New Hampshire

About Half of NH Residents Say They're Ready to Go Out in Public, Survey Finds

New Hampshire residents say they feel comfortable attending a wedding with 50 or more people, going to a salon and eating inside a restaurant, according to a Granite State Poll.

New Hampshire residents are feeling more comfortable with activities like eating inside a restaurant, going to a state beach, and getting their hair cut, according to a Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

About half of those polled said they are currently comfortable with attending a wedding with 50 or more people, going to a bar or pub, going to a gym or health club, and going to a movie theater, according to the survey published Wednesday.

Private businesses, cities, and towns can still come up with their own masking rules, but it will no longer be mandated by the state. Experts say this is not the time, but some residents are saying finally.

Even though New Hampshire no longer has a statewide mask mandate and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks in most situations, people responding to the the survey said they are wearing masks at only slightly lower rates than in December. The survey said 83% said they always wear a mask while shopping at a grocery store or pharmacy, down from 89% in December, while only 10% said they rarely or never do this. A total of 69% said they wear a mask when getting restaurant takeout food, down from 75% in December.

Relatively few people continue to wear a mask when socializing with family or friends they don't live with or while exercising outdoors.

Also nearly 75% surveyed said they are at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19. Seventeen percent said they will probably not or almost certainly not be vaccinated, unchanged since April.

The survey center said 1,824 people completed the survey online between May 13 and May 17. The margin of sampling error or the survey was plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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