A new survey of people living in Direct Provision has found that just over half of respondents said they did not feel safe where they are living during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study, carried out by the Irish Refugee Council, also reports that 50% were unable to socially distance from others.

There are around 7,700 people in Direct Provision, and 418 of them took part in the survey.

According to the survey, 42% of respondents shared a room with a person who was not a member of their family.

More than 85% also said that the weekly expenses allowance was not enough to live on.

Nearly a fifth of respondents who were working had lost their employment due to the crisis.

The Chief Executive of the Irish Refugee Council, Nick Henderson, said that while nursing homes and meat factories have really felt the brunt of the pandemic, Direct Provision remains "particularly at risk".

"It is a congregating setting, people continuing to live in very close quarters to each other," he said.

He added: "Until they're moved to accommodation where they can socially distance from others, then there is going to be at a continued risk of the virus spreading in the centres."

The survey also found that 85% of respondents stated they felt that they had received enough information about Covid-19.

Some pointed out that management at their centres had helped them, and had taken extra steps to ensure their safety.

The last few weeks has seen a renewed focus on Direct Provision accommodation with 21 recent outbreaks of Covid-19 involving 235 cases.

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