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The public's observance of Covid-19 rules begins to tumble

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People have been less obedient of the Government's Covid-19 rules the longer lockdown has gone on, new research has found.

A study by the Central Statistics Office found the number of people strongly complying with government guidance dropped by 20pc between April and June.

In April, more than 80pc of people said their compliance with government advice was "high". This dropped to 59.9pc by June.

Women were more likely to comply with Covid-19 rules than men. More than 68pc of women were highly compliant with lockdown rules, while the figure for men was just above 50pc.

The CSO survey on the social impact of Covid-19 also found that just under half of people were "very" or "extremely" concerned by other people's ability to comply with Covid-19 guidelines.

Eva O'Regan, a statistician with the CSO, said the findings showed "how people in Ireland have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis in terms of their everyday life".

The lockdown also appeared to have affected people's health and wellbeing.

More than a fifth of people questioned in June said they were "very" or "extremely" worried about their health. But this was down from a quarter of people who said they were very worried about their health in April.

Meanwhile being confined to home has seen people pile on the pounds.

Around 40pc of people said they had gained weight since the start of lockdown, with 46.8pc of women reporting weight gain compared with 34.8pc of men.

A quarter of people who had a healthy BMI gained weight, while the figure rose to 44.9pc of people who were overweight and 55pc of people who were obese.

Almost half of people who were newly unemployed since the start of lockdown said they had gained weight. Of those who are still working, 37.6pc said they had gained weight.

The CSO also asked people about the circumstances they were in while working from home.

Almost a fifth of people surveyed said they do not have a suitable workspace with adequate equipment.

A significant minority of people are worried about returning to work.

"Almost one in five (18.5pc) respondents are very or extremely concerned about their employer's ability to provide a safe work environment in the context of Covid-19," Ms O'Regan said.

The lockdown has also seen people spending less money.

"Looking at income and expenditure, eight in 10 respondents report they experienced reduced expenditure due to Covid-19 restrictions, while seven in 10 report no change in their net income since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions," Ms O'Regan said.

Of those people who said they have spent less or seen an increase in their income, just over half said they have saved or intend to save some or all of this extra money.

Just under half said they had spent or intend to spend more money on home improvements, gardening or holidays.

Irish Independent