Poll: One of Four Americans Say It Is ‘Safe’ for Them to Go Out in Public Without a Mask

mask in trash
Getty Images/Jordi Magrans

One of four Americans believe it is safe for them to personally go out in public without wearing a mask, an Economist/YouGov survey released this week showed.

Respondents were asked, “When do you think it will be safe for YOU to go out in public without a mask on?”

Twenty-six percent, said it is “safe right now.” Another six percent said it will be safe by spring of 2021, 13 percent said summer of 2021, and 16 percent said the end of 2021. Nineteen percent said 2022 or later, and another nineteen percent said they were not sure.

The survey also asked respondents how often they have worn a mask in the last seven days when outside of their home. A plurality, 49 percent, said “always,” followed by 21 percent who said “most of the time,” 19 percent who said “some of the time,” and 12 percent who said “never.”

Additionally, the survey asked respondents to rate the safeness of certain activities for vaccinated people. While the majority believe it is either “completely” or “somewhat” safe for vaccinated individuals to socialize outdoors without wearing a mask or socialize indoors with other vaccinated people without a mask, just 40 percent believe it is “completely” or “somewhat” safe for fully vaccinated people to socialize indoors with unvaccinated people without a face covering. Forty-nine percent believe it is “completely” or “somewhat” unsafe.

Notably, 49 percent believe it is “somewhat” or “completely” unsafe for unvaccinated people to even socialize outdoors without a mask, and 63 percent believe it is unsafe for unvaccinated individuals to socialize indoors with other unvaccinated people without wearing a mask.

The survey, taken May 1-4, among 1,500 U.S. adults has a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent.

U.S. health officials have refused to say when U.S. health agencies will no longer recommend Americans to wear masks in public. In February, Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested masks could continue to be around into 2022.

“You know, I think that’s possible that’s the case. It depends on what you mean by normality,” he said in response to a question on if Americans will still be wearing masks into the new year.


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