A recent survey has found that Australians feel more comfortable returning to venues that are taking health and safety seriously through the use of temperature checks and other protocols.

The Toluna and Harris Interactive COVID-19 Barometer surveyed 1096 Australians in June to get a better picture of attitudes towards returning to hospitality and entertainment experiences as these industries reopened. The responses show that while some Australians are still wary of being in public spaces, many would be more likely to visit places that clearly show they are taking health and safety seriously.

With the onset of winter, nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians surveyed said they’re more concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 than an economic downturn, compared with 42 per cent who were more worried about the economy. As such, 26 per cent of respondents said they are less likely to eat out, and 23 per cent are less likely to go to bars. One in five respondents said they intend to hold off going out altogether until a vaccine is found for COVID-19.

It’s not all bad news though. The research found that many Australians are more likely to frequent hospitality venues that are clearly taking health and safety seriously. Respondents suggested that they would feel safer and more comfortable frequenting venues that limit capacity numbers; provided hand sanitiser and masks; implemented temperature checks upon entry; and utilised Perspex screens between people where possible and appropriate.

“It’s clear that Australians have faith that social distancing measures put in place have been successful in curbing COVID-19 in the country, so entertainment and hospitality venues need to take this seriously,” stated Stephen Walker, business director ANZ for Toluna.

“Australians want to go out and support their local bars, clubs and restaurants, but they’re looking to venues to take the lead when it comes to implementing health and safety precautions.”

What patrons want

The Toluna and Harris Interactive survey found Australians are more likely to visit venues with the following protocols in place:

  • 48% would be more likely to visit venues which provided hand sanitiser and masks
  • 47% want venues to limit numbers through social distancing
  • 43% would like venues to temperature check patrons to allow entry
  • 33% would like to see Perspex screens between people, where possible

This article was first published in the July issue of Australian Hotelier.

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