People want borders closed as fear about COVID-19 escalates

on 14/03/2020

A majority of people across 12 nations think the borders of their country should be closed until the coronavirus outbreak is contained

Why was the research conducted?

To understand public sentiment regarding government measures on the table worldwide to combat COVID-19.

How was the research conducted?

These are the results of an Ipsos survey conducted March 12th to 14th, 2020 on the Global Advisor online platform among 10,000 adults aged 18-74 in Canada and the United States and 16-74 in Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Russia, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. Where available, tracking results from Wave 3, conducted February 28-29, February 14-15, and February 7-9 are presented. Sample sizes are consistent wave to wave.

What are the key findings of the research?

In a survey of 12,000 people across 12 major countries from March 12 to 15, countries in the AsiaPacific region are most supportive of border closures – led by India (79%) and Vietnam (78%) ̶ which is not surprising, given where the disease was first encountered. More than 3 in 4 people in the world’s other hot spot, Italy (76%), are also in agreement of this drastic measure followed by those in China (73%), and Russia (70%).

A significant driver in the growth for concern about COVID-19 is that more of us now believe someone close to us will be infected by the virus. The majority of people in Vietnam (67%), the United Kingdom (57%), India, Australia and Japan (51%) think someone close to them will get the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the countries that saw the biggest jump in this measure from a previous poll conducted on February 28-29 are all developed markets – the U.K. (+31 points), Australia (+29), and Canada (+28).

In addition to this, there’s been an increase of people who think their job is under threat as the pandemic spreads. There’s been a significant rise on this measure from previous polling done in Italy (63%, up 36 points) ̶ considering closures in its economy, followed by France (44%, up 14 points) and the U.K. (33%, up 13 points).

Overall, the perception of the threat the pandemic poses to a country has increased with a majority of people citing it as least as a high threat in all countries, except for in Canada (32%), Russia (37%), the U.K. (45%) and Australia (46%).

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Contributor's Name: Darrell Bricker