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Less than Two in Five are Now Wearing a Mask in Public

NEW YORK—A groundbreaking “Back-to-Normal Barometer” survey for the first time finds that only 40% of Americans are currently wearing masks in the presence of others and that only 41% of consumers believe that it will be necessary to extend the Federal mandate that all airline passengers wear masks on all flights, past mid-September.

The survey asked respondents whether they agreed with this statement, “For Now, I’m going to wear a mask, when in the presence of others.”  Respondents from the Northeast (44%) and West (46%) are much more likely to wear facial coverings than those from the Midwest (30%) and South (38%).  Democrats (51%) are nearly twice as likely as Republicans (27%) to wear masks. 


The survey also asked Americans to indicate how much they agreed or disagreed with each of the following statements:  41% in July 2021 strongly agreed that “I believe it will be necessary to extend the Federal mandate that all airline passengers wear masks on all flights, past mid-September.

“Extending a federal mandate through September that all airline passengers must continue to wear protective masks is the right thing to do.” 50% agreed in May 2021; 48% agreed in June 2021 and 41% agreed in July 2021. 


“Our tracking data has shown sentiment consistently trending away from supporting resumption of COVID related restrictions or mandates,” said Jon Last, President of Sports and Leisure Research Group and former national president of the Insights Association (MRA) along with ROKK Solutions—that conducted the survey. “Yesterday’s revised CDC guidance could foreshadow increased tensions among an already highly politicized and volatile situation.”

 “Patience is growing thin among Americans being forced to comply with federal mask mandates. As mask mandates begin to cover much of the country and our nation’s schools, it is likely that  this is going to receive negative reaction especially from those who are vaccinated,” said Ron Bonjean, Partner at ROKK Solutions.

The margin of error on the July 16, 2021 online survey of 531 Americans is +/-4.3% at the 95% confidence interval.

Sports and Leisure Research Group is a market research firm specializing in the sports, travel, and leisure sectors, based in White Plains, NY. ROKK Solutions is a Washington, DC-based bipartisan public affairs firm specializing in strategic communications, media engagement, digital and social strategy, message amplification and crisis management. Engagious is a bicoastal research firm specializing in corporate and public policy message testing and message refinement.