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- PublicationIreland most stringent Covid restrictions in EU since January: Way out of lockdown has to keep on prioritising children’s educationDespite the vaccine rollout, governments across the globe still grapple with containing the Covid infections, keeping hospitalisations down and preventing a surge in fatalities. Since last spring, a group of researchers and volunteers, led by Oxford University, have tracked the multiple government restrictions to citizens, businesses and society at large in almost every part of the world. Last week we have launched the UCD Covid Compared dashboard – in short UCD CoCo – to easily access the underlying data of these Covid policy responses and make the tremendous work of the Oxford team more accessible to everyone through simple colour-coded tables and graphs. Following the third lockdown and opening up of Ireland in April, the obvious question is how strict were Ireland’s rules compared to other EU countries? Out of 42 countries, Ireland had the 3rd most stringent restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic. Only Italy and the UK had enacted tougher rules since March 2020. Broken down by some key indicators, Ireland had closed workplaces and businesses much longer and tougher than any other European country. Similarly, on public transport restrictions Ireland is within the top 5 and for stay-at-home requirements and school closures within the top 10. Most noticeable is that Ireland’s rules on international travel were very lax throughout 2020 and were only tightened after the Christmas travel debacle.