The threat of Covid-19 (the latest strain of coronavirus), could have a significant impact on the UK’s public behaviour, according to a new global poll.
Market research company Ipso MORI revealed that 14 per cent of the UK public said they would avoid contact with people of Chinese origin or appearance.
The online survey was conducted between 7 and 9 February 2020 among 8,001 adults aged between 16 and 74 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK and the United States.
22% would avoid public transport
Some of the findings revealed that two thirds of people in the UK say they would consider avoiding travelling to infected countries or areas (65 per cent), while three in 10 would avoid large gatherings of people or travelling by air for holidays (both 29 per cent).
A quarter say they would avoid shaking hands with others (26 per cent), and one in five say they would avoid travelling by public transport (22 per cent).
The survey also shows the potential longer term impact of the virus. Over three quarters of the UK public believe that people will be less likely to travel to China (77 per cent), while three in five think that major international events like the Olympics could be in jeopardy (60 per cent).
Stormzy postpones Asian tour dates
It seems some of the above concerns may be shared by UK rapper Stormzy, who has recently decided to postpone the Asian leg of his tour due to the outbreak.
He had been due to play in locations including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia in March.
“Due to the ongoing health and travel concerns surrounding the coronavirus, I’m regrettably having to reschedule this leg of the tour,” the rapper wrote on Instagram.
Confidence in health services
However the survey showed that while people are worried about the long term effects of coronavirus, they do have confidence in the organisations who are dealing with it.
Confidence is highest in local health services, health professionals and the World Health Organization (all 71 per cent).
Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos MORI said, “Our research shows that there is a high level of awareness of the outbreak and a belief that we have some way to go before it is contained.”
“High levels of concern are likely to be the driver for the behaviour changes people are considering.”
“It is, however, encouraging that there are also high levels of trust in the health services and professionals in the UK to deal with it effectively.”