Satisfaction with COVID measures declined dramatically before Malta went tough, survey finds

A Eurobarometer survey held at the peak of the second wave last February showed a 39-point decline in satisfaction with anti-COVID measures and a nine-point dip in government’s trust rating

Government adopted tough COVID restrictions in March as the country reeled under record daily infections
Government adopted tough COVID restrictions in March as the country reeled under record daily infections

A Europe-wide survey held just before strict restrictive measures to combat COVID-19 were introduced shows how public satisfaction had declined by a massive 39 points.

The Eurobarometer survey published today was carried out between 12 February and 11 March.

It was on 10 March that the government ordered all non-essential shops and services as well as schools to close amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. The day was marked by an all-time peak of 510 new cases.

The survey asked respondents to state how satisfied they are with the measures taken to fight the coronavirus pandemic by the national government.

The findings show that the level of satisfaction stood at 53%, a dramatic decline from 92% registered last summer after the pandemic’s first wave.

The percentage of those who were not satisfied increased by 38 points in February/March as Malta grappled with a surge in cases.

Moreover, the decline in satisfaction with regards to COVID measures is also reflected in a lower trust rating for government in the same period.

The survey shows that trust in national government in Malta dipped from 58% last summer to 49% in the latest survey.

This decline mirrors a similar decline registered in a MaltaToday survey held during the same timeframe.

The Eurobarometer survey was held before the announcement of stricter measures, which are now being lifted gradually and prudently.

The latest MaltaToday survey held in April showed Robert Abela’s trust rating increasing by seven points when compared to the previous month when it had reached an all-time low.

This indicates that a stricter approach to the pandemic paid off in restoring trust in the government, which was previously in free-fall. 

The Eurobarometer survey also shows a six-point increase in those who think that the pandemic is having serious economic consequences for Malta.

The survey also shows that 54% expect the Maltese economy to recover by 2023 while 32% expect it to recover in 2022. Only 4% expect the economy to recover in 2021.