Survey reveals people following social distancing and face covering guidelines

96 per cent of people in Wales now say they always wear a face covering in shops, the latest national engagement survey conducted by Public Health Wales has revealed.

The survey also shows that 62 per cent of people report that most or all of the people they know are following social distancing guidelines.

Professor Mark Bellis, Director of Policy and International Health at Public Health Wales, said: “It is very encouraging to see that the vast majority of people are adopting the guidance on how to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

“We continue to learn more about the virus and what works best to prevent it and try to communicate such information to the public.

“At the moment our findings suggest that almost one third (32 per cent) of people think having a sore throat is a reason to ask for a Coronavirus test. This is not the case and you should only seek a test for Coronavirus if you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature or loss of or change to your sense of taste or smell.”

In other results, just over one in five (21 per cent) people have been worrying a lot about their mental health and wellbeing, with 55 per cent of those with children in their household also worrying a lot about the wellbeing of their children.

Professor Karen Hughes who coordinates the survey for Public Health Wales said: “We are living through a very difficult time at the moment so it’s to be expected that we would see a rise in concerns about mental health and wellbeing.

“There is a lot of support available online for people who are worried about their mental health and wellbeing during Coronavirus, and there are things that we can all do to take care of how we are feeling.

“Remembering to stay CALM is a big help. CALM stands for:

C – calming activities to make you feel better

A – attending to basic needs to help your body

L – learning to re-think to help your thoughts

M – making yourself feel good to help what you are doing day to day

“There are more resources to support mental health and wellbeing from the How Are You Doing campaign at www.phw.nhs.wales/howareyoudoing If you have serious concerns for your mental health please do contact your GP.” 

The latest Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) public engagement survey report from Public Health Wales covers the period of 21 - 27 September, when 601 people were surveyed.

Every two weeks, Public Health Wales conducts interviews with hundreds of people aged 18 or over across Wales, to understand how Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures being used to prevent its spread are affecting the physical, mental and social wellbeing of people in Wales.

The survey is part of a raft of measures implemented by Public Health Wales to support public health and wellbeing through Coronavirus.

The full report is available on the Public Health Wales website.