With the country set to enter Phase 1 of the Government’s move to lift lockdown restrictions next week, 61% of Irish people are are optimistic that Ireland will overcome the outbreak of Covid-19, a slight decline from 67% in March 2020, according to the latest wave of Covid-9 research from Core.
The research also shows that 63% of people are very/extremely concerned about COVID-19 and this is down from 74% at the end of March 2020.
With the economic fall-out continuing to wreak havoc some 83% of people positively approve of local businesses and shops while the Government’s rating remains high at 75% public approval. However, this has slipped from 82% in March 2020.
The research also shows that 65% of citizens believe their fellow citizens are handling the pandemic well, returning to the level it was at when the outbreak began.
In addition, 70% of people remain convinced the outbreak will last beyond 1st September and into next year.
Not surprisingly, the lifting of certain community health restrictions over a phased basis are the most important to those. On average, 57% of people say these are important to them and 57% of people will be confident in returning to these behaviours when the restrictions are lifted.
When it comes to the wider economy, 57% of those surveyed say getting back to the workplace is most important with 54% saying they would be confident returning by the end of June.
However fewer people (39%) would be confident about getting public transport.
As much of the retail industry continues to remain in hibernation, the percentage of people who will be confident about the reopening shops will increase from 21% of people in Phase 1 (May), to 53% of people in Phase 3 (July) and 78% of people in Phase 5 (August).
Outdoor retail, however, achieves higher confidence levels with 39% of people confident about gardening centres opening in Phase 1, according to the Core Research.
When cultural and social spaces open in Phase 5, 57% of people would be confident in returning to these spaces, increasing to 70% of the adult population by the 1st September.
Likewise, when the travel and tourism industry reopens in Phase 4, half of the population would have confidence in hotels re-opening. This is a larger percentage of people (28%) who would be confident in travelling, suggesting an opportunity for domestic tourism.
According to Naomi Staff, managing director, Core Research: “Throughout the outbreak of COVID-19, Core Research collaborating with Core Strategy have been researching and reporting on the personal, societal and economic impacts of this crisis. Much of our work has focused on the current sentiment or past experiences of the people of Ireland, but we are now looking to the future.”
She adds: “Our Roadmap to Recovery research is informing our plans for clients for the remainder of this uncertain year, highlighting when and how consumers will rebuild their confidence in returning to the world. There will be immense caution, but there is also a sense that people want to rebuild their communities and local businesses, as best and safely as they can.”