Three out of 10 Irish abroad plan to return to Ireland for Christmas

A notice for arriving passengers on the Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form at Dublin Airport. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
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James Cox

As many as three out of 10 Irish people living abroad plan to return to Ireland for Christmas this year, despite public health experts advising against it.

Ireland’s Covid-19 international travel restrictions are “appropriate” and should remain in place over the Christmas period, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

Dr Mary Favier also said there had been a “fraying around the edges” in support for Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions and “complacency and fatigue” had set in among the public.

Irish people based in the UK are the most likely to return for Christmas, with 41 per cent indicating they plan to come home, according to a new survey conducted by FRS Recruitment.

Those living further afield are less likely to return with 14 per cent in the US or Canada planning trips to Ireland for Christmas, followed by those who have moved to Australia and New Zealand (seven per cent) or other parts of Asia (five per cent).


The FRS survey also found that 84 per cent had planned on returning to Ireland for Christmas had not been for the pandemic. 90 per cent of UK based respondents had planned on returning, the same percentage of those based in the Middle East.

This was followed by 89 per cent in other parts of Europe, 81 per cent in other parts of Asia, 72 per cent in the US/ Canada and 69 per cent in Australia and New Zealand.

Nine out of every 10 Irish people who participated in the survey had travelled from abroad back to Ireland for Christmas in the past.

Over one thousand Irish people living all around the world participated in the survey which was conducted between the November 14th and 20th.

33 per cent of respondents were based in other parts of Europe, 21 per cent in the UK, 17 per cent in the USA/Canada, nine per cent in the Middle East, seven per cent in other parts of Asia, six per cent in Australia and New Zealand, three per cent in Africa, two per cent in Central or South America and two per cent in other parts of the world.

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