Delft researchers launch mass survey of coronavirus options

Photo: Brandon Hartley
Photo: Brandon Hartley

Researchers at Delft University have started an online survey to find out what preferences people in the Netherlands have for relaxing social distancing and other coronavirus-related measures.

The project is being carried out together with the public health institute RIVM and three government ministries. Participants are given eight different scenarios to choose from, and can find out immediately what the consequences of their choice would be.

For example, the survey looks at the conditions under which people would relax the ban on visits to nursing homes, or reopen bars and cafes, and then highlights what this would mean for the health service or on people’s income.

Public voice

The questions are already being put to a representative panel of 8,000 people. But now the Delft researchers have decided to open up the questionnaire to everyone in a parallel research project.

‘It is important to people to be able to say what they think,’ researcher Anatol Itten told ‘But this survey is not just about yes and no. It is about making choices.’

The survey was launched on Wednesday but generated so many responses it had to be taken offline temporarily so server capacity could be expanded.

The survey is only available in Dutch and there is no version for mobiles. ‘We were under a lot of time pressure to get it ready, and it just was not possible to fit it all in, although we would very much like to have other languages,’ Itten said.

The results have to be handed into officials on May 7.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation