Perceptions of COVID-19 Mitigation Measures by Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents

Organisation: NTS, RSIS

Authors: Patrick Daly, Jamie McCaughey, Caroline Brassard, Reuben Ng, Laavanya Kathiravelu, Benjamin Horton
Research Themes:
Health security
Irregular migration and the movements of people
Type: NTS Insight
13 August 2021


During the COVID-19 pandemic the Singapore government instituted a series of mitigation measures to limit local COVID-19 transmission. These mitigation measures, especially during the peak of the official ‘Circuit Breaker’ period between April and June 2020, helped contain the pandemic but also caused significant social and economic disruptions. Singapore experienced high levels of compliance with these mandatory measures. However, more insight is needed into how residents within Singapore perceived the efficacy and value of these mitigation measures and how they weighted the potential cost-benefits of the burdens of the mitigation measures versus the potential personal and communal health benefits. This NTS Insight presents data from a representative survey on the perceptions of Singaporean citizens and permanent residents on COVID-19 mitigation measures conducted between May and July 2020. Our results show consistently high levels of agreement that the Singapore government was handling the COVID-19 crisis well or very well. We found consistently high levels of support for some mitigation measures and more guarded support for others. These levels of support are in some cases influenced by demographic variables. Our data shows that people believe the government should prioritize public health over economic and other considerations when formulating COVID- 19 policy. Our data also shows a high level of willingness to continue some of the main mitigation measures (social distancing, wearing masks, health screening, etc.) for longer as needed, but with some fatigue with home-based learning. Furthermore, we found that respondents put more emphasis on their psychological well-being than their privacy.