Trust in Public Institutions and Compliance with Measures Against the COVID-19 Pandemic. Case Study on the Metropolitan Area of Cluj, Romania

  • Bianca Radu
Keywords: trust, public institutions, COVID-19 pandemic, Romania, policy compliance


The goal of this article is to analyze the level of citizens’ trust in different public institutions during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, and the influence of citizens’ trust on their compliance with the measures adopted to prevent the spread of the virus. The research was conducted between November and December 2020 on a sample of 700 residents of the Metropolitan Area of Cluj, Romania. During the time of data collection, Romania registered the largest number of daily COVID-19 cases, therefore, citizens’ compliance with preventive measures was crucial to contain the spread of the virus. Citizens reported high levels of compliance with preventive measures. However, even though people were recommended to avoid meetings with relatives and friends, and participation to private events with large number of people, respondents reported that they did not fully comply with social distancing requirements. Citizens have the highest level of trust in public institutions at the local level, medical institutions and County Committees for Emergency Situations. The research found that trust in public institutions influences the compliance with preventive measures; however, the influence is weak and the trust in different institutions influences differently policy compliance.