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Irish public expect easing of Covid-19 restrictions to be slow

Dublin Ireland

The Irish public expect the lifting of social distancing restrictions to be slow and gradual, with most indoor social activities not possible until at least September, research from ESRI has found.

Most also believe that the lifting of restrictions should prioritise necessities ahead of leisure activities.

Cameron Belton of the ESRI’s Behavioural Research Unit said: “This study reveals further evidence of Ireland’s ability to pull together at a time of crisis.

“In the face of this disease, the large majority of people have absorbed the need to proceed slowly and carefully.

“They are willing to make sacrifices now for a better outcome in the long-run.”

The findings are based on data collected the week before the Taoiseach’s (Prime Minister and head of government of Ireland) May 1st announcement of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

The study found no evidence that a substantial proportion of the public expected a more rapid lifting of restrictions.

Most expect non-essential shops and workplaces to reopen gradually between June and August, with cafés and restaurants reopening in July or August.

Schools and indoor leisure venues are set to remain closed until at least September, including sports facilities and gyms, arts and cultural centres, and pubs and clubs.

A return to “normality” is not expected until at least 2021.