To contain the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, health and government authorities have imposed sweeping self-quarantine orders for communities worldwide. Health officials assume that the public will have high rates of compliance. However, studies suggest that a major obstacle to compliance for household quarantine is concern about loss of income. A cross-sectional study of the adult population of Israel was conducted in the last week of February 2020 to assess public attitudes toward the COVID-19 outbreak. In particular, public compliance rates with self-quarantine were assessed, depending on whether lost wages would be compensated for. When compensation was assumed, the compliance rate was 94 percent. When compensation was removed, the compliance rate dropped to less than 57 percent. This study demonstrated that providing people with assurances about their livelihoods during self-quarantine is an important component of compliance with public health regulations.
Keywords: COVID-19; Compensation; Compliance; Coronavirus; Decision making; Diseases; Emergency medicine; Epidemiology; Global health; Health policy; Public Health; Self-quarantine; quarantine; regulation.