68% of Irish people in favour of speedy reopening of society, poll shows
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68% of Irish people in favour of speedy reopening of society, poll shows

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.

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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.

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The full results can be found here.