As more local economies slowly reopen amid the ongoing pandemic, businesses across the country are facing a new challenge: Not everyone is comfortable venturing out just yet.
Morning Consult is tracking consumers’ comfort level returning to the public sphere for pastimes, such as going to the movies or to the gym, amid the ongoing threat of COVID-19. As of mid-May, fewer than a quarter of U.S. adults say they feel safe engaging in a range of leisure activities. We’ll be updating this page every week with new data.
Consumers are the most comfortable going out to eat, shopping or on a vacation, while traveling abroad and going to a concert are at the other end of the spectrum.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working to prepare the country for a return to some pre-pandemic activity. This week, the CDC released guidance on how to go about reopening safely after stay-at-home orders lift.
Many restaurants pivoted to carry-out service after state regulations restricted dine-in options, and the latest polling shows they may have to retain that model a bit longer: 23 percent of the public is currently comfortable going out to eat. That said, another analysis shows consumers are hungry to dine out again.
And although some restaurants may be eager to reopen, many are concerned about welcoming back customers too soon.
In Georgia, one of the first states to lift its shelter-in-place order, more than 50 restaurants took out an ad in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution announcing that they would not yet reopen after Gov. Brian Kemp said dine-in service would be allowed starting April 27.
Shopping malls in states across the country are also beginning to reopen. Simon Property Group Inc., the largest mall owner in the United States, said on May 11 that it had reopened 77 of its U.S. retail properties.
Millennials stand out in their comfort to enter malls again: Twenty-eight percent said they feel safe doing so now.
Movie theaters have been slower to reopen, with production of new films halted and release dates delayed amid the pandemic. Major theater chains have yet to formally announce plans to start selling tickets again; Cinemark Holdings Inc. said in a statement to Morning Consult that reopening likely won’t happen until mid-summer, with Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” scheduled as the first release for July 17, even as some states allow theaters to open sooner.
Similar to findings on other leisure activities, Republicans and adults in rural spaces are more likely to say they currently feel comfortable going to the movies.
Joanna Piacenza contributed.