COVID-19 Lockdown: U.S. Public Opposes Reopening Most Businesses

May 7, 2020
The poll specifically asked Americans about whether their states should open eight different types of business

A new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll has found that there's widespread opposition to reopening businesses across the United States as governors ease restrictions and loosen lockdowns. Even if businesses do get up and running quickly, public reluctance to shop and dine could prove a major obstacle to restarting the economy. That's without even considering a further spike in new infections and deaths. The research found that only 56 percent of the U.S. public feel comfortable going grocery shopping and the share is even lower for clothes shopping and dining out at just 33 percent and 22 percent respectively.

The poll specifically asked Americans about whether their states should open eight different types of business. Golf courses had the highest support for reopening at 41 percent which is probably understandable given that they guarantee wide open space outdoors with plenty of opportunities for social distancing. People are more apprehensive about businesses that involve closer contact with support for retail stores reopening at 34 percent and hairdressers at 31 percent. 29 percent of those polled also want their states to reopen gun stores.

Considering the public's reluctance for dining out and the importance of hygiene levels, restaurants have a lower level of support for reopening their doors at just 26 percent. The highest level of opposition is for movie theaters, however, with just 18 percent of respondents wanting them reopened. The situation is complicated around the country with some states reporting high levels of new infection while others seem to be past their peak. The poll asked the public where their communities stand and 31 percent of respondents said they feel the worst is behind them. 30 percent think the worst is happening now while 38 percent fear the worst is still to come.

Niall McCarthyNiall McCarthy

Data Journalist

+49 (40) 284 841 562

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