Australia and Australian States

Source: Roy Morgan web survey of Australians conducted on the weekend of March 28-29, 2020 in Australia, n=988 and UK survey conducted on the weekend of March 18-20, 2020, n=2,094. Base: Australians & British aged 18+.

Question 6: When thinking about the Coronavirus here in the UK/Australia which of the following do you think is most likely to happen over the next month – By UK, Australia and Australian States

Source: Roy Morgan web survey of Australians conducted on the weekend of March 28-29, 2020 in Australia, n=988 and UK survey conducted on the weekend of March 18-20, 2020, n=2,094. Base: Australians & British aged 18+.

Question 1:

I am afraid that either myself or someone in my family may actually catch the Coronavirus – By Gender & Age

Mar 18-20,
2020

Mar 28-29, 2020

Gender

Age

UK
18+

Australians
18+

Men

Women

Under 25

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

78

75

71

79

80

78

74

80

69

Strongly agree

34

26

22

30

29

29

28

27

18

Agree

44

49

49

49

51

49

46

53

51

Disagree

12

17

22

12

10

18

16

14

18

Strongly disagree

4

2

3

2

3

1

4

2

2

NET: Disagree

16

19

25

14

13

19

20

16

20

Don’t know

6

6

4

7

7

3

6

4

11

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

I am afraid that either myself or someone in my family may actually catch the Coronavirus – By State

States

Australians
18+

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

75

76

71

76

76

76

59

Strongly agree

26

28

22

26

33

20

18

Agree

49

48

49

50

43

56

41

Disagree

17

15

22

16

16

15

21

Strongly disagree

2

3

1

2

5

3

7

NET: Disagree

19

18

22

18

21

18

28

Don’t know

6

6

7

6

3

6

13

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Question 2:

I think the UK/Australian Government is handling the Coronavirus well – By Gender & Age

Mar 18-20,
2020

Mar 28-29, 2020

Gender

Age

UK
18+

Australians
18+

Men

Women

Under 25

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

49

43

42

45

33

33

41

49

59

Strongly agree

11

9

9

9

0

1

10

13

19

Agree

38

34

33

36

33

32

31

36

40

Disagree

22

33

31

33

40

32

36

33

29

Strongly disagree

16

16

18

14

25

27

15

10

8

NET: Disagree

37

49

49

47

65

59

51

43

37

Don’t know

14

8

9

8

2

8

8

8

4

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

I think the Australian Government is handling the Coronavirus well – By State

States

Australians
18+

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

43

38

45

42

53

47

56

Strongly agree

9

7

10

10

11

11

15

Agree

34

31

35

32

42

36

41

Disagree

33

36

31

28

31

35

32

Strongly disagree

16

19

11

22

11

13

8

NET: Disagree

49

55

42

50

42

48

40

Don’t know

8

7

13

8

5

5

4

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Question 3:

I believe the threat from the Coronavirus is exaggerated – By Gender & Age

Mar 18-20,
2020

Mar 28-29, 2020

Gender

Age

UK
18+

Australians
18+

Men

Women

Under 25

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

26

15

20

10

5

25

12

12

13

Strongly agree

8

5

6

3

2

8

4

2

4

Agree

18

10

14

7

3

17

8

10

9

Disagree

28

34

32

37

36

34

36

35

31

Strongly disagree

33

47

45

49

46

39

46

50

53

NET: Disagree

62

81

77

86

82

73

82

85

84

Don’t know

12

4

3

4

13

2

6

3

3

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

I believe the threat from the Coronavirus is exaggerated – By State

States

Australians
18+

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

15

12

11

21

23

14

11

Strongly agree

5

2

2

12

6

5

5

Agree

10

10

9

9

17

9

6

Disagree

34

36

33

34

27

35

52

Strongly disagree

47

49

51

41

47

47

21

NET: Disagree

81

85

84

75

74

82

73

Don’t know

4

3

5

4

3

4

16

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Question 4:

I am willing to sacrifice some of my human rights if it helps prevent the spread of the virus – By Gender & Age

Mar 18-20,
2020

Mar 28-29, 2020

Gender

Age

UK
18+

Australians
18+

Men

Women

Under 25

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

72

80

79

81

84

76

75

82

85

Strongly agree

27

33

29

37

43

24

38

30

30

Agree

45

47

50

44

41

52

37

52

55

Disagree

9

8

10

6

9

10

9

8

6

Strongly disagree

4

6

6

5

4

6

9

5

3

NET: Disagree

13

14

16

11

13

16

18

13

9

Don’t know

15

6

5

8

3

8

7

5

6

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

I am willing to sacrifice some of my human rights if it helps prevent spread of the virus – By State

States

Australians
18+

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

80

77

82

82

78

82

73

Strongly agree

33

29

37

35

31

34

24

Agree

47

48

45

47

47

48

49

Disagree

8

11

7

5

11

8

6

Strongly disagree

6

5

6

5

5

6

11

NET: Disagree

14

16

13

10

16

14

17

Don’t know

6

7

5

8

6

4

10

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Question 5:

If a new Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine became publicly available, I would be willing to be vaccinated – By Gender & Age

Mar 18-20,
2020

Mar 28-29, 2020

Gender

Age

UK
18+

Australians
18+

Men

Women

Under 25

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

77

86

85

86

93

79

84

86

92

Strongly agree

44

56

59

53

75

59

55

47

53

Agree

33

30

26

33

18

20

29

39

39

Disagree

4

4

6

2

0

9

3

3

2

Strongly disagree

3

3

3

3

3

0

6

4

3

NET: Disagree

7

7

9

6

3

9

9

7

5

Don’t know

16

7

6

8

4

12

7

7

3

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

If a new Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine became publicly available, I would be willing to be vaccinated – By State

States

Australians
18+

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

86

85

88

83

84

91

97

Strongly agree

56

58

58

53

46

59

64

Agree

30

27

30

30

38

32

33

Disagree

4

3

2

10

3

2

0

Strongly disagree

3

3

4

3

3

3

2

NET: Disagree

7

6

6

13

6

5

2

Don’t know

7

9

6

4

10

4

1

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Question 6:

When thinking about the Coronavirus here in UK/Australia which of the following do you think is most likely to happen over the next month – By Gender & Age


Mar 18-20,
2020

Mar 28-29, 2020

Gender

Age

UK
18+

Australians
18+

Men

Women

Under 25

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Worst is yet to come

82

85

82

88

82

92

84

88

87

Situation will remain the same

15

11

12

10

16

7

12

10

11

Things will begin to improve

3

4

6

2

2

1

4

2

2

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

When thinking about the Coronavirus here in UK/Australia which of the following do you think is most likely to happen over the next month – By State

States

Australians
18+

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Worst is yet to come

85

87

80

91

82

88

74

Situation will remain the same

11

12

11

7

11

9

22

Things will begin to improve

4

1

9

2

7

3

4

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


States

Australians
18+

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

NET: Agree

86

85

88

83

84

91

97

Strongly agree

56

58

58

53

46

59

64

Agree

30

27

30

30

38

32

33

Disagree

4

3

2

10

3

2

0

Strongly disagree

3

3

4

3

3

3

2

NET: Disagree

7

6

6

13

6

5

2

Don’t know

7

9

6

4

10

4

1

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


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