• A survey of 13 countries reveals how people are coping with COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Italians are most likely to avoid crowds. Brits will willingly stay at home.
  • Swedes are great at washing their hands but find it harder to stop touching things.

People in the UK are the most likely to voluntarily self-isolate, while Italians and Swedes say they wash their hands 14 times a day. These are just two of the ways people's behaviours have shifted thanks to Coronavirus thanks to results from a 13-country survey carried out by London’s Imperial College and YouGov.

Using a sample of around 14,000 people, the researchers wanted to find out more about how well people in each of the 13 nations are coping with measures to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. The results will eventually feed into a publicly available data-dashboard operated by the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College.

Here are a few of the findings:

Are you willing to self-isolate?

Self-isolation is a key tool in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. It’s especially important if someone suspects they may have an infection. In most countries, the majority of those surveyed said they'd stay home if they began to feel unwell. The UK topped this list with 92% of its respondents saying they'd self-isolate if they started to display symptoms.

Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
Britons are the most likely to self-isolate.
Image: YouGov

Now wash your hands

How often do you wash your hands? If you are a typical Italian or Swede, according to the study, you take to the sink 14 times each day.

Washing your hands properly with soap is one of the most important and effective ways of keeping yourself and others safe from the coronavirus, as soap breaks down the virus, rendering it inactive. Most people surveyed by YouGov and Imperial College say they wash their hands 12 or 13 times a day.

Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
Italians are the most dedicated hand-washers.
Image: YouGov

Keeping out of harm’s way

The COVID-19 threat has changed a range of other daily behaviours, too. The survey found that people around the world have reconsidered everything from touching things in public places to public transit. In fact, an overwhelming 98% of Italians told the researchers they avoid busy places, the largest share of any country surveyed.

Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
Avoidance behaviour by country.
Image: YouGov