As the last of the Covid-19 restrictions are removed across the country, new research by YouGov’s Public Affairs and Polling Team shows that half (49%) of Australians aged 18+ believe that the worst of the pandemic is over, but that the nation still has a way to go. Yet the views of other Australians are more polarised, with a quarter (26%) saying that the pandemic could worsen – this is contrasted by one-in-five (20%) who say that Covid-19 is pretty much over.
Those more likely to say that the pandemic is over, tend to be men (24%, compared to 17% for women), and are younger (25% for Gen Z and 26% for Millennials, compared to 13% for Baby Boomers).
Despite their different Covid-19 experiences with lockdowns and restrictions, there was little difference in opinions between each State and between those residing in capital cities or in regional areas.
Views towards the pandemic depends on vaccination status – those with fewer vaccine dosages are more likely to say that the pandemic is over. For example, 47% of the unvaccinated say that the pandemic is over, compared to just one-in-ten (11%) of those receiving more than three shots who hold the same view. Conversely, a third (34%) of those who have had three shots or more say that the pandemic continues to persist, whereas only 15% of the unvaccinated think the same.
In a similar vein, participants were also asked how worried they are about Covid-19 in Australia. Whilst 44% of Australians are ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ worried, 53% hold the opposite view by saying they are ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ worried. Reinforcing the earlier observation that younger respondents were more likely to say the pandemic is over, it is unsurprising that Gen Z were the least worried about the pandemic – with twice as many saying they are not worried (67%) compared to those who are worried (30%).
One of the most interesting findings was that concern towards the pandemic varies depending on how many times an individual tested positive for Covid-19. 45% of those who had never tested positive were worried, declining to 40% for those who have contracted Covid-19 once. But concern levels rise to 54% amongst those that had tested positive multiple times.
Opinions on mask wearing were divided. 28% of participants felt that Governments should place more emphasis on mask wearing to combat Covid-19, whilst 20% felt they should place less emphasis. Again, there were generational differences in opinion, with younger generations being less likely than those who are older to feel there should be more emphasis on mask wearing (22% for Gen Z and 24% for Millennials, compared to 34% for Baby Boomers).
Views were also split based on the number of vaccination doses. More than half (51%) of those who have had no vaccine doses believe that Governments should place less emphasis on mask wearing to combat Covid-19, compared with just 11% of those who have had more than 3 doses.
YouGov interviewed 10,047 Australian residents across Australia between 30th August and 5th October 2022. YouGov is a member of the Australian Polling Council, supports its goals of greater transparency in Australian polling and complies with its Code of Conduct. A long methodology statement including sample design, weightings used and full question wordings are available at https://au.yougov.com/news/2021/05/18/apc/