Still support for coronavirus measures, but compliance could be much better

The corona regulations are only moderately observed in practice, while the majority of Dutch people aged 16 and older do support them. This can be seen from the results of the latest survey conducted by the RIVM’s Behavioural Unit among more than 60,000 Dutch people.

For example, people with corona-type complaints go outside as much as people without complaints: 90 percent went shopping at least once, 43 percent went to work, 41 percent went to the hospitality industry. Almost half (45 percent) of the people who had close contact with a tested positive did not go into quarantine. And of the people with complaints, almost half have also not been tested in the past six weeks, according to the survey.

Public confidence in the way the government is trying to keep the virus under control has decreased in recent months. In April, 75 percent still had confidence in the government’s approach. In the meantime that has dropped to 52 percent, just a majority.

Difficult in practice

At the same time, measures such as washing hands, keeping a distance of one and a half metres and avoiding crowds are widely supported. Compared to the previous measurement at the beginning of July, the support for almost all measures has even increased, possibly because more infections were reported. For example, support for keeping a distance of 1.5 metres has increased from 68 to 82 percent. Working from home increased from 58 to 69 percent.

This does not mean that the measures can easily be put into practice. When they go outside they still succeed, but especially at parties, work or school few people manage to keep enough distance. Busy places also turn out to be difficult to avoid: 49 percent of the participants visited a busy place in the week prior to the study where they could not keep a 1.5 meter distance.

Mouth caps

According to the participants, measures that can be sustained are not shaking hands (98 percent no longer do so), washing their hands, receiving a maximum of three visitors and not visiting people with fragile health.

The vast majority of Dutch people think that most measures help against the spread of the coronavirus. Only the use of mouth caps in public transport receives much less support: only 43 percent think this helps a lot.

The Coronamelder app is received dividedly: 44 percent are positive about it and intend to use it, 39 percent think that the app contributes to combating the virus. But there is also distrust: only 37 percent believe that the information from the app remains strictly confidential.