About this issue
This publication presents results from the Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, a longitudinal survey which collects information from the same panel each month. The May 2021 survey was run between 14 and 23 May 2021 via online forms and telephone interviews. The survey included 3,371 continuing participants, a response rate of 86% of the total panel.
The May 2021 survey collected information on:
- actions taken to manage health and mental health
- attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines
- domestic and international travel intentions
- unpaid work on selected activities
- household finances (including stress, actions and changes)
- absences from work
- job status.
The scope of the survey was people aged 18 years and over in private dwellings across Australia (excluding very remote areas).
About this collection
This survey is designed to provide a quick snapshot of the changing social and economic situation for Australian households with particular focus on how they are faring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each cycle collects information on different topics.
From 1 April to 10 July 2020, the survey was conducted fortnightly with the same panel for eight cycles. From August 2020, a new panel of respondents was selected for a monthly survey. Panel members have rotated, with new members added in November 2020 and March 2021. The results for all past surveys can be accessed by selecting ‘View all releases’ in the header of this publication.
Some topics have been repeated in both the fortnightly and monthly surveys. Where relevant, comparisons are made based on the weighted representative data for both surveys. The monthly survey gathered information via online forms and telephone interviews. The previous fortnightly survey was collected via the telephone only. This change in survey methodology means that comparing topics across the two survey iterations should be treated with caution.
Proportions marked with an asterisk (*) have a Margin of Error (MoE) greater than 10 percentage points which should be considered when using this information. For more information about MoEs refer to the publication Methodology.
COVID-19 pandemic progress and interventions
From 14 to 23 May 2021, when this survey was conducted, states and territories predominately identified new cases of COVID-19 from overseas. The risk of further transmission was managed through hotel quarantine. There were no locally transmitted cases identified during the period of enumeration.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, initiatives in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the economy included:
- ongoing international travel restrictions
- border control measures for some states and territories
- two economic stimulus packages (12 March and 22 March 2020)
- a safety net package of $1.1 billion to expand mental health and Telehealth services, increase domestic violence services and provide more emergency food relief (29 March 2020)
- stimulus payments including:
- a Coronavirus Supplement paid fortnightly from 27 April 2020 to eligible income support recipients along with their usual payments (reduced in September 2020 and January 2021, and ended 31 March 2021)
- a JobKeeper Payment passed in legislation on 15 April 2020 and paid to employers to keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the COVID-19 restrictions (reduced to include two tiers in September 2020 and January 2021, and ended 28 March 2021)
- various restrictions, including shutting down non-essential services, limits on gatherings and social distancing rules from March 2020
- a guided easing of these restrictions in many states and territories using the National Cabinet agreed three step framework introduced in early May 2020
- a COVID-19 vaccination program from February 2021
- subsidised airfares to encourage tourism in selected locations around Australia.
All states and territories have eased restrictions other than for large gatherings or occasions where social distancing is difficult. Most jurisdictions require facemasks to be worn at airports and for air travel. There were no lockdowns while the May survey was conducted.
Participation in the COVID-19 vaccination program in Australia is in phases. At the time of the survey, Phase 1 of the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines was continuing. This included people aged 70 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over, people with disability or an underlying medical condition and a range of workers in specific roles.
Phase 2 of the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia was also beginning in May. This included people aged 50 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 16 to 49 years and other critical and high-risk workers.