Half of people surveyed say red zone travellers should not be allowed into State

One in five unlikely to comply with Christmas restrictions around family visits - CSO

The CSO found that Irish people with family living abroad were more likely to believe passengers entering Ireland should have no restrictions on their movements.  Photograph: iStock

The CSO found that Irish people with family living abroad were more likely to believe passengers entering Ireland should have no restrictions on their movements. Photograph: iStock

 

More than half of people in the State (53 per cent) do not believe travellers arriving from red regions under the EU’s traffic light system should be allowed enter the country, according to new research published on Tuesday .

The latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) Social Impact of Covid-19 survey reveals just 23 per cent of those surveyed said travellers coming from orange regions should not be allowed enter while 10 per cent said even those coming from green regions should not be allowed into the State.

At present, all of Europe is classified as a red Covid zone aside from Finland, Iceland, parts of Norway and Denmark. Ireland, which currently has one of the lowest 14-day incidence rates in Europe, was also recently classified as orange.

More than one in six of the respondents to the CSO survey said people coming from red regions should restrict their movement for 14 days. This is despite the introduction of a new system which allows visitors from red regions to move freely if a Covid-19 test taken five days after arrival is negative.

The CSO found that Irish people with family living abroad were more likely to believe passengers entering Ireland should have no restrictions on their movements while those without families overseas tended to support a ban on visitors from red zones.

Respondents aged over 70 were more likely to agree that people arriving from red zones should not be allowed into the country although half of 18-34 year olds also agreed with this statement.

Expectations about when people will next be able to travel abroad also depended on whether respondents had loved ones overseas. Some 63 per cent of those with an immediate family member abroad said they expected to take an international flight before the end of 2021 compared with the 43 per cent who plan to travel before the end of next year but do not have immediate family abroad.

More than half of all survey respondents said they planned to fly internationally before the end of 2021 with 36 per cent saying their next flight would be ‘sometime in 2022’ and 6.8 per cent expecting it would be ‘2023 or later’.

More than 62 per cent of men surveyed said they expect to fly before the end of 2021 compared to 45 per cent of women.

Christmas compliance

When asked about their likelihood of complying with restrictions that would prevent them from seeing family and friends over Christmas, nearly 58 per cent of all respondents said they were ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to comply. However, one in five said they were ‘unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely’ to comply with restrictions around family visits.

The research was carried out between November 12th-18th through an online questionnaire among 1,585 people, before the Government announced the lifting of certain restrictions for Christmas.

More men than women said they would comply with potential restrictions around family visits while 42 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds said they would be ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to comply with restrictions. A third of respondents in this younger age group said they would be ‘unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely’ to comply with the restrictions during Christmas.

Some 25 per cent of men surveyed said they were concerned about pubs and restaurants remaining closed over Christmas compared to 15 per cent of women, while nearly 80 per cent of women said they were worried about not being able to mix with other households over Christmas, compared to 69 per cent of men. Women were found to be more concerned about household confinement than men, while more men were more worried about not being able to attend church or other places of worship.

Almost nine out of ten respondents said they would spend less on Christmas this year while more than 11 per cent said they were worried about being able to afford Christmas gifts. Nearly a quarter of respondents living in rented accommodation expressed concern about being able to afford Christmas presents compared to just 8 per cent of respondents who own their home.