BACKGROUND: The use of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) is one of the main tools used in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic response, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, face mask use, respiratory hygiene and use of contact tracing apps. Literature on compliance with NPI during the COVID-19 pandemic is limited.
METHODS: We studied this compliance and associated factors in Portugal, between 28th October 2020 and 11th January 2021 (Portuguese second and third waves of the pandemic), using logistic regressions. Data were collected through a web-based survey and included questions regarding NPI compliance, COVID-19-related concerns, perception of institutions' performance, agreement with the measures implemented and socio-demographic characteristics.
RESULTS: From the 1263 eligible responses, we found high levels of compliance among all COVID-19 related NPI, except for the contact tracing app. Females and older participants showed the highest compliance levels, whereas the opposite was observed for previously infected participants. There was heterogeneity of COVID-19 NPI compliance across Portuguese regions and a clear gradient between concern, government performance's perception or agreement and compliance.
CONCLUSIONS: Results suggested areas for further study with important implications for pandemic management and communication, for future preparedness, highlighting other factors to be accounted for when recommending policy measures during public health threats.