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Most Americans Not Ready to Return to Businesses

Posted at 4:41 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 19:41:31-04

A recent Newsy/Ipsos poll found less than half of respondents feel safe dining in restaurants or getting haircuts, and less than one-third are ready to visit bars and gyms.

"We are opening back up because we have to open back up. But at the same time, that creates more exposure," said Governor Mike DeWine (R) of Ohio.

Governors like Dewine have that tough decision of balancing reopenings with minimizing COVID-19 infections. As more states and businesses reopen, a Newsy/Ipsos poll found American customers may not be eager to come back.

Newsy recently surveyed about 2,000 adults and found less than half of Americans, just 49%, are comfortable going back to a hair salon or a barber. When it comes to dining in restaurants, only 44% are comfortable.

Customers feel even less confident returning to movie theaters (30%), bars (27%) and gyms (27%).

Mallory Newall, research director at Ipsos: "Republicans are significantly more comfortable with going out to public places like bars, restaurants, movie theaters than Democrats are. ... Your partisan affiliation is really starting to drive not only views about the virus but behavior afterwards, including consumer behavior."

With the US nearing 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, only five states and D.C. have all their nonessential businesses closed. Other states have opened or partially opened nonessential businesses, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Some business owners are just grateful to get back to work. Zoakenia Biah, owner, Salon Supreme in Georgia: "Just try to take your safety precautions, but you cannot be scared. In business, there is no fear."