One third of people in Ireland intend to have a normal Christmas despite restrictions, survey says

One third of people in Ireland intend to have a normal Christmas despite restrictions, survey says

A THIRD of people in Ireland say they intend to celebrate Christmas as normal regardless of Covid-19 restrictions.

According to a new survey by RED C and comparison and switching website, 33% of people intend to have a normal Christmas regardless of the level of restrictions imposed on the country at the time.

The survey, seen by RTÉ News, questioned 1,000 adults in the Republic of Ireland in mid-October of this year, before Level 5 restrictions were in place.

More than half of those surveyed admitted they do not believe Christmas will be as enjoyable in 2020 as it was in previous years, and two in five indicated they would not spend as much money on gifts this year.

One third of people claimed the Covid-19 pandemic has had little to no impact on their personal finances, however 36% said the pandemic and associated restrictions has seen their finances impacted in a moderate to severe way.

Speaking on the results of the survey, Head of Communications Darragh Cassidy said it was "clear that a big percentage of the population have not been financially impacted by Covid, which is encouraging, although one would wonder if this can hold up the longer the pandemic goes on".

"However there is a significant minority of people who are clearly struggling and the return to level 5 lockdown in mid-October is unlikely to have helped.

"The large majority of people who plan to spend Christmas as normal this year, regardless of restrictions, will no doubt worry [the National Public Health Emergency Team," he added.

Under current restrictions, people are asked not to leave their homes except for essential shopping or travelling to work if it cannot be done at home.

Households are not allowed to mix, and people must remain within 5km of their homes.

The Government has indicated they hope to ease restrictions to allow household mixing and travelling beyond county borders to visit families, however the daily number of Covid cases must continue to drop if this is to be allowed to happen.

Irish people living abroad have also been warned by Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan that they should not return to Ireland for Christmas this year, as it would likely cause a spike in cases.