A new poll conducted by the Social Sciences Department of the University of Iceland shows a stark contrast between the most prominent discourse about Iceland’s coronavirus restrictions—both domestically and at the border—and how Icelanders themselves actually feel about them.
“Our most important results are that, despite loud voices within the media about ‘violations of our freedoms’, the general public is generally satisfied with the restrictions that were put in place in mid-August,” the study text reads in part. This conclusion was reached by sending a questionnaire to 500 individuals, every day, from August 13th to August 23rd. In so doing, they hoped to see how, or if, people’s opinions of the restrictions changed over time.
When viewed in whole, only 13% said they believed domestic restrictions needed to be relaxed; 24% wanted even tighter restrictions; and 63% were fine with them just the way they are. Icelanders’ view of the border restrictions were similar, showing 13% wanting more relaxed border controls; 34% believing they should be relaxed; and 50% wanting them unchanged.
When respondents were asked to choose between either tighter domestic restrictions or tighter border restrictions, 67% chose tougher border measures; 18% wanted tougher domestic restrictions; and 16% wanted neither.
Kjarninn points out an interesting trend over the time period of the daily questionnaires: those who wanted more relaxed domestic restrictions went from 7% to 19%, but those who wanted stricter domestic restrictions went from 18% to 35%, while those who were content with the restrictions as they are went from 49% to 71%. When it comes to border restrictions, those wanting tougher measures went from 55% to 18%; while those who wanted to relax them went from 4% to 19%.
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