Some 85% of Australians have supported harsh Stage 4 coronavirus restrictions in Greater Melbourne, including 83% of Victorians, as Australians feel the pain but double-down their support for the strategy. Our 22nd weekly tracker of 1,200 people, conducted Monday 3 August – Wednesday 5 August, shows that despite support for restrictions and growing use of masks, there is fatigue with the virus’s impact on daily life, particularly among Victorians facing weeks of isolation. While coronavirus remains Australians’ top concern, events in Victoria have also deepened concern about the aged care system and pessimism about the economy.
Nearly three quarters are now “extremely” or “quite” concerned (73%) about the quality of aged care, compared to 66% last week and 60% three weeks ago. In a new measure, the performance of aged care providers in handling coronavirus was rated as “good” or “excellent” by just 25% of respondents while 41% gave the sector a “poor” rating.
When prompted, 85% said they were “extremely” or “quite” concerned about the economy, up from 80% last week. Predictions for the economy in the short to medium term have also worsened: 78% say it will get worse in a month (up from 69% last week) and 66% say it will get worse in three months (up from 61%). Despite the overall support for Government, there has been a small decline in agreement over the past two weeks that it is taking appropriate measures to protect Australian businesses (68% down from 72% two weeks ago).
Confidence in the performance of the health system in dealing with coronavirus has been trending down very slowly from a high of 81% in May. This week supermarkets surpassed (75%) and the police rivalled the health system (both 72%) for the first time since we started this tracking survey in March.
Support for opening borders is also continuing to ebb away, with support for opening borders with New Zealand within three months dropping from 46% to 39% in the past week. There was 60% support a month ago.