Health Policy
Public unclear on COVID-19 guidance as winter approaches

By - Integrated Care Journal

The Health Foundation has warned that the Governments lack clarification on Covid-19 guidance, particularly on who people can meet and where. The confusion caused could be detrimental to the fight against Covid-19.

The call from the Health Foundation has come as approval of the Government’s handling of the pandemic has plummeted and half the nation feels current measures do not go far enough.

The think tank has released new polling data with Ipsos MORI which explored the public’s latest attitudes towards the Government’s handling of Covid-19. The data showed a significant change in the public’s perceptions on these issues since May this year, when the first round of this polling by Ipsos MORI was carried out.

Over half of those surveyed (56 per cent) think the Government has not handled Covid-19 well, compared to 39 per cent in May. When asked about their views on the different measures the Government has taken to tackle the pandemic, significantly fewer people feel the Government’s response has been about right (40 per cent) than in May (58 per cent). Similarly, half of those asked now feel the measures the Government has taken do not go far enough and more should be done, compared to 37 per cent in May.

Despite the drop in support for the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak, there is strong public support for going further than the existing measures to tackle the pandemic.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, said: “Managing the pandemic is a complex and changing task, but this survey shows declining public confidence in how the Government is handling the situation. The survey shows the public are willing to support further measures to reduce the impact of the pandemic, but many are still unclear on what precautions they need to take. Increasing confidence in and clarity from the Government will be critical as we face further risks from Covid-19 this winter. ”

The survey also asked the public to consider the Government’s official guidance on what people need to do to help contain the virus. The report revealed that almost four in five think the guidance on wearing face masks on public transport is clear (78 per cent), but only 44 per cent think official advice on who and how many people you can meet is clear with just over half (54 per cent) who think the advice is unclear.

On the issue of how well the rules are being followed, surveyors felt guidance on self-isolating and wearing face masks on public transport is being followed the most (64 per cent and 63 per cent respectively).

However, 57 per cent of respondents stated that they felt that people are not following guidance well on staying safe outside the home, with 59 per cent saying they don’t think guidance around visiting places such as pubs and shops and attending public gatherings is being followed well.


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