June 2nd 2020
On Tuesday 16 June, UAntwerp will again present the Belgians with the Big Corona Study.
On 8 June, restaurants and bars will reopen in our country. Many people see themselves grabbing a drink outside, but almost eight out of ten participants in the Big Corona Study of UAntwerp are not planning to drink something inside a bar in June. We’re certainly also making travel plans, both in Belgium and abroad.
Tuesday 2 June saw the twelfth wave of the Big Corona Study. This questionnaire is organised by the University of Antwerp, supported by UHasselt, KU Leuven and ULB. The Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) provides financial boost. Around 60,500 people participated this week. That’s 10,000 more than last week, which proves that the questionnaire remains highly relevant even in the ‘latter days’ of the epidemic.
This week, the scientists polled the Belgians’ travel plans, among other things, and respondents were also asked a few questions about the reopening of restaurants and bars.
Many people are planning a trip abroad this summer – despite the circumstances. The younger people are, the more they travel abroad: 40% of 18–35 year-olds say they will cross the border, and 35% of 36–65 year-olds say they will. Among those over 66, four out of ten say they have no travel plans.
For the group travelling abroad, France is by far the most popular destination for the main holiday: 33% say they will go to our southern neighbours. Spain (12%), the Netherlands (9%), Germany and Italy (7%) complete the top five.
Just over one in ten holidaymakers opts for the Belgian coast in July and August. The Ardennes and ‘elsewhere in Belgium’ welcome some 8% of travellers.
The car is by far the most popular means of transport according to the respondents: 66% choose to go on holiday by car. 18% say they are going by plane, 4% are travelling in their campervan.
Restaurants and bars:
When restaurants and bars reopen on 8 June, there does not seem to be a rush yet. About three quarters of participants reported that they will not yet enter a bar in June. Before the corona crisis, less than 40% did not. A similar proportion applies to restaurants: around 70% as opposed to less than 30% previously.
It is striking, but not illogical: many people enjoy having a drink outside. The participants indicated that they do so only a tad less than in pre-corona times.
Other interesting results:
In the past weeks, more and more people have sought physical interactions outside the household. The most striking jump is between the questionnaires of 5 and 12 May: since 10 May, it has been possible to form a bubble with four people. The Big Corona Study shows that students and people working in restaurants and bars are the most likely to resume physical interactions. Pensioners prefer to keep their distance.
The scientists also asked the participants this week if they could provide the details of their contacts for possible contact tracing. Men appear to know their contacts less well. Age also plays a role: the older the respondent, the less contact information they could provide. It is also striking that we consistently see a lower willingness to share contact information among people who are struggling financially.
The Big Corona Study used to run every Tuesday. Now that we are in the tail end of the first wave of the pandemic, the questionnaire will be organised every two weeks. So the next wave is scheduled for Tuesday 16 June between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. (available in four languages).
Every working day, a new result from the questionnaire is highlighted and explained online. So be sure to take a look at https://corona-studie.shinyapps.io/corona-studie/, a project by Jonas Crèvecoeur (KU Leuven). There is also a link which provides a comprehensive overview of the results of this study thus far.