Covid-19 threat is ‘high’, say 80% across islands

MORE than three-quarters of islanders feel the threat of Covid-19 to Guernsey is high, a new survey has revealed.

Island Global Research managing director Lindsay Jefferies.
Island Global Research managing director Lindsay Jefferies.

Island Global Research has found that more than 80% of people from Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man think that Covid-19 poses a high or very high threat to their island.

It has calculated the results of surveys completed by islanders to understand the impact that the virus is having on them.

In Guernsey, this was 77% of islanders, while in Jersey, 79% of respondents perceived the threat as high or very high and in the Isle of Man it was 72% of respondents.

Some key workers expressed particular concern that they and more vulnerable members of their household might be exposed, while 65% of respondents said they had helped people from outside their household in the last week because of Covid-19.

An Island Global Research spokesman said that islanders overall were concerned by what the virus meant for their lives now and in the future.

‘Although the number of positive cases has been increasing over the past week, perceptions of the level of threat remain relatively stable, and if anything dropped slightly,’ he said.

However, the data, which was collected over the past two weeks, received comments that suggested respondents tended to feel there is less threat this week due to a number of factors, including feeling more adjusted to new routines, having processed some of the shock that was evident in the first week, and having tighter stay at home and social distancing measures now in place, as well as an increased confidence that other people are now adhering to the social distancing guidelines more effectively.

Another factor that had reduced the fear factor was what some respondents to the survey revealed as the additional precautions food retailers were now taking to maintain social distancing and cleanliness.

However, the survey did uncover islanders’ worry that the level of threat of the virus was perceived to be higher for family members than for themselves.

The IGR spokesman added they also tended to be more worried about family and friends in the UK than those living locally, for whom they can more easily find support if needed.

‘Perceptions of the threat on family are similar across the different age groups, but the perceived threat on themselves increases with age,’ the spokesman said.

‘Around a quarter of under-30s believe Covid-19 poses a high or very high threat to them compared to half of those aged over 70.’

Surveys on the impact of Covid-19 were undertaken by Island Global Research in the weeks commencing 23 March and 30 March, with the latest one open from yesterday.

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