Compliance with health guidelines plummets, CSO finds

Compliance with health guidelines plummets, CSO finds
A file photo of a sign advising people to maintain social distancing of two metres.

Compliance with government health advice has plummeted as lockdown restrictions are eased, a new report by the Central Statistics Office has found. Just three-in-five respondents (59.9%) now rate their personal compliance with current government guidelines as high, down from more than 80% in April. Almost half of respondents reported being very or extremely concerned about other people's compliance with restrictions too.

Women are more likely than men to report higher compliance, too. More than two-thirds of women described their compliance as high, in comparison to 51.2% of men.

As the country reopens, people are concerned about returning to work. Almost one-fifth of respondents are very or extremely concerned about their employer’s ability to provide a safe work environment throughout the pandemic, while one-fifth of those currently working from home said that they don’t have a suitable workspace with adequate equipment.

The social and health impact of the pandemic has varied.

Almost half of female respondents (46.8%) and respondents not working (49.0%) report they have put on weight compared to 37.6% of respondents who are currently working.

CSO Statistician, Eva O’Regan, said: "The findings of the survey serve to highlight how people in Ireland have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis in terms of their everyday life.

"More than one in five (21.3%) respondents report being very or extremely concerned about their own health in June, a decrease on the April figure of 25.8%. 

"Respondents aged 70 and over saw a 30% drop in the proportion reporting to be very or extremely concerned about their own health, decreasing from 42.5% in April to 29.6% in June – the largest drop amongst all age groups over this period.

"A quarter (24.8%) of respondents with a Healthy BMI report an increase in weight, compared to 44.9% for respondents classified as Overweight, and 55.5% for those classified as Obese."

Seven in ten respondents (70.3%) report no change in their net income since the pandemic hit, while eight in ten respondents (79.8%) say that their expenditure has reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions.

More than half (51.1%) of respondents who had increased income and/or reduced expenditure say that they have saved or intend to save some or all of that additional money. And more than four in ten (46.9%) say that they spent or intend to spend additional money on their homes, 36.3% on their gardens and 26.3% on future holidays.

The results are part of a second round of the Social Impact of Covid-19 Survey of 1,693 individuals. 


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