COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are continuing to decrease in the United States. For the fifth week in a row, Americans’ concern about being in public spaces continues to decline. Right now, 40% of U.S. adults are “not at all concerned” about being in public which is an improvement of five percentage points week over week. As the nationwide vaccine rollout continues, concern could continue to shift. 

Similar to last week, roughly 1 in 4 U.S. adults expect to be still following COVID-19 public health guidelines six or more months from now. Thirty percent anticipate following guidelines for at least two to six more months and another 22% aren’t sure what to think when it comes to a timeline. This means, while inoculation rates increase, a significant percentage of people continue to make efforts to curb the spread of the virus. 

Shopping, Dining, and Travel Comfort 

Comfort shopping in stores has increased by six percentage points since last week, with over two-thirds of adults comfortable shopping in stores (for non-grocery items) right now. Only 12% say they’d only be comfortable doing so in six months or more which is the lowest number tracked for that response category to date. 

As of this week, 60% of U.S. adults reported they are comfortable going out to eat right now, hitting a new all-time high.

People are becoming increasingly more comfortable with the idea of traveling soon too. Forty-four percent of U.S. adults say they’d feel OK to travel right now, which is the highest comfort level observed since the beginning of the pandemic in the United States. One-fourth still say they anticipate waiting six or more months. 

Unsurprisingly – given the above findings – 1 in 5 U.S. adults plan to travel by plane in the next 30 days. As we’ve seen with many other activities, this is the highest percentage of comfort observed since last July. 

Another activity category that people are becoming more comfortable returning to are larger-scale events like concerts, festivals, and sporting events – all of which typically become more prevalent in (normal) summer months. Week over week,  there was an 11 percentage-point increase in those comfortable going to a major event right now; nearly 40% say they’re comfortable attending something now. 

This significant increase is largely being driven by parents (by 15 percentage points) who are the most likely group to say they’re comfortable attending major events right now.

Those living in rural areas are also more comfortable than most – 4 in 10 say they’d attend something right now. City dwellers remain the least comfortable overall which makes sense given the population density differences. 

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