The Dutch are less successful in keeping a meter and a half apart. This is evident from a second behavioral study by RIVM and the GGD among 50,000 people. The number of respondents who reported that others rarely, if ever, come within a five-foot radius of them decreased between May 7 and 12.
Especially when visiting friends and family, the one and a half meter rule is followed less accurately. The number of people who stick to the rule among loved ones is decreasing by 12 percent. A decrease can also be seen when shopping (-9 percent) and at work (-5 percent). 5 percent of respondents find it difficult to keep their distance.
“You can see that the decrease is slightly stronger for the things that have to do with our social life,” says Marijn de Bruin of the Core Team Corona Behavior Unit of the RIVM in the radio program. Speech makers. “With the hygiene measures it remains a bit more stable. Then we are talking about a 4 to 5 percent difference compared to a few weeks ago.”
De Bruin sees a number of causes for the decrease. “Obviously a lot of things are mixed up at the same time. We see that the numbers of the hospitals, the IC figures, are decreasing. People now consider the chance of contracting the virus somewhat less and we also see that people react less emotionally . “
The fact that people are less afraid of becoming ill means that the motivation to follow the rules decreases somewhat. “If those numbers go down, that is also a logical reaction, but then we still have to see whether we can tap a different barrel to keep motivation high”, the researcher believes, also to prevent a second peak in the number of infections.
De Bruin warns that ignoring the rules makes it more difficult to measure the success of the measures. It becomes more difficult to determine whether an increase in the number of infections is due to the relaxation or because people do not comply with the measures. “If something happens that we don’t want, we want to know for sure.”
Better avoid crowds than stay at home
The research does show that the support for the hygiene measures and the obligation to stay at home with cold complaints is still high. 90 to 95 percent continue to support those measures, as in the previous survey. Many people are also willing to avoid crowds (95 percent). When the advice was to stay at home as much as possible, 82 percent supported that.