March 30, 2020

Before Morrison’s Sunday night talk to the nation over two-thirds of Australians (69%) claim they are self-isolating

Topic: Press Release, Public Opinion, Special Poll
Finding No: 8358
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Over two-thirds of Australians (69%) claim they are following Government directives to self-isolate as much as possible to fight the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. However, 31% say they were 'not' self-isolating according to a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey of an Australia-wide cross-section of 2,069 Australians aged 18+ conducted on Friday March 27 – Saturday March 28, 2020.

The survey conducted before Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Sunday evening (last night) talk to the nation creating a new two-person rule on gatherings is an important benchmark to see if more Australians self-isolate when Roy Morgan repeats the survey.

People surveyed were asked four questions to determine their attitudes towards the current Government directives to self-isolate:

  • Question 1: “Are you, yourself, self-isolating?”
  • Question 2: “Are you in a risk group or not?”
  • Question 3: “Who have you been with in the last 24 hours since this time yesterday?”
  • Question 4: “Would you be likely to self-isolate if your doctor told you that you’re in a risk group?”

Self-isolation most likely for Women and older Australians

Analysis by Gender shows more women (73%) claim to be self-isolating than men (65%).

Analysis by Age shows older Australians aged 65+ (84%) are the most likely to claim to be self-isolating ahead of young Australians aged under 25 (70%). In contrast less than two-thirds of those aged 50-64 (66%), 25-34 (65%) and 35-49 (62%) claim to be self-isolating.

Older Australians are the only age group where a majority identify themselves as a 'risk group'

Over two-thirds of Australians (69%) say they are not in a risk group and this majority is consistent across both Genders and younger age groups.

Analysis by Gender shows nearly three-quarters of men (73%) and two-thirds of women (64%) say they are not in a risk group.

Large majorities of those aged under 25 (90%), 35-49 (84%) and 25-34 (80%) say they are not in a risk group. This drops to under two-thirds of those aged 50-64 (65%).

However, older Australians aged over 65 are aware about COVID-19 and over three quarters (77%) say they are in a risk group.

Of those who claim they are self-isolating 63% say they are not in a risk group while of those who do not claim they are self-isolating a much higher majority of 82% say they are not in a risk group.

Three quarters of Australians have been with their family in the last 24 hours

Three-quarters of Australians (75%) say they have been with members of their family over the last 24 hours. This result is consistent both for Australians who claim they are self-isolating (76%) and those who claim they are not self-isolating (75%).

Over a fifth of Australians (22%) say they have been with business colleagues over the last 24 hours. A substantial 49% of Australians who claim they are not self-isolating have been with business colleagues over the last 24 hours compared to only 10% of those who claim they are self-isolating.

Just over one-in-ten Australians (11%) say they have been with friends over the last 24 hours including 18% of Australians who claim they are not self-isolating and only 8% who claim they are self-isolating.

In addition, about one-in-seven Australians (14%) have been with other people over the last 24 hours. This rises to 25% of Australians who claim they are not self-isolating compared to only 9% of Australians who claim they are self-isolating.

Overall 88% of Australians have been with somebody over the last 24 hours compared to 12% who haven’t been with anybody.

Almost all Australians will self-isolate on doctor’s orders

A super majority of 97% of Australians would self-isolate if their doctor advised them they were in a risk group and this viewpoint is consistent across both Genders and all age groups.

At least 95% of both Genders and all age groups agree that they would follow doctor’s orders to self-isolate if their doctor told them they were in a risk group.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says around two-thirds of Australians claim they are adhering to the government directive to self-isolate however it is concerning that nearly a third (31%) say they are not self-isolating:

Block Quote

“A majority of over two-thirds of Australians (69%) claim they are self-isolating even before Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s directive on Sunday evening to restrict public gatherings to only one other person you are not living with.

“This figure is remarkably high when one considers the rising fatality counts in many overseas countries including Italy (over 10,000 deaths), Spain (over 6,000 deaths), United States (over 2,000 deaths) and the United Kingdom (over 1,000 deaths).

“This relatively ‘relaxed’ attitude to the directives to socially-isolate is likely due to the fact that at present there have only been 16 deaths in Australia attributed to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. In addition only 23 further Australians are currently hospitalised in a serious or critical condition. This is less than 1% of Australia’s 4,000 odd cases.

“Roy Morgan will repeat this survey in the next few days to determine whether Morrison’s appeals to self-isolate in no more than groups of two and avoid contact with people will lead to a rise in Australians who claim to be self-isolating or not.”

Are you, yourself, self-isolating – by Gender & Age

Source: Roy Morgan Special Snap SMS Poll of Australians conducted from 6pm on Friday March 27 to 4pm on Saturday March 28, 2020, n=2,069. Base: Australians aged 18+.

Are you in a risk group or not – by Gender & Age

Source: Roy Morgan Special Snap SMS Poll of Australians conducted from 6pm on Friday March 27 to 4pm on Saturday March 28, 2020, n=2,069. Base: Australians aged 18+.

Who have you been with in the last 24 hours since this time yesterday – By Gender

Source: Roy Morgan Special Snap SMS Poll of Australians conducted from 6pm on Friday March 27 to 4pm on Saturday March 28, 2020, n=2,069. Base: Australians aged 18+.

Question 1:

Are you, yourself, self-isolating – by Gender & Age

Are you, yourself, self-isolating – by State

Question 2:

Are you in a risk group or not – by Self-isolation

Are you in a risk group or not – by Gender & Age

Are you in a risk group or not – by Gender & Age

Question 3:

Who have you been with in the last 24 hours since this time yesterday – by Self-Isolation
(Multiple answers allowed)

Who have you been with in the last 24 hours since this time yesterday – by Gender & Age (Multiple answers allowed)

Who have you been with in the last 24 hours since this time yesterday – by State
(Multiple answers allowed)

Question 4:

Would you be likely to self-isolate if your doctor told you that you’re in a risk group
– by Self-isolation

Would you be likely to self-isolate if your doctor told you that you’re in a risk group
 – by Gender & Age

Would you be likely to self-isolate if your doctor told you that you’re in a risk group
 – by State

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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