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Results and Analysis

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As part of the second round of the Social Impact of COVID-19 survey respondents were asked, in the context of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, how comfortable they feel about the prospect of undertaking a variety of activities such as going to a pub or a restaurant, attending a place of worship or taking an international trip (see Background Notes for a full list of activities).

Respondents could answer that they feel “Very uncomfortable”, “Uncomfortable”, “Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable”, “Comfortable” or “Very comfortable” about partaking in each of these activities.  Analysis was confined to respondents that participated in the particular behaviour prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

In what follows, findings from the survey are presented by personal and household demographics and other characteristics under the headings: Pubs and Restaurant by Social Distancing Rules; Outdoor Events & Religious Services; Hairdresser & Shopping Centres; Children’s Activities and Household Gatherings; Attending Healthcare Appointments; and Transport & Travel.

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Respondents of the Social Impact of COVID-19 survey June 2020 were asked how comfortable they feel with the prospect of going to a pub or bar (pub will be used in the rest of the publication) or restaurant with either two metres or one metre social distancing rules in place.

Those 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

More than one in five (21.3%) of respondents reported that they feel Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of going to a pub with two metres social distance, while two in five (39.5%) would be Very Uncomfortable going with one metre social distancing.

Respondents expressed less concern with going to a restaurant compared to a pub, with 12.9% indicating they would be Very Uncomfortable with two metres social distancing and 28.7% with one metre social distancing.

Four in ten respondents (40.9%) reported that they would be Comfortable or Very Comfortable going to a restaurant with two metres social distancing, whereas three in ten (30.7%) would feel Comfortable or Very Comfortable with one metre social distancing.  See Figure 2.1 and Tables 2.1a, 2.1b, 2.2a & 2.2b.

X-axis labelVery ComfortableComfortableNeither Comfortable nor UncomfortableUncomfortableVery Uncomfortable
Pub/Bar - 2 metres720.615.13621.3
Pub/Bar - 1 metre516.711.727.139.5
Restaurant - 2 metres8.432.517.628.512.9
Restaurant - 1 metre6.524.213.427.128.7

Men more comfortable going to a pub or restaurant than women

Men were more likely to report that they would feel comfortable going to a pub than women, with 32.2% of men reporting they were Comfortable or Very Comfortable with two metres social distancing and 24.9% with one metre social distancing compared to women at 23.1% and 18.5% respectively.

Men and women reported similar comfort levels with the prospect of going to a restaurant with two metres social distancing, with 41.1% of men and 40.8% of women feeling Comfortable or Very Comfortable. Men’s comfort levels are slightly higher than those of women with one metre social distancing, 32.0% and 29.5% respectively.

Respondents aged 70 years and over reported the highest levels of discomfort with the prospect of going to a pub, with 41.1% and 63.2% reporting they were Very Uncomfortable with two metres and one metre social distancing respectively.

The 45-54 year age group had the lowest level of discomfort. Of respondents aged 45-54 years, 14.0% reported that they would feel Very Uncomfortable going to a pub with two metres social distancing, increasing to 29.6% with one metre social distancing. See Figure 2.2 and Tables 2.1a, 2.1b, 2.2a & 2.2b.

X-axis label2 Metres1 Metre
18-3419.835.5
35-4418.536.7
45-541429.6
55-6921.543.9
70 and over41.163.2

Respondents aged 18-34 years were the age group most comfortable with the prospect of going to a pub, irrespective of the social distancing rules in place. Of this age cohort, 33.0% indicated they were Comfortable or Very Comfortable going to the pub with two metre social distancing and 25.9% with one metre social distancing.

Respondents’ comfort levels with going to a pub decreases as their concern with other people’s ability to comply with government COVID-19 advice increases. Of those Not at all concerned about the compliance of others, one in three (33.9%) reported feeling Comfortable or Very Comfortable about going to the pub with one metre social distancing. This reduces to one in ten (10.1%) of those who were Extremely concerned with other people’s compliance.  See Figure 2.3 and Tables 2.1a & 2.1b.

X-axis labelComfortable/Very ComfortableNeither Comfortable nor UncomfortableUncomfortable/Very Uncomfortable
Not at all33.919.147
Somewhat27.414.558
Very15.91074
Extremely10.13.386.6

Half of those aged 18-34 Comfortable or Very Comfortable going to a restaurant with 2 metres social distancing

Respondents aged 18-34 years were the most comfortable age group with the prospect of going to a restaurant followed by those aged 45-54 years, while those aged 70 years and over were the least comfortable. Half (50.2%) of respondents aged 18-34 reported that they would feel Comfortable or Very Comfortable going to a restaurant with two metres social distancing, this falls to 38.4% with one metre social distancing. Almost a quarter (24.2%) of respondents aged 70 and over reported feeling Comfortable or Very Comfortable with two metres social distancing, falling to 13.5% with one metre social distancing.  See Figure 2.4 and Tables 2.2a & 2.2b.

X-axis label2 Metres1 Metre
18-3450.238.4
35-4442.731.6
45-544333.2
55-6935.128
70 and over24.213.5

Those who reported Fair/bad/very bad health less comfortable going to a pub or restaurant

Of those respondents who rated their health as Fair/bad/very bad, one third (33.9%) reported feeling Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of going to a pub with two metres social distancing while 44.9% indicated they would be Very Uncomfortable going with one metre social distancing. Those with Good health or Very good health reported lower levels of discomfort, with 19.6% and 19.2% respectively reporting they were Very Uncomfortable going with two metres social distance and 41.0% and 37.0% respectively reporting they were Very Uncomfortable going with one metre social distancing.

Those with Fair/bad/very bad health were also most uncomfortable with going to a restaurant, but to a lesser extent than going to a pub. Of these respondents, 18.7% reported feeling Very Uncomfortable about going to a restaurant with two metres social distancing and 34.0% with one metre social distancing. Of those with Very good health, 10.3% indicated that they would feel Very Uncomfortable going to a restaurant with two metres social distancing and 26.0% with one metres social distancing.  See Figure 2.5 and Tables 2.1a, 2.1b, 2.2a & 2.2b.

X-axis labelVery goodGoodFair/Bad/Very bad
Pub/Bar - 2 metres19.219.633.9
Pub/Bar - 1 metre374144.9
Restaurant - 2 metres10.31418.7
Restaurant - 1 metre2630.134
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Respondents were asked their level of comfort or discomfort with the prospect of going to an outdoor event with a large crowd (e.g. sports event in a stadium or music concert) and no social distancing rules. Respondents were also asked to rate their comfort with attending a place of worship for a regular religious service with social distancing measures.

Four in five Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable attending an outdoor event with a large crowd and no social distancing

Of those who would typically attend such outdoor events prior to COVID-19, half (49.4%) reported that they were Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of attending an outdoor event with no social distancing, with a further 32.6% indicating that they were Uncomfortable with the prospect. Those who reported being Comfortable or Very Comfortable represented 8.8% of respondents.

Of those who would typically have attended a place of worship for a regular religious service prior to COVID-19, 18.1% reported feeling Very Uncomfortable about attending a religious service with social distancing, with a further 29.5% indicating that they were Uncomfortable with the prospect. Those who reported being Comfortable or Very Comfortable represented 37.2% of respondents.

Respondents aged 18-34 years were most likely to report feeling comfortable with the prospect of attending a religious service with 41.6% indicating that they would feel Comfortable or Very Comfortable attending, while those aged 35-44 were the most comfortable with the prospect of attending an outdoor event, with 11.9% reporting that they would be Comfortable or Very Comfortable attending. Of those aged 70 years or more, 33.0% reported being Comfortable or Very Comfortable with the prospect of attending a religious service compared to 3.5% with attending an outdoor event.  See Figure 2.6 and Tables 2.3 & 2.4.

X-axis labelRegular Religious Service with Social DistancingOutdoor Event with No Social Distancing
18-3441.611.5
35-4432.511.9
45-5437.66.8
55-6939.76.7
70 and over333.5
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Respondents were asked their comfort levels with the prospect of going to a hairdresser or a barber and going to a shopping centre.

Men more comfortable going to a shopping centre while women more comfortable going to a hairdresser

Of respondents who typically went to a hairdresser or barber prior to COVID-19, 41.0% reported being Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with the prospect, while 41.4% felt Comfortable or Very Comfortable. Of respondents who typically went to shopping centres prior to COVID-19, 37.5% reported being Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with the prospect, while 40.4% reported being Comfortable or Very Comfortable.

Men feel more comfortable about going to a shopping centre, while women feel more comfortable about going to a hairdresser or barber. Just less than a half (47.3%) of women reported being Comfortable or Very Comfortable about going to a hairdresser or a barber compared to 34.9% of men. While 43.7% of men reported feeling Comfortable or Very Comfortable about going to a shopping centre compared to 37.2% of women.  See Figure 2.7 and Tables 2.5 & 2.6.

X-axis labelComfortable/Very ComfortableNeither Comfortable nor UncomfortableUncomfortable/Very Uncomfortable
Male - Hairdresser/Barber34.921.343.9
Female - Hairdresser/Barber47.314.438.3
Male - Shopping Centre43.723.532.8
Female - Shopping Centre37.220.941.9
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Respondents who reported having children in their household were asked to rate their comfort levels with the prospect of allowing their child play team sports with close physical contact and the prospect of sending their child to childcare or creche.

Almost three in five Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with sending their child to childcare or creche

Of respondents whose child/children participated in team sports prior to COVID-19, 19.0% reported in June 2020 feeling Very Uncomfortable about allowing their child to participate in team sports, with a further 35.6% indicating they were Uncomfortable with the prospect. Those who reported being Comfortable or Very Comfortable with allowing their child play team sports represented 32.6% of relevant respondents.

Similar levels of discomfort were reported with sending children to childcare or creche with 24.6% of respondents, who utilised childcare or creche service prior to COVID-19, reported feeling Very Uncomfortable about sending their child to childcare or creche and a further 32.4% feeling Uncomfortable with the prospect. Those that feel Comfortable or Very Comfortable with sending their child to childcare or creche represent 27.3% of relevant respondents.

Women reported being more uncomfortable than men with the prospect of their children playing team sports and with going back to childcare or creche. Of female respondents, 65.5% reported being 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 reported feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with sending their child to childcare or creche compared to 39.2% of men.

There are some signs that the process of returning to the workplace and returning children to childcare may present a more difficult dilemma for women than men. The CSO’s Employment and Life effects of COVID-19 release reported that women were more likely to report COVID-19 related childcare issues and more difficulties working from home with family around.

As a possible consequence of this, the Social Impact of COVID-19 survey April 2020 found that of those who are new to working from home, almost half (48.6%) of women reported that they would like to return to their place of work after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, compared to less than one in three (31.7%) of men. However, the Social Impact of COVID-19 survey June 2020 showed that women reported feeling more uncomfortable than men with the prospect of sending their children to childcare/creche or allowing them to return to play team sports. See Figure 2.8 and Tables 2.7 & 2.8.

X-axis labelVery ComfortableComfortableNeither Comfortable nor UncomfortableUncomfortableVery Uncomfortable
Children's Sport - Male7.63919.120.813.5
Children's Sport - Female3.621.49.543.621.9
Childcare/Creche - Male8.32923.628.310.9
Childcare/Creche - Female7.314.210.834.932.8
X-axis labelVery uncomfortableUncomfortableNeither comfortable nor uncomfortableComfortableVery comfortable
Children's sport Male13.520.819.1397.6
Children's sport Female21.943.69.521.43.6
Childcare/Creche Male10.928.323.6298.3
Childcare/Creche Female32.834.910.814.27.3

Those currently Working least uncomfortable with sending their children to childcare or creche

Respondents who were Working in June 2020 had the lowest levels of discomfort with sending their children to childcare or creche, with half (50.7%) reporting they were Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with the prospect. Those Still Unemployed (unemployed pre-COVID-19 and were still unemployed) reported being most uncomfortable, with almost three quarters (74.6%) reporting they were Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of sending their child to childcare or creche.  See Figure 2.9 and Table 2.8.

X-axis labelVery ComfortableComfortableNeither Comfortable nor UncomfortableUncomfortableVery Uncomfortable
Working7.623.318.336.114.6
Newly Labour Inactive14.617.710.925.731
Still Unemployed.23.71.626.148.5
Other0.37.125.236.331.1

Women more comfortable having visitors to their home for an indoor social gathering

More respondents reported being comfortable than uncomfortable with the prospect of having six people from outside their household visit their home for an indoor social gathering, with 46.0% reporting they were Comfortable or Very Comfortable with this compared to 37.0% who reported feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable.

While women reported being less comfortable with going to a pub or a restaurant than men, women are slightly more comfortable having 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.

Levels of discomfort with having people from outside the household visit increases with age. Of those aged 18-34 years, 28.3% reported being Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable, increasing to 58.1% for the 70 years or more age group. However, the 45-54 year age group reported lower levels of discomfort (31.5%) than the 35-44 year age group (36.4%).  See Figure 2.10 and Table 2.9.

X-axis labelComfortable/Very ComfortableNeither Comfortable nor UncomfortableUncomfortable/Very Uncomfortable
18 to 3456.914.828.3
35 to 4446.417.236.4
45 to 5447.421.131.5
55 to 6938.520.640.9
70 and over31.610.358.1
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Respondents were asked how comfortable they feel about attending healthcare appointments such as a GP appointment, a hospital appointment and attending the dentist.

Three in five Comfortable or Very Comfortable attending a GP appointment

Of respondents who typically attended healthcare appointments prior to COVID-19, 62.6% reported being Comfortable or Very Comfortable attending a GP appointment, 49.8% with attending a hospital appointment and 48.4% with attending the dentist.

Respondents who rated their general health lower reported feeling more uncomfortable attending healthcare appointments. Similarly, those respondents who were more concerned with their own health, someone’s else health or other people’s ability to comply with government COVID-19 advice had increased levels of discomfort with attending healthcare appointments.

Respondents’ comfort levels with attending healthcare appointments decreased as the level of deprivation in the area they live decreased. Respondents living in disadvantaged areas reported lower comfort levels with attending health appointments compared to respondents living in more affluent areas, who reported higher comfort levels.

Comfort levels with attending health appointments tended to rise with the affluence of the area in which the respondents live. For example, of respondents living in very disadvantaged areas, 9.7% reported being Very Comfortable attending a GP appointment, whereas 22.6% of respondents living in Very Affluent areas reported feeling Very Comfortable about attending a GP appointment. See Figure 2.11 and Tables 2.10, 2.11 & 2.12.

X-axis labelGPHospitalDentist
Very Disadvantaged9.74.95
Disadvantaged13.19.110.7
Average18.212.412.1
Affluent16.311.59.1
Very Affluent22.615.112.9
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Respondents were asked about their level of comfort or discomfort at the prospect of travelling on public transport, taking a domestic trip with hotel accommodation and taking an international trip by plane or by ferry.

Over three in five Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable travelling on public transport

Of respondents who typically use public transport, 63.3% reported feeling Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with travelling on public transport, while 24.2% reported being Comfortable or Very Comfortable.

Men were more comfortable than women travelling on public transport, while younger age groups had lower levels of discomfort with the prospect compared to older groups.

Of employees currently working, those that were Working from home in June 2020 had higher levels of discomfort with travelling on public transport, with over two thirds (68.7%) reporting being Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable compared to a half (50.1%) of those who were Working outside the home.  See Figure 2.12 and Table 2.13.

X-axis labelVery ComfortableComfortableNeither Comfortable nor UncomfortableUncomfortableVery Uncomfortable
Working from Home2.416.312.548.120.6
Working Out of Home6.726.416.730.219.9
X-axis labelVery uncomfortableUncomfortableNeither comfortable nor uncomfortableComfortableVery comfortable
Working from Home20.648.112.516.32.4
Working Out of Home19.930.216.726.46.7

Those more concerned about their own health more likely to be uncomfortable travelling on public transport

Levels of discomfort with travelling on public transport are higher for those respondents who reported being concerned about their own health, other people’s health and other people’s compliance with government advice. Of those Not at all concerned about their health, 16.0% are Very Uncomfortable with travelling on public transport. This level of discomfort increases as health concerns increase, with 69.8% of those who are Extremely concerned about their own health reported being Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of travelling on public transport.  See Figure 2.13 and Table 2.13.

X-axis labelVery ComfortableComfortableNeither Comfortable nor UncomfortableUncomfortableVery Uncomfortable
Not at all12.831.512.72716
Somewhat1.320.114.840.123.7
Very1147.734.642.7
Extremely3.13.33.220.669.8
X-axis labelVery uncomfortableUncomfortableNeither comfortable nor uncomfortableComfortableVery comfortable
Not at all162712.731.512.8
Somewhat23.740.114.820.11.3
Very42.734.67.7141
Extremely69.820.63.23.33.1

Of those Not at all concerned with the compliance of others, four in five Comfortable or Very Comfortable taking a domestic trip using hotel accommodation

Of respondents who typically took domestic trips with hotel accommodation prior to COVID-19, 45.1% reported currently being Comfortable or Very Comfortable with the prospect of taking a such a trip. A further 25.1% of these respondents reported being Uncomfortable with taking this type of trip and 13.6% were Very Uncomfortable.

Men reported being more comfortable with taking a domestic trip which includes hotel accommodation than women, while younger age groups were more comfortable than older respondents.

Respondents who reported being more concerned with their own health, other people’s health and other people’s compliance feel less comfortable about taking domestic trips using hotel accommodation. Of those who were Not at all concerned about other people’s ability to comply with government advice and guidelines regarding the phased easing of COVID-19 restrictions, 43.8% were Very Comfortable taking a domestic trip. The level of comfort decreased as the concern with other’s compliance increased, with 2.1% of those Extremely concerned with the compliance of others reported being Very Comfortable with taking a domestic trip.  See Figure 2.14 and Table 2.14.

X-axis labelVery comfortableComfortableNeither comfortable nor uncomfortableUncomfortableVery uncomfortable
Not at all43.8364.511.34.5
Somewhat1433.419.323.49.9
Very5.632.215.430.316.5
Extremely2.134.615.225.223

Almost four in five Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable taking an international trip by plane

Respondents were asked to rate their level of comfort or discomfort with taking an international trip by plane or by ferry. High levels of discomfort were reported with both forms of transportation, with 78.0% of respondents reporting they were Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with taking an international trip by plane and 63.3% were Uncomfortable or Very Uncomfortable with travelling by ferry.

Women were more uncomfortable with the prospect of international travel than men on both forms of transport and older age groups were less comfortable with taking international trips than younger groups.

Of those aged 18-34 years, 32.3% reported being Very Uncomfortable taking an international trip by plane and 23.3% by ferry. This level of discomfort increased through the age groups to the 70 and over age group, 72.9% of whom reported being Very Uncomfortable with the prospect of taking an international trip by plane and 50.9% by ferry.  See Figure 2.15 and Tables 2.15 & 2.16.

Note: Figure 2.15 was published at 11am on Thursday 25/06/2020 with an error, this error was fixed at 11am on Tuesday 30/06/2020. 

X-axis labelInternational Trip by PlaneInternational Trip by Ferry
18-3432.323.3
35-4440.924.9
45-5447.230.3
55-6950.936.8
70 and over72.950.9

For further COVID-19 related information go to the CSO COVID-19 Information Hub 

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Show Table: Table 2.1a Comfort levels with going to a pub or bar subject to a 2 metres social distancing rule by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.1b Comfort levels with going to a pub or bar subject to a 1 metre social distancing rule by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.2a Comfort levels with going to a restaurant subject to a 2 metre social distancing rule by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.2b Comfort levels with going to a restaurant subject to a 1 metre social distancing rule by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.3 Comfort levels attending outdoor events with a large crowd and no social distancing rules by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.4 Comfort levels with attending a place of worship for a regular religious service subject to social distancing rules by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.5 Comfort levels with going to a hairdresser or barber by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.6 Comfort levels with going to shopping centre by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.7 Comfort levels with children's participation in sports by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.8 Comfort levels with sending children to childcare or creche by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.9 Comfort levels with having visitors by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.10 Comfort levels with attending a GP appointment by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.11 Comfort levels with attending an hospital appointment by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.12 Comfort levels with attending a dental appointment by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.13 Comfort levels with travelling on public transport by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.14 Comfort levels with taking a domestic trip by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.15 Comfort levels with taking an international trip by plane by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Show Table: Table 2.16 Comfort levels with taking an international trip by ferry by demographic, household and other characteristics, June 2020

Go to next chapter >>>Background Notes