This study examines compliance with local travel restrictions and assesses early uptake of mask wearing, during the initial phase of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Ireland, to inform the ongoing outbreak response.
A series of four nationally representative telephone surveys were developed. Information was collected at a household level and from primary respondents. Multivariable logistic regression estimated the association between sociodemographic characteristics and compliance with the local travel restriction and with mask use in primary respondents.
Household compliance with local travel restrictions was similar by region, household size and social position. 73.4% of all household members complied, with high levels maintained over time. Higher proportions reported travelling for non-permitted reasons with time. Older age, female gender and attending higher education were independently associated with compliance to local travel restrictions. Among primary respondents, no factors were independently associated with mask use.
High compliance with local travel restrictions during the early stages of the pandemic demonstrates the engagement of the population with public health guidance. Although high compliance with local travel restrictions was generally maintained over time, non-permitted activities increased. Early adoption of mask use before required by national policy or legislation provides further evidence of the responsiveness of the population.