Authors: Latsuzbaia A, Herold M, Bertemes JP, Mossong J
We conducted an internet survey using Survey Monkey over six weeks to evaluate the impact of the government interventions on social contact patterns in Luxembourg. Participants were recruited via the science.lu website on March 25, April 2, April 16, May 1 during lockdown, and June 12 and June 25 after the lockdown to provide an estimate of their number of contacts within the previous 24 hours. During the lockdown, a total of 5,644 survey participants with a mean age of 44.2 years reported 18,118 contacts (mean = 3.2, IQR 1–4). The average number of contacts per day increased by 24% from 2.9 to 3.6 over the lockdown period. The average number of contacts decreased with age: 4.2 (IQR 2–5) for participants below 25 years and 1.7 (IQR 1–2) for participants above 64 years. Residents of Portuguese nationality reported a higher number of contacts (mean = 4.3, IQR 2–5) than Luxembourgish (mean = 3.5, IQR 2–4) or other foreign residents, respectively. After lockdown, 1,119 participants reported 7,974 contacts with 7.1 (IQR 3–9) contacts per day on average, of which 61.7% (4,917/7,974) occurred without a facemask (mean = 4.9, IQR 2–6). While the number of social contacts was substantially lower during the lockdown by more than 80% compared to the pre-pandemic period, we observed a more recent 121% increase during the post lockdown period showing an increased potential for COVID-19 spread. Monitoring social contacts is an important indicator to estimate the possible impact of government interventions on social contacts and the COVID-19 spread in the coming months.