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CBS News poll: Vaccinated or not, Americans venture out

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As businesses reopen and Americans reemerge from pandemic life, they've got some requests for the venues they'd frequent and are still collectively exercising a bit of caution. They're largely comfortable gathering with friends at parties, taking road trips and going to restaurants, and harbor more mixed feelings about places that draw larger crowds and about plane flights. But as you've perhaps seen for yourself at an airport or watching a sports event lately, that comfort level is certainly up since earlier this spring, before most were vaccinated.

Most believe businesses that handle travel and crowds ought to be taking an array of safety measures and that employers can mandate vaccines for their workers. 

In terms of who is out and about, vaccinated people tend to be comfortable, but non-vaccinated people — of whom there are still many — are just as comfortable, if not more so, going out to public places than those who are vaccinated.

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Those who say they won't get the shot are more likely to be comfortable at a large event.

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And they're comparably likely to be comfortable going to restaurants and bars.

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Looking at examples of businesses that accommodate larger gatherings, people largely want them to clean and practice social distancing where possible, and a substantial majority want them to require masks for everyone. Two-thirds would also have them require vaccines for their workers, and most, for attendees too.

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For private businesses more generally, a majority feel they should generally be allowed to have vaccine mandates if they want. It's somewhat partisan, but not overwhelmingly so. Democrats think employers should be able to mandate vaccinations for their workers, six in 10 Republicans do not.

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Vaccine resistance

Vaccine resistance is currently running at just under one in five who assert they won't get it, with a few others still on the fence. And as our polling has also been documenting for many months, partisanship still appears to be a heavy factor in that resistance.

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Today, almost all Democrats report that they've either been vaccinated or plan to be, but Republicans continue to report that at much lower rates. That's particularly the case among younger Republicans. And the ranks of those not getting vaccinated are still disproportionately Republican, more so than the adult population as a whole. They're also somewhat more rural and less likely to hold a college degree than those who have gotten it.

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The rationale for all those not getting vaccinated continues to be that the shot is still too untested (a reason that they've expressed over recent months, even as the rollout continued) and that they do not trust the government, which is mentioned by four in 10 among them. 

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Incentives to be vaccinated, like prizes or lotteries, which some states offer, might move the needle a little. But most who refuse the vaccine say they don't see incentives changing their minds.

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Going out

In total, we find a lot of Americans comfortable with activities that tend to be more limiting in terms of either size or who they might encounter. They're largely comfortable with road trips, workplaces and restaurants.

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Opinions are more mixed for activities that might involve more crowds and not as high for activities like going to a tourist location or resort. They're also split for taking an airplane or for going to a large sports or entertainment event.

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This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,037 U.S. adult residents interviewed between June 8-10, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on  the U.S. Census American Community Survey, and the U.S. Census Current Population Survey, as well as 2020 Presidential vote. The margin of error is ±2.6 points.

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