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Coronavirus pandemic: Increased desire for social contacts

15/2020, 07.05.2020

Protective regulations for shops are accepted, but the contact prohibition is increasingly questioned, reveals the trend of the "BfR-Corona-Monitor"

After weeks of restrictions imposed on public life, many people in Germany seem to wish for greater togetherness again. For example, only 67 percent of the respondents regard the contact prohibition as appropriate - in March, however, it was accepted by 92 percent. This is the result of the "BfR-Corona-Monitor", a regular survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). Additionally, only 63 percent considered proximity to other people to be a probable path of infection - a decrease of nine percentage points compared to the previous week. "The population longs for a little bit of normality," comments BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel on the results.

In contrast, the regulations on infection prevention in stores are accepted by the vast majority of the population. The limitation of the maximum number of customers in stores is considered appropriate by 84 percent of the respondents. The requirement for a minimum distance of 1.5 meters to other people is widely accepted as well (90 percent). The obligation to wear a mask is also still deemed appropriate by the vast majority (82 percent).

About one third of the survey participants said that they want to shield themselves or their family from an infection by wearing protective clothing. The number of people who reported that they want to protect themselves by washing their hands more often or using disinfectants dropped to under ten percent. Only 22 percent stated that they do not take any measures against an infection.

The majority of the population in Germany still feels well informed about what is happening around the novel coronavirus (67 percent). The number of people who cited the internet as a source of information rose by eleven percentage points to 66 percent compared to the previous week. However, the majority of respondents still stated that they use television as a source of information (74 percent). Radio, on the other hand, was only mentioned by 24 percent, thus registering a decline.

The BfR is continually updating its FAQs on the topic of coronavirus, in light of the dynamically changing situation.

About the BfR-Corona-Monitor

The BfR-Corona-Monitor is a recurring (multi-wave) representative survey of the German population's perception of risks from the novel coronavirus. Since 24 March 2020, around 500 randomly selected people have been asked by telephone every Tuesday about their perception of the risk of infection and the protective measures they have taken, amongst other things. A summary of the data is regularly published on the homepage of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. More information about the method and sample can be found in publications about the BfR-Corona-Monitor.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states ("Laender") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.



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