As the Government plans to extend the Covid-19 vaccination programme to 12–15-year-olds, new research has found the majority (66%) of parents across Dublin are comfortable with their children receiving the Covid-19 jab – with a further 42% stating the pandemic has impacted their children’s mental health.
Zahra’s latest consumer sentiment report investigates the feelings, attitudes, shared experiences and pain points of 2,649 consumers in Ireland.
One third of Dublin parents say they are not comfortable with their children receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. The highest vaccine hesitancy was detected in parents in Leinster (50%).
Despite the loosening of restrictions on maternity hospitals, 94% of Dublin women pregnant in 2021 did not have the option to have their partner present at all appointments.
The study also shows Ireland’s younger cohort has not escaped the repercussions of the pandemic, with 42% of Dublin parents stating their child’s mental health has been impacted, and a further 48% feel their children’s confidence has been knocked over the past year.
38% of parents in the capital stating they would be more likely to spend less on childcare in the future, taking on the responsibility themselves.
Dublin is divided on whether the Government’s plans to have all adults vaccinated by the end of September will be achieved, with 48% of Dubliners confident and 52% not so hopeful.
Despite this, just under three-quarters of Dublin adults surveyed (74%) have been vaccinated, and of those yet to receive the jab, just 17% plan on turning it down.
Interestingly, 56% of Dubliners would be comfortable receiving two doses from two different brands in a bid to get the fully vaccinated badge of approval.
The research shows the financial fallout of the pandemic remains evident across households in Dublin, with just under two thirds of Dubliners (63%) concerned with budgeting for the remainder of this year. Home maintenance (62%), grocery expenses (55%) and childcare costs (30%) were the top causes for concern.
While over half of Dubliners (59%) saved more money than usual this year, 42% say the easing of restrictions means lockdown savings are quickly diminishing. The study shows our shopping habits have also changed, with 57% of Dubliners shopping less in-store now than pre-pandemic times. Reasons included online availability (44%), avoiding spending lots of time queuing (35%), and feeling unsafe in store (21%).
Despite spending more time indoors and close to home than ever before, the top two things people in Dublin intend to spend on in the months ahead include local travel (56%) and home improvements (51%).
Of the costs associated with managing the pandemic, 80% of Dubliners are not willing to fund the cost of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and believe funding to pay for this should come from elsewhere. A further 60% believe the PUP should be a taxable payment.
The results show punters are treading carefully when it comes to indoor dining, with 58% of Dubliners believing that hospitality should only open for people who have been fully vaccinated. When asked what matters the most when dining out, 46% said health and safety, while over a third (37%) said price. Almost all Dubliners (81%) believe the cost of dining out in Ireland has increased, with 68% claiming to dine out less as a result.
The recent rise in temperatures has been key in lifting spirits this summer, with three quarters (76%) of Dubliners stating the sunnier spells have had a positive impact on maintaining mental health during the pandemic. The good weather has also been key for improving our physical health, with 42% claiming it has encouraged them to exercise more than usual.
While the pandemic has caused a stir across all aspects of day-to-day life, the research shows the majority have managed to maintain their sex life, with 68% of Dubliners stating the pandemic has not impacted intimacy.
When asked if Dubliners will holiday this summer, just under two thirds claim to be holding off until later in the year or until 2022. A further 61% have no intention of splurging on international travel. Despite hesitancy around travel, the results show people in Dublin are longing for a Mediterranean getaway, with Spain (29%), Portugal (11%), Italy (7%) and France (7%) voted the top European destinations we hope to visit.
The report shows Dubliners have become accustomed to living with Covid-19, with 86% adapting to a slower pace of life this year – 77% plan to maintain this approach as restrictions loosen. On reflection of the year to date, 33% agree that the virus has become a manageable risk that people must live with, while 28% feel public health restrictions such as masks and social distancing should remain in place for at least a few more years. When asked how our restrictions compare with other countries, 44% of Dubliners feel Ireland’s current measures are too conservative in comparison to the rest of Europe.
The top three activities participants are most looking forward to are being around loved ones (37%), travelling (33%), and eating out (12%). Interestingly, going to the pub was low in the pecking order, with just 6% most looking forward to the reopening of their local watering hole.
Commenting on the research, Gina Miltiadou, MD, and Co-Founder of Bray-based content marketing agency Zahra said:
“The findings from our latest consumer sentiment report show that while people in Ireland have become accustomed to living with Covid-19, 2021 has significantly changed how we choose to live our lives. This is especially evident in a slower pace of life, hesitancy around travel, our feelings around the reopening of hospitality, and even in-store shopping. The results also show our collective efforts to protect public health have prevailed, with the majority supporting the race for vaccination for all family members.
“As the country continues to adapt to the loosening of restrictions, the report indicates a shift in buyer behaviour as we rely more on online services than ever before. With that being said, it remains crucial for businesses to connect to their audiences where they are through the creation and distribution of purposeful content.”