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Research Results

56% of adults – including a million workers – want to stay in isolation

22 Apr 20

56% of adults – including a million workers – want to stay in isolation
1 million+ workers want to stay isolated

Most adults will – or would like to – stay in isolation after Alert Level 4 restrictions are lifted.

56% of adults say they will definitely or most likely stay isolated.

Those definitely or most likely to stay isolated include 1,096,500 full or part time workers.

The results are from a nationwide April 7-12 Horizon Research survey of 1,267 adults.

Horizon says this has implications for businesses who are awaiting approval to open again and whose business model is fundamentally built on staff attendance at their premises but have made temporary arrangements for workers to work from home. 

All respondents were asked whether, if Alert Level 4 restrictions are eased, they would still stay in isolation at home to protect themselves from infection.  The results were analysed by employment status to determine the potential effect on businesses.


  • 12% (an estimated 427,800 adults) said they would definitely stay in isolation.  This included 131,200 full-time workers and 44,700 part-time workers.
  • 45% (an estimated 1,603,500 adults) said they would most likely stay in isolation.  This included 639,300 full-time workers (44%) and 281,300 part-time workers (45%).
  • 34% (an estimated 1,222,400 adults) say they are unlikely to stay in isolation.  This includes an esteemed 599,000 full time workers (38%) and 227,700 part-time workers (29%).


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1,267 members of the HorizonPoll National Panel, representing the New Zealand population 18+, responded to the survey between 7 and 12 April 2020.

The sample is weighted on age, gender, highest education level, personal income, region and employment status to ensure it matches the population at the 2018 Census. The maximum margin of error at a 95% confidence level is ±2.8% overall.


For more information about this survey or additional analysis, please contact Grant McInman on 021 076 2040, email