Objective The aim of this study is to evaluate the attitude, knowledge and anxiety status of individuals about COVID-19 at the first period of the outbreak. Methods This was an observational study carried out in Turkey. An online semi-structured questionnaire was developed by using google forms and the link of the questionnaire was sent through emails, WhatsApp and other social media to the contacts of the investigators between 20th March 2020 and 25th March 2020. The questionnaire contained 21 questions and Beck anxiety scale. Results About 1070 people were included in the study. Approximately one-fifth of the participants had no idea about treatment and immunisation against COVID-19. According to the categorisation of Beck Anxiety Inventory scores 8.6% showed severe anxiety symptoms. Anxiety levels of women, healthcare workers and those with psychiatric illness were higher (P < .05). It was observed that women, healthcare professionals, those with chronic diseases and those with moderate to severe anxiety used the medical facemask more frequently (P < .05). About 73% of the participants thought that they fully implemented the proposed measures; 25.2% of them stated that population did not take any measures for the COVID-19. Conclusion According to the results of the study individuals usually had better awareness and positive attitudes towards COVID-19 pandemic, but there were also things that needed improvement. The most important measure to be taken in order to prevent anxiety from increasing is to ensure the correct access of information and to establish psychological support lines.