With COVID-19 changing the way we live and work - from being able to hold group meetings to now having to limit the numbers; or even from grabbing lunch with co-workers to now eating solo, we've all had to adapt in one way or another. 

Further, in some countries, wearing face masks in public and keeping a bottle of sanitiser on hand has become the norm among other precautionary measures. How do these practices differ across ASEAN countries, and which are the most/least likely nations to follow a certain practice?

According to a recent survey, out of respondents in six nations - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam - Thais were found to be the most likely ones to wear face masks in public, and to use hand sanitisers (95% and 89% respectively).

On the other hand, while wearing masks in public is mandatory in Singapore (except when carrying out vigorous exercises), respondents in the country were least likely to do so (66%), and the second least likely to use hand sanitisers (68%).

On the other hand, Malaysia fared in the middle - with 89% either always or frequently wearing masks in public, and 77% said so for hand sanitisers; while Indonesians were least likely to use hand sanitisers (66%) but likely to wear face masks (87%).

priya may 2020 yougov survey facemasks website

Malaysians were least likely to avoid large social gatherings and going out

Another frequently urged precautionary measure is to avoid large social gatherings of more than 10 people, and to only go out for essential needs. In line with this, when asked how often they did follow these measures, a majority of respondents said 'rarely' or not at all'.

However, Malaysians were the least likely to take these steps - with 22% less likely to avoid going out in general, and 20% less likely to avoid large social gatherings. This presents a huge contrast with neighbours across the straits in Singapore, with 7% and 4% not following them respectively.

priya may 2020 yougov survey going out website

Survey methodology

The data is based on the interviews of 12,999 adults aged 18 and over across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. This survey was conducted by YouGov/Imperial College London fielded between 30 March 2020 to 27 April 2020. All interviews were conducted online and results have been weighted to be nationally representative.


Lead image / iStock

Infographics / Yougov

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