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 a close third and fourth place. Going to the gym, sporting events and music concerts or live plays follow closely.

International travel is the activity Australians have felt the least comfortable with since December. Many Australians have been forced to cancel holidays due to the pandemic. Alongside ongoing virus outbreaks, this has likely made Aussies hesitant about booking another overseas trip anytime soon.

COVID Comfort Indicator by state

Between December 2020 and July 2021, Western Australia has maintained the highest level of overall comfort, with an average index rating of 4.83 out of 10. New South Wales has the lowest ranking overall, with an average of 4.37 since December.

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

Both New South Wales and Queensland hit their lowest level of comfort in July. This is likely due to increased COVID-19 case numbers and state-mandated restrictions.

COVID Comfort Indicator (December 2020 - July 2021 average)

ActivityNSWVICQLDSAWA
Travelling overseas2.732.982.752.412.49
Travelling domestically5.185.375.44.854.86
Going to the gym4.294.774.944.65
Going to the cinemas4.855.315.495.435.49
Going to sporting events4.264.744.734.784.96
Going to a music concert/live play4.14.574.584.454.86
Taking public transport4.794.815.014.575.5
Taking a taxi/Uber4.764.915.244.955.51

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 July, the indicator hit its lowest point since December, at 3.53.

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 the most volatile COVID Comfort Indicator over time.

Queensland

The COVID Comfort Indicator in Queensland peaked in March 2021, with an average ranking of 6 out of 10. Due to multiple lockdowns, Queensland's COVID Comfort Indicator is relatively volatile, hitting a low of 3.74 out of 10 in July.

South Australia

The COVID Comfort Indicator is the least volatile in South Australia. This is likely due to the lesser impact the pandemic has had on the state. Interestingly, South Australia has the second-lowest comfort ranking, with an average of 4.51. Going to the cinema is the activity South Australians feel most comfortable with, ranking 5.43 out of 10 on average since December.

Western Australia

Western Australians have the highest level of comfort with all activities except domestic and international travel. Taking a taxi or Uber (5.51) and taking public transport (5.50) 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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