NISRA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Opinion Survey Phases 1 to 8 Results

Date published: 18 February 2021

The fifth set of results from the NISRA Coronavirus (COVID-19) survey were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency. Interviews have been carried out with members of the public in the period 21 April 2020 to 21 January 2021.

The main report and findings are available on the NISRA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Opinion Survey page.

Key findings

  • Just over half of people (54%) said that they were completely following the Northern Ireland Executive’s regulations and guidelines on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Of those people who had not completely followed the regulations and guidelines, more than half (54%) said that they had not always abided by social distancing rules, keeping 1-2 metres apart from other people. Some 34% of people reported that they had visited family or friends when they were not allowed to do so. Approximately, one in ten people stated that they had not worn a face covering in shops (12%), travelled further than necessary or restrictions allowed (11%), not followed restrictions to stay at home during a Lockdown (11%) or socialised in larger groups than those allowed by the NI Executive (9%).
  • There appears to be growing optimism that life might return to normal in the next twelve months or so. The proportion of people who said it would be more than a year before their life returned to normal has halved from a peak of 57% in September 2020 to 29% in December 2020.
  • The average (mean) wellbeing rating of people interviewed in the period April 2020 – January 2021 for ‘life satisfaction’ (7.47) and feelings that things done in life are ‘worthwhile’ (7.90) were significantly lower (in a statistical sense) than those reported by NISRA for the 2019/20 year (7.86 and 8.05 respectively).
  • Of those people, who said that there had been a Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the first term in the school their eldest child attended, the vast majority (90%) agreed that the school had done a good job in the handling of their Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
  • People interviewed in the period November – January 2021 were asked about their alcohol consumption since the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Of those people who do drink alcohol, approximately one in five people (22%) said they were drinking more alcohol since the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Almost half of people (48%) were drinking about the same, whilst just over a quarter of people (26%) said they were drinking less. A small proportion (4%) said that they had not drank alcohol since March 2020.
  • The use of face coverings outside the home has increased significantly from 28% in June 2020 to 95% in December 2020.

Each chart in the report is also supported by an excel spreadsheet which provides confidence intervals for each estimate. Additional tables for other variables asked in Phases 1-8 have been also been published in this release, where validated data is of a sufficient quality to release. A visual representation of these findings can also be found on the NISRA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Opinion Survey webpage.

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