Poll Finds Majority Support For Anti-Coronavirus Measures in the Czech Republic

The National Pandemic Alarm survey, carried out by European National Panels, asked citizens in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria their views on various anti-coronavirus measures. Czech citizens were the least panicked and most optimistic of the five countries surveyed. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.

Czech Rep., Apr 22 (BD) – The National Pandemic Alarm survey asked citizens of five European countries for their opinions on a range of measures in place against the coronavirus outbreak. Respondents were asked to judge whether the measures were: already unnecessary; necessary but should be removed as soon as possible; necessary and should stay in place until the virus stops spreading; or should be made permanent. According to the website of STEM/MARK, one of the participating organisations: “The research is continuous, and results in several indices that show the development of social attitudes and moods in the current situation.”

According to the latest results, released on April 16th, the survey found widespread support for almost all the measures, with a majority in favour of keeping them in place at least until the virus ends, and 12% of respondents saying they would like working from home to become a permanent arrangement. The exception was the ban on tourism within the Czech Republic; 20% of those asked said the measure was already unnecessary, and a further 40% said it should be lifted as soon as possible. Other measures with lower support than most were the closures of hotels and schools, with just over 50% saying these closures should remain in place, and 10% and 9% respectively saying the measures were unnecessary. 

The poll also found significant support for the government’s travel ban on Czechs leaving the country and tourists entering, which came into force on March 16th. Government ministers say that this ban is unlikely to be lifted soon, but it has recently started receiving criticism, with the small Mayors and Independents (STAN) parliamentary group stating that they would file a legal complaint against the measure for breaching the constitution. However, Czechs are broadly in favour of the current situation; 65% of respondents said they thought the border should remain closed for the duration of the outbreak, and 5% even said it should be closed permanently.

The measure which enjoys the greatest public support is the mandatory wearing of masks. Around 75% of respondents supported this measure remaining in place at least until the end of the outbreak. The results were not substantially different when a distinction was drawn between wearing masks outside and indoors.

Last week, the Czech government announced its schedule for the lifting of anti-coronavirus measures, with farmers’ markets and some university activities among the services to open this Monday. However, the opening of restaurants, hotels and shopping centres is not expected until June 8th, with some restrictions still in place even then on the size of public events.

More than 100,000 people participate in the rolling survey, across Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic. Czechs are the most positive and least panicked of the nationalities questioned, compared to Hungarians and Poles who are the most.

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