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Despite coronavirus: Social contacts increase again

30/2020, 21.09.2020

Only 60 percent of the respondents state that they meet less often with their acquaintances due to the pandemic

Arrange a get-together with friends, enjoy life out in the fresh air: Despite the corona pandemic, everyday life is returning to normal. This is indicated by the current survey results of the BfR-Corona-Monitor. According to them, only 60 percent of the respondents say that they meet up with friends less often. Only 51 percent state that they leave their home less often to protect themselves from an infection. At the beginning of the month, 60 percent still restricted themselves in this regard. At the same time, the proportion of people concerned about the impact of the virus on their social relationships fell to 15 percent. “It becomes clear that for many people life is returning more strongly back to the usual pattern of everyday life”, says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, president of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment.

Nevertheless, the majority of people still consider an infection through proximity to other people to be probable. However, a clear difference can be observed between the age groups: While 78 percent of people under the age of 40 consider an infection via this pathway to be probable, this proportion is only 41 percent among those aged 60 and over. One reason for this may be that elderly people often have fewer social contacts and thus encounter considerably fewer people in their everyday lives than younger people.

In contrast, most of the legal regulations on dealing with other people in public still find broad approval, regardless of age. Both the mandatory use of masks and the mandatory distance are considered appropriate by around 90 percent of the respondents - and a similar number of people state that they implement these measures in their everyday lives.

The BfR continually adapts its FAQs on the topic of coronavirus to the current state of science:

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. Every week between 24 March and 26 May 2020, around 500 randomly selected people were asked by telephone about their assessment of the risk of infection and their protective measures, among other things. Since June 2020, the survey is continued every two weeks with about 1,000 respondents each. 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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