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Etherealness lasts for 8 hours and doesn't require concentration:

You step into the border regions of the Ethereal Plane, in the area where it overlaps with your current plane. You remain in the Border Ethereal for the Duration or until you use your action to dismiss the spell...

A Short Rest is:

... a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds.

Meanwhile a Long Rest is:

...a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps for at least 6 hours and performs no more than 2 hours of light activity, such as reading, talking, eating, or standing watch.

If I did nothing for an hour while on the Ethereal Plane, could that count as a short rest? Likewise, if I did nothing for the full 8 hours, would that count as a long rest?

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Yes. Rest can be had on other planes of existence.

There is nothing inherent to the Ethereal plane that prevents rest.

It is not a safe haven

The Ethereal plane has dangers and monsters all its own. There is no guarantee that being on the Ethereal plane affords one hour, let alone eight, of respite.

Creature Encounters

Dungeon Master's Guide p. 49:

Most encounters in the Border Ethereal are with creatures on the Material Plane whose senses or abilities extend into the Ethereal Plane (phase spiders, for example). Ghosts also move freely between the Ethereal and Material Planes.

Ether Cyclones

These can be dangerous as they can transport those that get caught in them to the Astral Plane which is full of its own dangers in addition to leaving the character stranded.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah I figured it wasn't any more or less safe than resting on the material plane (i.e. the rest could be interrupted by things happening in the Ethereal plane). The situation that sparked the question was one of stealth, i.e. short resting in 'enemy territory' - it was ostensibly safer in the Ethereal Plane given the scenario). \$\endgroup\$ – Robotnik Mar 31 at 0:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Robotnik depends on the campaign. As a seldom used mechanic to avoid powerful, but mundane threats on the Prime Material Plane, it's probably a reasonable risk. Do it enough and it's likely to encounter an Ether Cyclone or worse denizen of the Ethereal Plane. \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Mar 31 at 0:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yep, my thoughts exactly :). More of an exceptional case rather than a nightly endeavour. \$\endgroup\$ – Robotnik Mar 31 at 0:52
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YES

There is nothing about the Ethereal Plane (Border Ethereal) which would in principle prevent you from having a long rest; however creatures who live on the plane or travel through the plane might disturb your rest, e.g. a Ghost or a Phase Spider.

Since you intend to rest, once you are in the Ethereal Plane, you could cast Rope Trick (PHB p.255) for a short rest or Leodmund's Tiny Hut (PHB p.272)for a long rest, just to increase your chances of your rest not being disturbed. You could use it on the Material Plane as well, but I'm guessing there is secondary reason for using Etherealness as this is a 7th level spell and Rope Trick and Leodmund's Tiny Hut are respectively 2nd and 3rd level spells.

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    \$\begingroup\$ In the scenario I was in enemy territory, faced with either revealing that I was present to an entity who's allegiances were unknown, or continuing to observe them while under Etherealness. I believed (rightfully, it turned out) that I would need to cast Etherealness again at the end of the duration, and wanted to use the short rest to recover the spell slot (a magic item gives me this benefit). The DM allowed it at the time - I just wanted to check if it made sense rules-wise :) \$\endgroup\$ – Robotnik Mar 31 at 9:44

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