Brits’ Biggest Fear About Coronavirus is Economy


The number one fear British people have about the coronavirus is what it will do to the economy, according to new data.

Consumer research platform Attest ran a nationally representative survey of 1,000 UK consumers to find out just how worried the nation is and what we’re worried about [see full data here:

Overall, 63% of people are feeling more anxious now than they were before the outbreak of COVID-19, and 17% say their anxiety levels are “much higher”.

What are they worried about?

Just over 70% of Brits are worried about the effect coronavirus will have on the economy, with 30% describing themselves as “very worried”.

Behind this, the second biggest concern for people is their parents or grandparents catching the virus (68%), with 39% “very worried” by the prospect.

Nearly 61% of Brits are worried about contracting the coronavirus themselves, while a lesser 56% are worrying about their kids or grandkids getting the virus. Of greater concern is the potential for the outbreak to interrupt travel or social plans – nearly 58% of people are worried about this.

Of least concern are workplace closures and school closures; half of people (50%) are worried about not being able to go to work and only 39% are worried about children not being able to attend school.

Here are some of the concerns people expressed:

“I’m anxious over the economy and FTSE crashing, hitting pension funds”

“I care for my dad so I am very worried all the time.”

“I’m staying at home as I have underlying health issues with my lungs.”

“It has increased my anxiety about meeting people.”

How bad will it get?

We asked people what they think is going to happen with the coronavirus outbreak, and the outlook of the British people is not optimistic. Nearly half of people think “we’ve not seen the worst of it yet”, while a further 33% believe we’re “headed for a full-blown global pandemic”. Only 18% of people think “it will all be over soon”.

There is a direct correlation between how much news about coronavirus a person consumes and how worried they feel. People who see or hear updates hourly are five times more likely to be experiencing high levels of anxiety than people who only receive updates once every couple of days.

What impact are fears having?

British people are most likely to be avoiding public transport, stations and airports in an effort to avoid contracting the coronavirus (27%). Public attractions are also considered high-risk areas, with 26% of people actively avoiding them.

Around a fifth of people are avoiding the cinema, theatres and concerts, as well as restaurants, pubs and nightclubs. Least likely to be considered risky are church services, social groups and clubs (11%) and the gym (15%).

Panic buying is yet to become a big problem; only 19% of Brits say they have started stockpiling. But people are taking precautions; 81% have started washing or sanitising their hands more often.

Only 10% of people have made changes to their travel plans, but 11% are considering making changes and 21% are waiting to make travel plans because of the uncertainty.

To see the full survey on the Attest platform, including responses to additional questions, visit

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About Attest

We believe great companies put consumers and data at the heart of every decision. They create better, more useful products and services, which leads to happier consumers and ever-greater success.

That’s why Attest is on a mission to bring every business closer to consumers and empower them with the insights that drive predictable and repeatable growth.

How? We call it a Consumer Growth Platform, where everyone can get answers to their burning questions from audiences of 100 million consumers across 80 markets.

Our clients use Attest to learn more about their target consumers, enter new markets, build new categories, validate decisions, develop better products and services, measure their brand, track competition, all with the goal of building new, predictable, and repeatable growth.

Clients include Heineken, Walgreens Boots, Samsung, Fever-Tree, Discovery and Transferwise, Nutmeg, among many others.

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