25 June 2020
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (25 June 2020) published some of the results from the second round of the Social Impact of COVID-19 survey. This survey collected information on levels of comfort or discomfort people feel about the prospect of undertaking a range of activities in public as COVID-19 restrictions are eased as part of the government’s strategy to re-open businesses and society.
Commenting on the results, Statistician, Brian Cahill, said: ‘The findings of the survey illustrate how comfortable or otherwise Irish people are feeling at the prospect of undertaking, what we would have considered to be every-day activities prior to COVID-19 and highlights the impact COVID-19 may have on people’s behaviour into the future.
For example, in June just over one in five respondents (21.3%) report feeling Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of going to a pub or bar with two metres social distancing. This almost doubles to 39.5% when social distancing is reduced from two metres to one metre.
Respondents express less concern with the prospect of going to a restaurant, with 12.9% indicating they would feel Very Uncomfortable with two metres social distancing and 28.7% with one metre social distancing.
Four in five respondents (82.0%) report feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable at the prospect of attending an outdoor event with a large crowd without social distancing. While almost half (47.6%) report that they would feel Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable attending a place of worship for a regular religious service with social distancing.
Looking at people’s attitudes toward children’s activities, almost three in five respondents (57%) report feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with sending their child to childcare or creche, while more than half (54.6%) report feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with allowing their child play team sports with close physical contact.
Attending healthcare appointments is a concern for some members of society, as one in five respondents (18.5%) report feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable attending a GP appointment while one in three report feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable attending a hospital or dentist appointment, 33.6% and 33.1% respectively.
Comfort levels with attending health appointments tend to rise with the affluence of the area in which the respondents live. Of respondents living in Very Disadvantaged areas, 9.7% report feeling Very Comfortable attending a GP appointment, compared to 22.6% of respondents living in Very Affluent areas.
More than three in five (63.3%) report feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable travelling on public transport. Of employees currently working, those that were Working from home in June 2020 had higher levels of discomfort with travelling on public transport than those who were Working outside the home.
Almost four in five (78.0%) report feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of taking an international trip by plane compared with 63.3% taking a trip by ferry.
The effects of COVID-19 may impact the behaviour of women and men in Irish society in different ways. For example, this survey finds that men report feeling more comfortable than women with the prospect of going to a pub or a restaurant, with 32.2% reporting they would feel Comfortable or Very Comfortable going to a pub with two metres social distancing compared to 23.1% of women.
While women report feeling less comfortable than men going out to socialise (e.g. to a pub or a restaurant), women feel more comfortable at the prospect of having six people visit their home, with 47.1% of women reporting they were Comfortable or Very Comfortable with this, compared to 44.8% of men.
Just under half of women respondents (47.3%) report feeling Comfortable or Very Comfortable with the prospect of going to a hairdresser or a barber compared to 34.9% of men. While 43.7% of men report they would feel Comfortable or Very Comfortable going to a shopping centre compared to 37.2% of women.
Women are feeling more uncomfortable than men about sending their children to childcare/creche or allowing them to play team sports. Of female respondents, 65.5% report feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with allowing their child to play a team sport. This compares to 34.3% of men. Similarly, 67.7% of women report feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with sending their child to childcare or creche compared to 39.2% of men.
Respondents with lower levels of general health or who are more concerned with their own health, someone’s else health or other people’s ability to comply with government COVID-19 advice have higher levels of discomfort with the prospect of engaging in activities in public. For example, of those respondents who rate their health as Fair/bad/very bad, one third (33.9%) report feeling Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of going to a pub with two metres social distancing while those with Good health or Very good health report 19.6% and 19.2% respectively.'
The Social Impact of COVID-19 Survey published today utilised an online electronic questionnaire and telephone interviewing to produce a final achieved sample size of 1,693 individuals. Further details on the methodology can be found in the Background Notes.
Brian Cahill (087 6280807) (+353) 21 453 5173 or Gerry Reilly (087 2505165) (+353) 21 453 5700
or email ICW@CSO.ie
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