Information on Coronavirus COVID-19 for AMSRS members and Company|Client Partners

13th Mar 20




Date: 13.03.2020


Undertaking Research: Some Considerations for Members and Company/ Client Partners

AMSRS recommends the following steps are taken into consideration when undertaking research activities in Australia to minimise potential infection to staff, participants and contractors.


Research Staff

  1. If research staff begin to feel unwell and/or have visited a high-risk country within the last 14 days or been in contact with anyone who has visited a high-risk area, ask them to self-isolate and to work from home (if the staff are fit to do so and they role enables home working). This includes all interviewers, contractors, freelancers, recruiters and temporary workers.
  2. Provide guidance to staff on what they must do to self-isolate.
  3. Provide guidance to staff on what actions will be undertaken should offices become infected.
  4. Contact to receive appropriate advice if you have evidence or concerns of any staff or participants being infected with Covid-19.


Participant Recruitment

If approaching individuals face to face to participate in research interviewers/recruiters/researchers should:

  • Avoid people who look visibly unwell
  • Stand at least 1.5 metres (4 feet) away from the potential participant
  • Carry tissues and bacterial wipes and throw away in a bin any which are used
  • Avoid touching their nose, mouth or eyes
  • Avoid any physical contact such as shaking an individual’s hand


When developing the screener questions (via online, telephone or face to face) to establish whether individuals qualify for a face to face project, researchers should add some additional questions to determine:

  • Whether individuals have visited or been in close contact with any individuals who have visited, or travelled through (via transfers, etc) any of the high-risk areas
  • Whether individuals are experiencing any flu-like symptoms
  • Whether individuals have been in close contact with individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms

    People who respond to the screener questions in a way which indicates they have a high risk of infection should not be recruited for face to face research. These people could be recruited for either online or telephone studies if obtaining such information is unlikely to expose the interviewer/recruiter/researcher to potential infection.

    The Covid-19 screener questions, can only be collected with the informed consent of participants as they include the collection of sensitive information (about people’s health),- refer to rule 21 of the AMSRS Code of Professional Behaviour.

    NOTE When recording the responses to the screener questions no inferences should be made to the actual health of the participant. Researchers are not health professionals. The screener questions being recommended are to be used to reduce potential risk to others involved in research (interviewers, recruiters, researchers and other participants).


During Face to Face Research

Before face-to-face research commences the screener questions to establish Covid-19 risk should be repeated. Any individuals whose screener responses raises concerns should be asked to withdraw from the research.


If participants are screened out prior to the commencement of the research, they should be refunded for any costs (such as travel) they have incurred in order to participate in research.


When setting up venues and/or facilities being used for the face to face research undertake the following:

  • Position participants and those involved in the research (e.g. researchers, moderators, recruiters, venue staff, hosts, interviewers) at least 1.5 metres apart from each other
  • Provide hand sanitizer
  • Provide adequate washroom facilities which have hot water and soap
  • If providing refreshments, ensure that the servers are trained to handle refreshments in an appropriate manner
  • If providing goods as incentives, ensure they are wrapped/sealed before handing to participants


Provide participants with a telephone number, website, and/or email address for your research organisation which participants should contact if they become infected with Covid-19 following a research project.


Contact immediately upon receiving notification of any participants who have become infected with Covid-19.


Act swiftly on advice from the in relation to your staff and participants following the reporting of a Covid-19 infection.





Date: 09.03.2020


The AMSRS is continuously monitoring the COVID-19 situation and looking at implications for our Members, Company and Client Partners and their businesses.


AMSRS Events:

At this time, no restrictions are in place to prevent meetings and travel within the Australia, or places where we hold events. All AMSRS events that are currently planned to take place as scheduled. The AMSRS is taking precautions to ensure the health of all event participants and we are consulting the latest guidance from the and public health authorities.


With the situation evolving rapidly, we also encourage our members, participants and staff to consult these sources as they prepare for events and lead their companies.

Australian Government Department of Health
World Health Organization advice for the public

World Health Organization planning recommendations for mass gatherings

Johns Hopkins University live tracker



Information for Members and Company & Client Partner organisations on COVID-19


A virus can spread from person to person and may vary greatly. Sustained person-to-person spread in the community has been reported in China and continues to spread internationally.

Symptoms of COVID-19 reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. It is reported that symptoms could appear as long as 14 days after exposure.

The novel coronavirus outbreak represents a significant risk to Australia and therefore the federal government has taken a precautionary approach in line with preparedness and response guidance for a pandemic, working collaboratively with state and territory and whole of government partners to implement strategies to minimise disease transmission through strong border measures and widespread communication activities.

Australia will approach this novel coronavirus outbreak by undertaking activities to:

  1. monitor and investigate outbreaks as they occur;

  2. identify and characterise the nature of the virus and the clinical severity of the disease;

  3. research respiratory disease-specific management strategies;

  4. respond promptly and effectively to minimise the novel coronavirus outbreak impact;

  5. undertake strategies to minimise the risk of further disease transmission; and

  6. contribute to the rapid and confident recovery of individuals, communities and services.

For further information download a full version of the COVID-19 PLAN at



The attached table provides a summary of COVID-19 PLAN and guidance in interpreting this for businesses.







Kind regards


Elissa Molloy


Australian Market & Social Research Society

P: +61 2 9566 3100

M: 0417 155 325



Find us on: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook