COVID and the holidays: a surge won't stop them

December 23, 2021, 9:09 PM GMT+0

Americans are settling in for a long pandemic. with two-thirds expecting it will not end before 2023. Despite a U.S. spike in cases and rising concern about a new variant of the COVID-19 virus, the U.S. has not taken the drastic steps that the United Kingdom has, urging Britons to scale back celebrations with others.

The latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds that most Americans are planning to celebrate an upcoming holiday with others. Americans are much more likely to celebrate Christmas with others than they are to celebrate New Year’s Eve with others. Just 38% are celebrating New Year’s with others, compared with 63% celebrating Christmas with others. New Year’s Eve is also more of an event for younger adults.

Nearly one in five New Year’s celebrants this year will be going out, and that happens more among Americans living in urban areas: 22%, to 17% in suburbs and 13% in rural areas.

Fewer than a third of Americans nationwide report COVID restrictions in their own communities – including half of those living in the West and more than a third in the Northeast. Last year more than twice as many nationwide – 68% — said there were restrictions in their communities. Now most don’t see any local restrictions, especially in the South and Midwest. And even most Americans who see local restrictions don’t think they will affect holiday celebrations. Only 19% of celebrants say their celebrations will be affected by COVID restrictions.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov Poll

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between December 12 and December 14, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the 2018 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non-votes). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3% for the overall sample.

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