The Economic and Social Research Institute has said its latest research for public health indicates that daily social activity has increased, but many people report a high degree of worry as pandemic restrictions have eased.

The ESRI's social activity monitor shows that on average each person met with 4.3 people from outside of their household on the last week of September, compared to just two in January.

Dr Deirdre Robertson of the ESRI Behavioural Research Unit said that over the week over 40% had visited a workplace and over 50% had gone to a pub, restaurant or café.

Ms Robertson told RTÉ's News at One that the research indicated that "worry is a big driver of behaviour" and that while the individual level of worry has gone down since January "not [by] as much as you would expect" with worry levels reported at six out of ten.

Dr Robertson said that a third of people of all ages and gender remain very worried, rating their worry levels at eight out of ten.

She said that people surveyed in September acknowledged that they were taking more risks, while also recognising they were doing that.

She said that for example, people who were taking no risks in January recognised that there is more risk when they now go to big events or use public transport.

She said that research carried out in January on the vaccines showed the main distinguishing feature between those taking it and those who would not was knowledge about it and awareness of the benefits.

Dr Robertson said that this was before the vaccine rollout began in earnest and while those who were unsure in the main moved on to take the vaccine, those who did not cited a lack of knowledge and awareness of the benefits as reasons not to.