Income assurances are a crucial factor in determining public compliance with self-isolation regulations during the COVID-19 outbreak – cohort study in Israel

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Abstract

Background: The outbreak of a new Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) poses dramatic challenges to public health authorities worldwide. One measure put in place to contain the spread of the disease is self-quarantine of individuals who may have been exposed to the disease. While officials expect the public to comply with such regulation, studies suggest that a major obstacle to compliance for self-quarantine is concern over loss of income or employment due to the prolonged absence from work. Methods: A cohort study of the adult population of Israel was conducted in two time points during the COVID-19 outbreak, the last week of February and the third week of March 2020, in order to assess public attitudes. In particular, public compliance rates to self-quarantine with and without State-sponsored compensation for lost wages were assessed. Results: The results suggest that public attitudes changed as the threat increased, making people more compliant with regulations. In February 2020, compliance rate for self-quarantine dropped from 94% to less than 57% when monetary compensation for lost wages was removed; however, in March 2020 this drop became more moderate (from 96 to 71%). The multivariate logistic regression revealed that older, non-Jewish, worried over COVID-19, and trusting the Ministry of Health were more likely than their counterparts to comply with self-isolation, even when monetary compensation was not assumed. Conclusions: Despite the effects of threat on people’s obedience with regulations, this study demonstrates that providing people with assurances about their livelihood during absence from work remains an important component in compliance with public health regulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • COVID-19
  • Cohort
  • Compensation
  • Compliance
  • Self-quarantine

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