Most Americans now comfortable being unmasked, indoors, in public

Newsy/Ipsos poll shows most are comfortable hugging and being in close proximity, but comfort levels vary by age, partisanship

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Neil Lloyd Senior Research Analyst, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, July 5, 2021– A new Newsy/Ipsos poll finds that a majority of Americans are comfortable re-engaging in pre-pandemic behaviors. Notably, around seven in ten (69%) say they are now comfortable being in a public place, indoors, without a mask on. About three in five Americans feel comfortable being in close proximity to others, including hugging (64%) and shaking hands with people (60%). A vast majority of employed Americans (86%) say they are comfortable working outside of their homes.

However, there are varying degrees of comfort within the American public. Younger Americans, Republicans, and men are all more comfortable with some of these behaviors compared to their counterparts. For example, 75% of Republicans feel comfortable shaking hands with people, compared to 49% of Democrats. These differences were present in the midst of the pandemic as well. Almost half of Democrats report that they have not been comfortable hugging or shaking hands throughout the pandemic and still are not comfortable. This is compared to about 25% of Republicans and about a third of Independents.

When it comes to working outside of the home, despite high comfort levels, enthusiasm for returning to in-person work is more muted. A plurality of Americans who are employed and have worked remotely during the pandemic say they feel happy to return in person, while about a quarter report feeling indifferent about returning to work in person more often .

About the Study

These are some of the findings of a Newsy/Ipsos poll conducted between June 28-29, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 1,115 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 523 Democrats, 400 Republicans, and 117 Independents.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2018 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,115, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-4.8 percentage points).

The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points for Democrats, plus or minus 5.6 percentage points for Republicans, and plus or minus 10.3 percentage points for Independents.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Mallory Newall
Director, U.S., Public Affairs
+1 202 374-2613
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations Specialist, U.S., Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third-largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts, and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions, and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers, or employees. We serve more than 5,000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS: FP

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Neil Lloyd Senior Research Analyst, Public Affairs