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 November 2020 survey was run between 13 and 23 November 2020 via online forms and telephone interviews. The survey included around 1,370 continuing participants and responses from around 2,030 new participants, bringing the total panel to 3,400 people.
The November 2020 survey collected information on:
- comfort with shopping in person
- feelings of emotional and mental wellbeing
- use of Telehealth services
- health precautions
- care and assistance provided to vulnerable people inside and outside the household
- use of stimulus payments
- job status and absences from work
- perceptions of the future after the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 August 2020, the survey introduced a new panel of respondents but kept a similar design to the eight fortnightly surveys conducted from 1 April to 10 July 2020. The results for all past publications 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) >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 13 to 23 November 2020, when this survey was conducted, most newly acquired cases in Australia were from overseas and managed through hotel quarantine. South Australia was the only state to identify a cluster through local transmission, which led to a short-term lockdown and stronger restrictions to manage the spread. Over the time that interviews were conducted, the cluster in South Australia had reached around 18 cases.
New South Wales reported an average of 6 new cases of COVID-19 daily, all from overseas. Other states and territories continued to have low daily cases and Victoria reported no new cases during the survey.
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)
- 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)
- stimulus payments including:
- a Coronavirus Supplement paid fortnightly from 27 April to eligible income support recipients along with their usual payments (reduced in late September and paid until the end of December)
- a JobKeeper Payment passed in legislation on 15 April 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 and extended until March 2021)
- various restrictions, including shutting down non-essential services, limits on gatherings and social distancing rules from March
- a guided easing of these restrictions in many states and territories using the National Cabinet agreed three step framework introduced in early May.
At the time of the survey, many states and territories were in the final stage of easing restrictions but progress had slowed in some areas due to the cluster in Adelaide. South Australia implemented a strict short-term lockdown that lasted for three days, with additional restrictions still in place once the lockdown ended.
The second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria from mid-June 2020 led to stronger restrictions within the state from August. After a number of days with zero new cases most restrictions were lifted, with the last step in the roadmap for reopening Victoria implemented from 22 November. This last stage included:
- no restrictions on reasons to leave home
- face masks to be worn in crowded outdoor spaces and indoor public spaces
- venues and facilities to have COVIDSafe plans, density limits, record keeping and regular cleaning
- phased plans for returning to workplaces
- a return to all sports and recreation with limits on numbers of people.