#WeAsk | How has the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak affected Australia

On 20th February, we conducted a quick survey across multiple countries to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on consumer behaviour and sentiment since January.

Here is a video summary of the Australian results, and the full results have been published here

17% of respondents are very worried whilst 14% are not worried at all. In terms of concern about the outbreak the majority of people lie somewhere in the middle of this scale.

In Asian countries, where the virus is more prevalent, using face masks when out in public is a must. According to our survey, 91% of Australians have fewer than 10 face masks to safeguard against the virus.

Australians aren’t using many face masks, but the World Health Organisation urges us to wash hands and disinfect surfaces frequently Has there been an increase in purchases of cleaning products? 56% have not spent any extra money on disinfectants or protective products since the outbreak started in January 30% have spent under $20 and another 12% have spent between $21-$100.

What about other day-to-day activities? Over 74% of Australians have been going on with life as usual – it seems that COVID-19 won’t put a damper on our plans! However, 11% have cancelled or postponed regular exercise in public venues, and 13% have avoided social gatherings or going to the movies.

The coronavirus may affect our shopping habits. Over of respondents 2% didn’t shop online before the outbreak but have since started doing so. Another 9% have been shopping online more frequently.

And in terms of food & dining? 20% have been eating out less frequently, and almost 4% have avoided eating out entirely. 11% of respondents have increased their food delivery orders since the outbreak started.

The global travel and tourism sector has also been affected. 14% of Toluna Influencers have cancelled or postponed leisure travel, whilst 6% have put off travelling for business.

Travellers have mostly cancelled or postponed domestic travel within Australia, as well as trips to Mainland China, Singapore and Japan.

COVID-19 has caused global financial markets to plummet and the economic outlook for 2020 is not good, according to Toluna Influencers. 21% of Australians have changed from a positive outlook to a negative one, and another 17% believe the economy will go from bad to worse. Nearly 22% have a negative outlook for the year regardless of the coronavirus, however 26% still have a positive outlook though!

In terms of employment… 49% are employed or self-employed and have not seen any impact to their jobs. Unfortunately 8% have been affected by the outbreak either in the form of reduced salary, being laid off, forced unpaid leave or other reasons.

Since this survey was conducted, the spread of the virus in countries outside of China has accelerated, and the World Health Organisation has stated that the outbreak has “pandemic potential”. Do you think concern in Australia has increased? How has the outbreak affected you?

Let us know your thoughts on Toluna.com

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