Irish public's support for Covid restrictions above EU average

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Irish Public's Support For Covid Restrictions Above Eu Average
Gardaí patrol Dublin city centre and a bustling Henry street following the phased reopening of non-essential retail. Photo: PA Images.
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The majority of people in Ireland believe Covid-19 restrictions were justified, at a level of support above the European Union average.

The latest Eurobarometer survey for Ireland found 88 per cent believe restrictions implemented nationally to fight Covid-19 were justified — above the EU average of 73 per cent.

It also found that the numbers planning to refuse a Covid vaccine in Ireland were among the lowest in the EU.

Gauging the public sentiment as Irish society gradually reopens has produced some remarkable and surprising results

74 per cent of respondents said they want to or have already received an authorised Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, with a further 12 per cent saying they wish to receive a vaccine by the end of 2021.

Just four per cent of Irish people said they never intend to receive an authorised vaccine — among the lowest proportion in the EU.

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Optimism over the national economy in Ireland was also the second highest in the EU, with 44 per cent of respondents believing it will get “better”.

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The annual survey, carried out by the European Commission, examines citizens' attitudes and trust in the EU, as well as people's sentiments towards Covid restrictions, Government performance and the economy in the wake of the pandemic.

Andy Klom, acting head of the European Commission representation to Ireland said: “It has been a difficult year for both Ireland and Europe, and gauging the public sentiment as Irish society gradually reopens has produced some remarkable and surprising results.”

In Ireland, the survey found 75 per cent of respondents had a positive image of the EU — the highest proportion of Irish people saying this since autumn of 2004. Ireland also ranked second highest across all EU member states.

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77 per cent agreed that the interests of Ireland are well taken account of in the EU, while 74 per cent said they trusted the EU, ranking Ireland the second most trusting nation in the bloc.

While the majority of respondents supported how the Irish Government implemented restrictions during the pandemic, a significantly lower proportion — 56 per cent — were satisfied with how the EU handled the crisis overall.

However, 70 per cent said they trusted the EU to make the right decisions in the future regarding the coronavirus.

The data for the latest Eurobarometer report was gathered in Ireland by Kantar, who interviewed 1,094 respondents aged 15 or older online between February 17th and March 3rd.

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