Washington, DC, April 22, 2022 - In light of a federal judge overturning mask requirements in transportation settings, a new Axios/Ipsos poll – fielded the day after the ruling – shows that the change in the law doesn’t have an impact on air travel plans for many Americans. However, a bare majority feel that ending such a requirement will cause COVID-19 cases to rise. While the mask requirement for air travel and public transportation appears to be heading toward continued litigation, nearly half of Americans say it is very likely they will continue to wear masks in airports, and on planes, trains, and public transit.
1. The ending of mask requirements on planes does not seem to have an immediate impact on Americans’ travel plans right now.
- Half (49%) say ending this requirement on plans does not make them any more or less likely to fly now. For those who say it does make a difference, there is a nearly even split on whether they are now more likely to fly (27%) or less likely (23%).
- For the half of Republicans who say the ruling makes a difference on their air travel plans, more than twice as many say it makes them more likely to fly (33%) rather than less (15%). Democrats, on the other hand, are slightly less inclined to fly (30%) without a mask requirement in place, rather than more (24%).
2. A slim majority indicate ending a mask requirement for transportation settings will cause cases to rise. Similarly, nearly half indicate that they are very likely to continue masking up while they travel.
- Overall, 53% say they believe this move will lead to a rise in Covid cases. Seventy-one percent of Democrats agree, compared to just 31% of Republicans. Independents are right in the middle, also at 53%.
- Though masks are no longer required while traveling, nearly half say they are very likely to continue wearing them in airports (46%), and on airplanes (47%), public transit (46%), and trains (45%).
- On all of these measures, however, there is a significant partisan split. A majority (roughly 60%) of Democrats indicate a strong likelihood to mask up in these places, compared to just around a third of Republicans.
- Overall, around half strongly support mask requirements in the various transportation settings listed above.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on April 19-20, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 998 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 267 Republicans, 412 Democrats and 319 independents/Others.
The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling 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 2019 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc 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 3.8 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=998, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.3 percentage points).
The poll also has a credibility interval of plus or minus 7.3 percentage points for Republicans, +/- 5.9 for Democrats, +/- 6.7 for independents/others.
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