44% of Americans feel comfortable socializing in public, a high since the beginning of the pandemic

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With the buildings of downtown Long Beach as a backdrop, beach goers lay on the sand just north of the Huntington Beach Pier in Huntington Beach, as summer-like temperatures reached nearly 90 degrees inland and thousands of people flocked to the beach on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
  • Americans are feeling increasingly comfortable socializing in public spaces, a new poll found.

  • Morning Consult's survey showed 44% of US adults feel safe enough to meet with friends in public.

  • The comfort level has increased 63% since January as more Americans are vaccinated.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

As COVID-19 vaccines have become more readily accessible to Americans, US adults are feeling increasingly comfortable socializing in public places, according to recent polling from Morning Consult.

Morning Consult has tracked public sentiments about daily life amid the pandemic since March 2020. As of April 12, approximately 44% of American adults said they wouldn't mind congregating with friends in social settings - a 63% increase since the beginning of January when it was at just 27%.

The survey interviewed 2,200 people and includes a 2% overall margin of error in its results.

Morning consult socialization poll
Morning Consult

Of all participants in Morning Consult's survey, people born in Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) and Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) said they felt the most comfortable socializing in public at 50% and 51% respectively.

Nearly 23% of the US population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and nearly 37% have received at least one dose, a rapidly growing proportion as more than 3 million Americans receive a dose of the vaccine each day. The vaccination rate may decrease slightly in the coming days since authorities paused the use of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Tuesday to investigate after six people who got the shot - out of 7.2 million - developed blood clots.

The COVID-19 pandemic halted nearly all social events in the US, leading to closed restaurants, shuttered schools, and decreased travel. Insider previously reported polling of the numerous ways that the ongoing pandemic has affected American decision-making during the holiday season, presidential voting, and more.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Insider's Aylin Woodward that he still plans on avoiding restaurants and travel despite being fully vaccinated. He said that if Americans avoid crowds for a little longer, then the country may avoid another surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

"If we could just hold on for a while," Fauci said, "we'll reach a point where the protection of the general community by the vaccine would really make it very unlikely that we're going to have another surge."

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