Fewer than half of Americans plan to go to concerts, movies, sports events and amusement parks when they reopen to the public until there is a proven coronavirus vaccine, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 4,429 American adults from April 15 to 21, asking about their previous attendance at sports events and live concerts and their interest in attending if they reopened before a coronavirus vaccine is available. The poll questions noted a vaccine might not be available for more than a year.
About four in 10 people who follow sports avidly and go to arts and entertainment venues and amusement parks said they would do so again if they reopened before a vaccine was available, according to the poll. Another four in 10 said they were willing to wait, even if it takes more than a year to develop a vaccine. The rest said they either “don’t know” what to do or may never attend those events again.
The United States leads the world with almost 1 million coronavirus infections and more than 56,000 deaths as of late Monday. Scientists project that a vaccine will not be on the market for 18 months.
Sporting events fared worst in the poll, with just 17% of American adults saying they would attend when they are reopened to the public, while 26% said they would rather wait for a vaccine.
However, the numbers were much higher among people who had actually attended a professional sporting event in the past year, with 42% said they would return whenever sports reopens to the public and 39% saying they would rather wait for a vaccine.
The poll showed that only 27% of those questioned would go to a movie theater, concert or live theater performance when venues reopen. Thirty-two percent said they would wait for a vaccine before going back to the movies, theater or concerts. In all, 55% of Americans said those events should not resume before a vaccine is available, although movie theaters in some states are already planning on reopening next month.
While a further breakdown was not posted, like sporting events, presumably the percentages are higher among Americans who had actually attended films or concerts in the past year.
Along with sports, theme and amusement parks posted grim numbers. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they should not reopen until a vaccine is available, while just 20% said they would visit a theme park when they reopen.
Universal Studios has extended its closures in California and Florida until the end of May, while Disneyland and Walt Disney World are closed indefinitely.