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COVID-19 comfort and mobility statistics

How comfortable do Australians feel doing everyday activities during the pandemic?

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Social distancing, sourdough making and panic buying – the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lifestyle and behaviour of Australians in many ways. Ongoing restrictions, border closures and virus outbreaks have made Aussies reluctant to do everyday activities like shopping and travel.

Finder's COVID Comfort Indicator measures how comfortable Australians feel doing everyday activities while in the midst of the pandemic. Each month, Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker asks respondents how comfortable they feel doing the following:

  • Travelling overseas
  • Travelling domestically
  • Going to the gym
  • Going to the cinema
  • Taking public transport
  • Taking a taxi or Uber
  • Going to sporting events
  • Going to a music concert or live play

Comfort is ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is not comfortable at all and 10 is extremely comfortable.

COVID Comfort Indicator by activity

The data shows Australians are most comfortable with domestic travel and attending cinemas. Taking a taxi or Uber and taking public transport come in third and fourth place. Going to sporting events, the gym, and music concerts or live plays follow closely.

International travel is the activity Australians have felt the least comfortable with since December 2020. Many Australians have been forced to cancel holidays due to the pandemic. However with the opening of Australia's international borders, the level of comfort Australians have with overseas travel is slowly creeping up.

COVID Comfort Indicator by state

Between December 2020 and February 2022, Western Australia has maintained the highest level of overall comfort, with an average index rating of 4.70 out of 10. New South Wales has the lowest ranking overall, with an average of 4.18 since December 2020.

In most states, overall comfort peaked between March and May and dropped between June and August 2021.

New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland hit their lowest level of comfort in August. Western Australia and South Australia, which were relatively sheltered from virus outbreaks and lockdowns at the height of the pandemic, both hit their lowest level of comfort in January 2022.

COVID Comfort Indicator (December 2020 - February 2022 average)

NSWVICQLDSAWA
Travelling overseas2.853.052.692.362.47
Travelling domestically4.965.115.014.674.46
Going to the gym4.054.494.604.354.86
Going to the cinemas4.565.015.195.165.48
Going to sporting events4.044.424.364.454.84
Going to a music concert / live play3.934.304.314.294.71
Taking public transport4.584.654.794.405.37
Taking a taxi / Uber4.504.724.974.785.42

New South Wales

Those from New South Wales reached their highest level of comfort in March 2021. Across all activities, the indicator reached 5.18 out of 10. In August 2021, the indicator hit its lowest point since December 2020, at 2.91.

Victoria

Victorians report relatively high levels of comfort when the state is not in lockdown. In April 2021, the indicator peaked at an average of 5.36 out of 10. The indicator fell to 3.95 in June as the state entered its fourth lockdown. Victoria has had one of the most volatile COVID Comfort Indicator scores over time.

Queensland

The COVID Comfort Indicator in Queensland peaked in March 2021, with an average ranking of 6.0 out of 10. Due to multiple snap lockdowns, Queensland's COVID Comfort Indicator is relatively volatile, hitting a low of 3.27 out of 10 in August 2021.

South Australia

The COVID Comfort Indicator is the least volatile in South Australia. Interestingly, South Australia has the second-lowest comfort ranking, with an average of 4.31. Going to the cinema is the activity South Australians feel most comfortable with, ranking 5.16 out of 10 on average since December 2020.

Western Australia

Western Australians have had the highest average level of comfort with all activities except domestic and international travel since December 2020. Going to the cinemas (5.48) and taking a taxi or Uber (5.42) are the activities they feel most at ease with on average. The COVID Comfort Indicator peaked in April, with a ranking of 5.51 out of 10 across all activities.

Methodology

  • Data was obtained from Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker, an ongoing nationally representative survey of 1,000 Australians each month.
  • The survey asks respondents to rank their level of comfort with each activity on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being not comfortable at all and 10 being extremely comfortable.
  • Due to small sample sizes, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT have been excluded from state-by-state comparisons but are included in the overall indicator.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Tracker is owned by Finder and operated by Qualtrics, an SAP company.

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