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Coronavirus pandemic: Entering the Christmas season with caution

42/2020, 14.12.2020

BfR-Corona-Monitor: Two weeks before Christmas, acceptance of some containment measures increases

This year, the pre-Christmas season is accompanied by discussions about a possible strict lockdown. This does not leave the population in Germany unaffected. This is shown by the results of the BfR-Corona-Monitor, a regular survey conducted by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). For example, the acceptance of the measures of the "Lockdown Light", which has been ongoing since the beginning of November, has in some cases significantly increased in the past two weeks. "While, for example, the closing of cultural institutions was only supported by 49 percent of respondents at the beginning of November, it is now considered appropriate by 62 percent", says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "The threat of the pandemic is present in the population."

Even the closure of eating and dining venues is now viewed more favourably. Compared with the last survey, the proportion of those in favour has risen by twelve percentage points to 54 percent. The accommodation ban is now accepted by 61 percent of respondents, compared with 51 percent two weeks ago. In contrast, approval of the mandatory distance and mandatory use of masks, which has been in place for months, has hardly changed and remains at a very high level.

The behaviour of the population in Germany also shows increasing caution with regard to the coronavirus. For example, 75 percent of the respondents now say they leave their homes less frequently. 83 percent say they see friends and family less often. And stockpiling is also becoming more popular again: four weeks ago, 14 percent were building up larger stocks; that figure now is at 23 percent.

Despite these developments, concern about the impact of the coronavirus on various areas of life remains largely unchanged. As in the last survey at the end of November, just over one-third of the population is concerned about the social impact of the pandemic. Around a quarter is concerned that the coronavirus may affect their physical health; among people aged 60 and over, the figure is one-third.

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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