NEWS19 October 2020

Face-to-face research allowed under UK tier system

Covid-19 News UK

UK – The Market Research Society (MRS) has confirmed that face-to-face research can still be carried out under the UK’s new Covid-19 restrictions, but that researchers should be careful to comply with any local prevention measures.


The MRS updated its guidance following the introduction by the government of a tier system for the UK, bringing in measures designed to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in local areas. Areas are categorised either medium, high or very high risk, with different rules in place for each tier.

The new guidance from MRS underlines that research is a business activity rather than a social activity, and therefore face-to-face research is still allowed except in areas heavily affected by the new Covid-19 restrictions.

Social restrictions on numbers, such as household bubbles, do not apply for work-based activities, including research according to the guidance, but research is expected to be carried out on the doorstep rather than in-home.

Researchers should review whether face-to-face research is appropriate if severe Covid-19 restrictions are in place, however, and should resort to alternatives such as telephone, online or post in very high-risk areas.

Researchers should also check to see what additional restrictions apply in their local areas, and follow any local lockdown measures that might be imposed.

Social distancing and face masks should be used in any face-to-face research, the guidance adds.

The full guidance can be read here