DUBLIN has been dropped from an index of the top 10 "most liveable" cities in the world due to its Covid-19 restrictions.
The locations rating index, compiled by mobility consultants ECA International, placed Dublin as the 15th most liveable city in the world - knocking it down a few pegs after coming ninth last year.
"Having grown in popularity as a hub for expats from across the world in recent years, due to its low crime rates, good air quality, culture and infrastructure, [Dublin] has dropped five places due to the impact of Covid-19," ECA said.
Belfast and London - also casualties of Covid-19 - were both downgraded eight places and now share joint-55th position in the index.
ECA confirmed that the liveability of 70% of the world's cities have been impacted by "recreational limitations" this year.
Curbs on freedom of movement were also cited as a factor driving down scores, which are graded on the availability of health services, housing, and infrastructure, among other things.
Remaining number one on the list, Copenhagen is still the most liveable destination for European expats, scoring especially well in clean air and low crime rate categories.
New York (40th) performed well and surpassed London for the first time.
The drop in Ireland's ranking may puzzle some onlookers, as only last month a UN report stated that the country had the second highest quality of life in the word.
Although, some issues have been flagged by other organisations: Transparency International has urged the Irish government to address corruption levels, as the state lags behind many of its northern European neighbours and has dropped from 18th to 20th on the organisation’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index.
New Zealand and Denmark currently retain the lead in global corruption levels, while figures show Somalia and South Sudan to be the most corrupt regions on earth.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries corruption levels based on popular perceptions. The data is collected in seven surveys conducted by think-tanks and political risk agencies.
Commenting on the findings, John Devitt, chief executive of Transparency International Ireland said:
"Corruption can be as insidious as any disease and the impact it has around the world on the most vulnerable in society, on healthcare systems and public trust in democratic institutions has been particularly evident over the past year. The Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of the far-right across Europe and the US has exposed how vulnerable our institutions and democratic norms are to declining trust in government".