Nearly half of all Irish adults broke lockdown - according to survey
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Nearly half of all Irish adults broke lockdown - according to survey

MORE THAN 40% of adults in Ireland flouted lockdown measures during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.

The report found that 44% of Irish people aged 18 or above travelled outside the imposed 2km, 5km or 20km restricted travel radius for reasons other than essential journeys.

Esri Ireland - a geographic information systems (GIS) firm, compiled data from over 1,000 adults around the country to decipher how rule-abiding they were, and to "better understand how people in Ireland are navigating the new realities of life during the pandemic".

The report found that the top three non-essential reasons for people breaking lockdown were to meet with family members (17%), get more exercise (16%), and gain access to a wider choice of shops (14%).

It also found that two in three people in Ireland postponed or cancelled holidays abroad in 2020, with nearly one in four opting for staycations instead.

Respondents aged under 25 were also found to be twice as likely to still travel abroad in 2020 compared to older age groups.

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Over half (55%) of those surveyed said that they thought learning about geography and science was more important now - in the midst of a pandemic - than ever.

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."