18/09/20 | Press Release
Esri Ireland survey reveals more than 40% of Irish adults broke lockdown restrictions
More than two in five Irish adults flouted lockdown measures during the height of the pandemic, a survey from a digital mapping firm found.
Geographic information systems (GIS) firm Esri Ireland’s report found that 44% of adults in Ireland travelled outside the imposed 2km, 5km or 20km restricted travel radius for reasons other than essential journeys.
The lure of meeting loved ones, stretching the legs and browsing in shops proved too much for those who breached conditions, the survey of more than 1,000 adults found.
Conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Esri Ireland, the survey discovered that the top three non-essential reasons for people breaching local travel restrictions were to meet family members (17%), get more exercise (16%), and gain access to a wider choice of shops (14%).
Almost two-thirds of people in Ireland postponed or cancelled holidays abroad in 2020, with nearly a quarter opting for holiday breaks around the country in place of their original plans.
Those aged under 25 were twice as likely as those over 25 to still travel abroad in 2020 as planned.
Esri Ireland said it commissioned the independent research to better understand how people in Ireland are navigating the new realities of life during the pandemic.
People also believe that geography and science should have more emphasis within the education system in the wake of the crisis, the survey also found.
Some 55% of respondents believe that geography and science lessons are more important following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Having been removed as a core Junior Certificate subject in 2018, some 59% now believe that geography should be reinstated as a mandatory subject for Junior Certificate students.
Managing director of Esri Ireland, Paul Sinnott, said location, place, and geography play a key role in terms of containing localised outbreaks, limiting the spread of the virus across borders and helping the public to understand and visualise these restrictions.
“It’s reassuring to see the majority of people recognise the importance of geography and science in modern education," he said.
"Geographic knowledge empowers us to think critically, see the big picture, and solve problems."