THERE is overwhelming support for reopening society and the economy as soon as possible, the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll finds.
The results show that only a minority favour a longer lockdown until the virus has been eliminated – otherwise known as a zero-Covid strategy – and that the vast majority want life to return to normal once the elderly and vulnerable are vaccinated.
Among those polled, 68% of people were in favour of lifting Covid-19 restrictions “immediately”, while only 30% were in favour of opting for a longer, and more ambitious zero-Covid approach.
Respondents were also eager for schools to reopen, as 44% said that schools should reopen “immediately”, while a further 36% thought they should reopen before the summer.
Overall, the results demonstrated a strong tilt in favour of lifting restrictions sooner rather than later and getting back to some form or normal life before summer commences in late June.
However, people also wanted to avoid a scenario where lifting restrictions too quickly could pose a threat to those most at risk to the disease.
The findings released today also show a strong willingness among the public to take the vaccine – with 80% indicating that they would take it 'tomorrow', and only 14% saying they would not.
Compared to other European countries – such as France, where one poll found that only four in ten people would be willing to take the vaccine – Ireland is among the least vaccine-sceptical nations.
While government figures indicate that only 1.8% of Ireland has been vaccinated to date, 3% of respondents said they had already received it.
Results also showed strong support for construction to reopen, with 43% favouring an “immediate” reopening of sites, and a further 45% supporting a return to building work before the summer.
In stark contrast, only 15% of respondents favour an immediate reopening of “all non-essential retail and services”, and a mere 6% support the reopening of pubs and restaurants.
The survey data was collected on Monday and Tuesday of this week, with researchers conducting telephone interviews with 1,200 adults.
The full results can be found here.