“Group Gathering Prohibition Index” (GGPI) mini-policy forum (2021-07-30)

Jul 30, 2020
Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute Press Conference – Press Materials

Press Conference Live

Detailed Findings

 

Abstract

On 21 April 2020, the Hong Kong Public Opinion Program (POP) under the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (HKPORI) piloted the “Post-Epidemic Work Resumption Index (PEWRI, 疫後復工指數)”. On 7 April 2021, POP launched an index called “Group Gathering Prohibition Index (GGPI, 限聚指數)”, aims to indicate people’s acceptance of the “Group Gathering Ban 限聚令” on a daily basis, along with their acceptance of various prohibition limits. GGPI stands at 15.3 today, and 88% considered the current ban too strict. Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “Hong Kong International Travel Expo opened today. The numbers inspire us. There were usually 60 million travellers coming to Hong Kong annually and now we only have one-thousandth of them. The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said that while the tough situation of the tourism industry could not be reversed in the short run, the industry should get prepared and reformed to attract more tourists. The message is that tourism has no hope in the near future. The terms ‘prepared’ and ‘reformed’ are just typical bureaucratic jargons.”

Background

As the coronavirus epidemic in Hong Kong subsides, people begin to discuss under what conditions should everyday life go back to normal, starting from one’s work life then non-work life in the personal, family, community and societal domains.

While it may be the government’s responsibility to decide what policies to take in helping society recover after the epidemic, POP considers it important to gauge people’s views in this aspect in a timely manner to facilitate rational deliberations in society based on scientific evidence.

On 21 April 2020, POP piloted the “Post-Epidemic Work Resumption Index (PEWRI, 疫後復工指數)”. After experimenting with a pilot design and collecting data non-stopped, POP has developed three more indexes with more sophisticated designs. They are grouped under the generic name of “Post-Epidemic Normality Resumption Indexes (PENRI, 疫後復常指數)”.

Among the PENRI indexes, there comes an index “Post-Epidemic Gathering Resumption Index” (PEGRI), developed to show the percentage of people wishing to see an end to the government-imposed Group Gathering Ban 限聚令. However, along with the development of the ban, PORI sees the need to revise its survey questions in order to better interpret the figures and to understand the public’s view under the current policy framework. Here are the survey questions firstly used in April 2020:

What do you think is the appropriate timing to completely lift the regulation prohibiting gatherings of more than a specific number of people in public places under the pandemic?

(Please select the closest answer; If there is no suitable answer at all, please select “don’t know / hard to say”.)

  • Should completely lift the regulation prohibiting gatherings of more than a specific number of people in public places unconditionally
  • Number of recovered cases exceeds newly confirmed cases each day
  • Number of newly confirmed cases each day falls to a single digit
  • No more newly confirmed local case
  • No more newly confirmed local or imported case
  • No more newly confirmed local case in L consecutive days (Please input L in the next page)
  • No more newly confirmed local and imported case in N consecutive days (Please input N in the next page)
  • Don’t know / hard to say

How many consecutive days (the value of L mentioned before) with no more newly confirmed local case do you think there should be before it is appropriate to completely lift the regulation prohibiting gatherings of more than a specific number of people in public places?

____________________

How many consecutive days (the value of N mentioned before) with no more newly confirmed local and imported case do you think there should be before it is appropriate to completely lift the regulation prohibiting gatherings of more than a specific number of people in public places?

____________________

 

In light of the changing socio-political environment in Hong Kong, HKPORI issued a statement on 1 April 2021 to say that its role as an independent scientific researcher has become more important than ever, and that it would constantly review and revise its research methodologies in order to stay at the forefront of local and international research. A few days later, on 7 April 2021, POP launched its “Group Gathering Prohibition Index (GGPI, 限聚指數)” to indicate people’s acceptance of the “Group Gathering Ban 限聚令” on a daily basis, along with their acceptance of various prohibition limits. As a matter of fact, POP has already introduced the following survey questions in January 2021:

Do you think the regulation prohibiting gatherings of more than a specific number of people in public places should be completely lifted unconditionally in Hong Kong?

  • Yes, the ban should be lifted unconditionally  Skip questions related to this regulation
  • No, it should depend on the epidemic situation
  • Don’t know / hard to say

How many newly confirmed cases each day should there be before it would be appropriate to prohibit gatherings of more than 2 people?
[The pandemic should be at its worst; For reference, there are 9 newly confirmed cases on March 25, 2021]

(To opt for “don’t know / hard to say”, please input 99999)

____________________

How many newly confirmed cases each day should there be before it would be appropriate to prohibit gatherings of more than 4 people?
[The number of newly confirmed cases should be fewer than that in the previous question]

(To opt for “don’t know / hard to say”, please input 99999)

____________________

How many newly confirmed cases each day should there be before it would be appropriate to prohibit gatherings of more than 8 people?
[The number of newly confirmed cases should be fewer than that in the previous question]

(To opt for “don’t know / hard to say”, please input 99999)

____________________

How many newly confirmed cases each day should there be before it would be appropriate to prohibit gatherings of more than 16 people?
[The number of newly confirmed cases should be fewer than that in the previous question]

(To opt for “don’t know / hard to say”, please input 99999)

____________________

Please list combinations of [number of cases & number of people allowed in gatherings] that you think is appropriate in the field below:

______________________________________________________________________________

As one can see, instead of asking about people’s view on completely lifting the gathering ban, the newly set survey questions probed in more details to include their acceptable prohibition limit matched to the number of confirmed COVID cases. After collecting the data, POP would make reference to the daily confirmed COVID cases and check on how many respondents would find the current gathering ban policy too lenient, appropriate or too strict. If the acceptable prohibition limits are lower than the current ban, they are categorized as “too lenient”. On the other hand, if the prohibition limits are higher than the current ban, they would be grouped as “too strict”. If the prohibition limit matches the current policy, it would be considered as “appropriate”.

Since the public’s view on the gathering ban has proven not to change rapidly after a few months’ test, POP has decided to run such benchmarking surveys only once every month or whenever there are changes in the policy. Daily index figures can be obtained simply by checking on the table of index values versus the number of confirmed cases as compiled from the latest benchmark survey results. Whenever a benchmark survey is conducted, a new table will be compiled, and new index values and acceptance levels can be located.

Starting from this release, we have also added two appendix tables to show contact information of all benchmark surveys conducted, and the daily figures of GGPI and “group gathering prohibition acceptance level” since the first day of 2021.

Contact Information of the Latest Benchmark Survey

Survey date : 16/7 15:00 – 21/7 15:00
Survey method : Online survey
Target population : Hong Kong residents aged 12+
Total sample size : 5,636
Response rate : 6.1%
Sampling error[1] : Sampling error of percentages at +/-1% at 95% confidence level
Weighting method : The figures are rim-weighted according to 1) gender-age distribution of Hong Kong population and by District Councils population figures from Census and Statistics Department; 2) Voting results of District Councils Election from Registration and Electoral Office; 3) rating distribution of Chief Executive from regular tracking surveys.
[1] All error figures in this release are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times with different random samples, we would expect 95 times having the population parameter within the respective error margins calculated. Because of sampling errors, when quoting percentages, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, whereas one decimal place can be used when quoting rating figures.

Latest Findings

Table 1: Group Gathering Prohibition Acceptance Level & Group Gathering Prohibition Index

Date 24/7/21[2] 25/7/21[2] 26/7/21[2] 27/7/21[2] 28/7/21[2] 29/7/21[2] 30/7/21[2]
Infected case(s) (ytd) 2 2 3 0 1 1 2
Too lenient 5% 5% 6% 3% 4% 4% 5%
Appropriate 7% 7% 8% 0% 2% 2% 7%
Too strict 88% 88% 86% 96% 93% 93% 88%
Group Gathering Prohibition Index[3] 15.3 15.3 15.1 17.2 16.5 16.5 15.3
[2] Results based on the eleven benchmark survey.

[3] The maximum value is set at 20 persons, according to the simulation of data collected from the latest benchmark survey. This value will be reviewed after each benchmark survey.

 

Chart 1: Group Gathering Prohibition Acceptance Level & Group Gathering Prohibition Index

Commentary

Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “Hong Kong International Travel Expo opened today. The numbers inspire us. There were usually 60 million travellers coming to Hong Kong annually and now we only have one-thousandth of them. The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said that while the tough situation of the tourism industry could not be reversed in the short run, the industry should get prepared and reformed to attract more tourists. The message is that tourism has no hope in the near future. The terms ‘prepared’ and ‘reformed’ are just typical bureaucratic jargons.”

Appendices

Please refer to HKPOP website https://www.pori.hk/?lang=en

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