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In May 2020, we reported that a large proportion of the survey respondents were undertaking actions, such as washing their hands and avoiding social gatherings, to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Back then, it seemed that taking precautions was more common among those  who thought they might have been exposed to the disease.

For our latest analysis, we combined the Round 1 and Round 2 survey data to compare respondents’ behaviours during the first (end-March-early May 2020) and second (since early December) lockdowns in Germany.

The number of countermeasures for COVID-19 the respondents in Germany adopted went up from an average of 6.0 in April-May 2020 to 6.6 in the last three months of 2020. While this increase doesn’t look significant, it is actually a vast effort on a national level. In the German context, that means several million additional countermeasures taken to avoid COVID-19.

The share of respondents who avoided using public transport was very high at around 80% in April-May 2020. As the first wave of the pandemic passed, this number declined to about 60% by October 2020. With the second wave of the pandemic, the number of respondents who avoided public transport increased to 75% in December 2020. 

When the second wave of the pandemic hit, our respondents decreased the number of social contacts they had: The average number of friends and family members met per week halved from 8,4 in October to 4 in December. Nevertheless, the graph below shows that during the last week of the year, due to the holiday season, the average number of people met increased to 5.

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