One in three uses at least one corona support measure

June 16th 2020

Participants in the Great Corona Study shake hands more often, but don’t go to bars yet  

Two-thirds of participants in the Great Corona Study say they don’t use the government’s corona support measures. And if we have to be contacted for a contact tracing, we prefer to be called by a general practitioner rather than by an anonymous contact tracer.

Tuesday saw the thirteenth wave of the Great Corona Study. This questionnaire is an initiative of the University of Antwerp, supported by UHasselt, KU Leuven and ULB. The Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) provides a financial boost.

‘Our country has recently found itself at the tail end of the first wave of the pandemic and normal life has more or less resumed’, initiators Philippe Beutels and Pierre Van Damme (UAntwerp) say. ‘We are therefore very pleased to see that 36,000 people still took some time to participate in the questionnaire.’

Use of support measures

This week, the scientists assessed, among other things, the use of the corona support measures put in place by the various governments. These include corona parental leave, the hindrance premium for self-employed people and the temporary unemployment system.

- 65% of respondents indicated that the support measures are not used within their own household, but logically this varies depending on the main activity of the participants. Among self-employed people, two out of three make use of one or more measures.

- One in four employees applied for a premium for temporary unemployment.

- Among the employees and the jobseekers, about one or seven applied for financial support for water, gas and electricity.

- Corona parental leave is not or not yet being used on a large scale: about 5% of employees have applied for it.

An initial analysis of the data also yielded other interesting results:

On 8 June, restaurants and bars reopened. During the previous wave of the Great Corona Study, three quarters of participants said they would not be going out to restaurants or bars for the time being. This was confirmed in the figures: a minority of participants say they have already visited a restaurant or bar. Cafes and bars with outdoor seating are the most popular, probably partly due to the good weather: one in ten respondents said they had already visited cafes with outdoor seating during the first week.

- More and more people are working at the office again. Keeping a distance, ventilating and washing hands is usually or always respected in the vast majority of cases. Following fixed routes and wearing a mask are much less common.

- Many people say they would rather be contacted by a general practitioner than by an anonymous contact tracer. This is especially true for the elderly and for people who are struggling financially.

- The number of people shaking hands with and giving kisses to others outside their own household is clearly increasing. Two weeks ago, 86% of people living with others said they did not shake hands or kiss. This is now only 75%. For people living alone, the percentage fell from 81 to 71.

From now on, the Great Corona Study will be organised every two weeks. So the next wave is scheduled for Tuesday 30 June between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. (available in four languages). / / /

Be sure to take a look at, a project by Jonas Crèvecoeur (KU Leuven). Here you can find a comprehensive overview of the results of this study to date.