Ireland’s Covid restrictions among most stringent in Europe study finds


Ireland has among the most stringent Covid-19 measures in Europe according to research conducted by the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford University.

The research examining Government response to the virus based on 17 indicators, including school closures and travel restrictions, gave the Republic a rating 63.43 out of 100, marginally less that that of the UK at 63.89.

Higher scores indicate stricter measures, with 100 being the maximum.

The country with the lowest score in Europe is Belarus, with a score of 11.11, followed by Lithuania with 19.44.

Eight of the policy indicators record information on containment and closure policies, such as school closures and restrictions in movement, four indicators record economic policies, such as income support for citizens or provision of foreign aid, while the remaining five indicators record health system policies, such as the testing regime or emergency healthcare investments.

The research, updated on September 27th, shows Argentina as having the most stringent measures, with a score of 91.67.

The study does not contain data for Spain, currently the worst affected country in Europe according to data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), with a 14-day incidence rate of 319.9 recorded on Sunday.

However, France has the second highest rate per 100,000 in Europe, with 229.1, yet only recorded a score of 46.76 in the Oxford study.

According to the ECDC, Belarus’ incidence rate on September 27th was 35.1, while Lithuania is similarly low at 35.8.

The national rates recorded by the ECDC for Ireland and the UK on the same date may indicate the need for the stricter measures, with rates per 100,000 of 78.1 and 96.2 respectively.

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