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Introduction and Summary of Results

This release has been compiled during the COVID-19 crisis. The results contained in this release reflect some of the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 situation. For further information on survey methodology see Background Notes.

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The second round of the social impact of COVID-19 survey was undertaken to measure the impact COVID-19 has had on Irish society in June 2020. This household survey was carried out between Wednesday 10 June and Wednesday 17 June and was based on a sample of 5,566 persons 18 years and over. the survey utilised an online electronic questionnaire and telephone interviewing to produce a final achieved sample size of 1,693 individuals.

This publication presents the level of comfort respondents reported feeling at the prospect of undertaking a range of activities in public as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. Analysis is provided across personal, household and other characteristics, reflecting the impact COVID-19 has had on different sections of Irish society and highlighting how it may affect people’s behaviour into the future.

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The main results of the second round of the Social Impact of COVID-19 survey are presented below.

Pubs and Restaurants by Social Distancing Rules

  • More than one in five (21.3%) respondents reported feeling Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of going to a pub or a bar with two metres social distancing.
  • The number of respondents who reported feeling Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of going to a pub almost doubled to 39.5% when social distancing is reduced from two metres to one metre.
  • One in eight (12.9%) respondents indicated that they would feel Very Uncomfortable going to a restaurant with two metres social distancing and 28.7% with one metre social distancing.
  • Men were more likely to report that they would feel comfortable going to a pub, with 32.2% Comfortable or Very Comfortable with the prospect of going with 2 metres social distancing compared to 23.1% of women.

Outdoor Events and Religious Services

  • Four in five (82.0%) reported feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable at the prospect of attending an outdoor event with a large crowd and no social distancing.
  • Almost half (47.6%) of respondents reported that they would feel Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable attending a place of worship for a regular religious service with social distancing.
  • Almost two in five (37.2%) reported feeling Comfortable or Very Comfortable attending a place of worship for a regular religious service with social distancing.

Hairdressers and Shopping Centres

  • Just under half (47.3%) of female respondents reported feeling Comfortable or Very Comfortable with the prospect of going to a hairdresser or a barber compared to 34.9% of male respondents.
  • Over two in five (43.7%) men reported they would feel Comfortable or Very Comfortable going to a shopping centre compared to 37.2% of women.

Children’s Activities and Household Gatherings

  • Almost three in five (57%) respondents living in households with children reported feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with sending their child to childcare or creche, while over half (54.6%) reported feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable allowing their child play team sports with close physical contact.
  • Over two thirds (67.7%) of women reported feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with sending their child to childcare or creche compared to 39.2% of men.
  • While women reported feeling less comfortable than men going out to socialise (e.g. to a pub or a restaurant), women reported feeling more comfortable at the prospect of having six people visit their home, with 47.1% of women reporting that they were Comfortable or Very Comfortable with this, compared to 44.8% of men.

Healthcare Appointments

  • Of respondents, 62.6% reported feeling Comfortable or Very Comfortable attending a GP appointment, 49.8% with attending a hospital appointment and 48.4% with attending the dentist.
  • Comfort levels with attending health appointments tended to rise with the affluence of the area in which the respondents live.  Of respondents living in Very Disadvantaged areas, 9.7% reported being Very Comfortable attending a GP appointment, compared to 22.6% of respondents living in Very Affluent areas.

Transport and Travel

  • More than three in five (63.3%) respondents reported feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable travelling on public transport with social distancing.
  • Of respondents currently employed, 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%) respondents reported feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of taking an international trip by plane compared with 63.3% taking a trip by ferry.

Methodological Note

The results presented in this publication have been weighted to best reflect the population.  Due to time and resource constraints, there were limitations on the sample size and selection methodology.  Consequently, caution must be exercised when making inferences to the entire population from these results. Nonetheless, this data provides a valuable insight into the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of many people in Ireland.  For further details on the survey methodology, see Background Notes.

This is the second publication from the second round of the Social Impact of COVID-19 survey, the first of which, titled A Snapshot of Experience and Expectations in a Pandemic, was published on Wednesday 24th June and focused on themes such as health, compliance working life and spending. 

Table 1.1 Summary of results
 Level of comfort/discomfort %
Activity typeVery UncomfortableUncomfortableNeither Comfortable nor UncomfortableComfortableVery Comfortable
Going to Pubs and Restaurant with Social Distancing
Pub /Bar - 2 metres21.336.015.120.67.0
Pub/Bar - 1 metre 39.527.111.716.75.0
Restaurant - 2 metres 12.928.517.632.58.4
Restaurant - 1 metre 28.727.113.424.26.5
Attending Outdoor Events and Religious Services
Outdoor Events with a Large Crowd - no social distancing49.432.69.14.54.3
Place of Worship for a Religious Service - social distancing rules18.129.515.131.35.9
Going to Hairdressers & Shopping Centres
Hairdresser/Barber14.626.417.731.59.9
Shopping Centre8.529.022.233.47.0
Children’s Activities and Household Gatherings
Allowing your Child Participate in Sports - with close physical contact19.035.612.827.65.0
Sending your Child to Childcare/Creche24.632.415.619.77.6
Having 6 Visitors to your Home for an Indoor Social Gathering12.824.217.034.311.7
Attending Healthcare Appointments     
GP 2.615.918.946.516.1
Hospital 9.224.416.638.411.4
Dentist9.124.018.537.710.7
Transport and Travel     
Public Transport - subject to social distancing rules27.835.512.620.53.7
Domestic Trip with Hotel Accommodation13.625.116.233.411.7
International Trip by Plane45.532.58.59.44.1
International Trip by Ferry31.032.314.916.55.2

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