Most Americans expect to keep wearing face masks after the pandemic

Jamie BallardData Journalist
March 19, 2021, 6:15 PM UTC

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues in the US, many Americans believe that the worst part of the pandemic is behind us. But they might not be tossing their face masks away just yet. 

A YouGov poll of more than 4,000 people finds that most Americans anticipate they will wear a face mask even after the pandemic is over. One-quarter (25%) say they will do so frequently, while slightly more (31%) say they think they will wear a face mask only in special circumstances. Another 23% of US adults say they will not wear face masks post-pandemic. 

As ever, Republicans and Democrats aren’t aligned. Republicans (42%) are about four times as likely as Democrats (10%) to say they will not wear a mask after the pandemic ends. About one-quarter (26%) of Independents also say they will stop wearing face masks altogether once the pandemic ends.  

Related: How personal experience shaped public opinion on COVID-19 

Methodology: 4,241 US adults were surveyed between March 9 - 10, 2021. The responding sample is weighted to be representative of the US population.    

Image: Getty