Berkeley restaurants

Most Californians support COVID vaccine requirements, poll finds

Most Californians still support COVID-19 restrictions, including requiring proof of vaccination at large outdoor gatherings or entering places like indoor restaurants and bars, new survey finds .

Findings from the Public Policy Institute of California, based on a March 6-17 poll of nearly 1,700 adults statewide, indicate continued overall support for the kind of health interventions that have been largely relaxed in amid declining coronavirus cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations.

But the survey also noted broad divisions based on political affiliation – illustrating that, as has always been the case in a state as large and diverse as California, the larger numbers may belie significant opposition to the measures. related to the pandemic among certain groups and in certain areas.

Overall, 57% of residents surveyed by PPIC said they supported requiring proof of vaccination to enter large outdoor gatherings or indoor spaces like restaurants, bars and gyms. . Among those polled, 41% opposed the requirement of such proof.

Support was strongest in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County, two regions that until recently had strict vaccine verification rules on their books.

Among all adults, 68% of San Francisco Bay Area residents supported vaccination verification requirements for those places, as did 60% of those in Los Angeles County, the survey found.

Support was slightly warmer, 55%, in the Central Valley. And in the Inland Empire and Orange and San Diego counties, residents were essentially evenly split on their support for such measures.

Among likely voters statewide, 50% supported the vaccination verification rules, while 47% opposed them. By region, 66% of likely voters supported such rules in the Bay Area, followed by 53% in LA County, 46% in Orange and San Diego counties, 44% in the Central Valley and 33% in the Inland Empire.

Requiring proof of vaccination to enter certain spaces was supported by 71% of all Democrats, compared to just 26% of Republicans and 47% of independents, according to the survey.

A significant partisan divide has also emerged over the broader question of whether those polled support any sort of restrictions to prevent coronavirus transmission.

Among Democrats, 85% strongly or somewhat favor controlling the spread with restrictions if necessary, as do 54% of independents. In contrast, 63% of Republicans favored no restrictions.

The poll found that, overall, 64% of adults strongly or somewhat support efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus, even if it means having some restrictions; while 32% strongly or somewhat favor no restrictions on normal activities, even if it would hurt virus control efforts.

PPIC noted “surprisingly large gender differences on this issue,” with 57% of women strongly in favor of controlling COVID-19 through restrictions, compared to just 35% of men.

“Across all racial/ethnic groups, Latinos are the most likely to strongly favor controlling the spread,” the survey found. Fifty-four percent of Latino adults expressed such support, while 40% of white adults did.

Additionally, “Californians with lower levels of education and income are more likely to strongly support controlling the spread than those with higher levels of education and income,” PPIC said.

The survey was released as a number of California cities phase out vaccination verification requirements for restaurants and indoor gyms.

The LA City Council voted on Wednesday to stop requiring restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and a range of other businesses to check if customers are vaccinated in order to use their indoor facilities.

The rules will be changed as soon as the ordinance is signed by the mayor and released, which usually happens a few days after the mayor signs, according to the city clerk’s office.

This decision does not prohibit restaurants and other businesses from continuing to request proof of vaccination from customers if they wish. Council Speaker Nury Martinez said last week that LA was maintaining its requirement for proof of vaccination to enter indoor portions of city facilities.

LA’s demands on restaurants and other businesses outraged some critics who saw them as excessive, including leaders of the Los Angeles County Libertarian Party, who had pushed for a ballot measure to overturn the demands.

On March 21, West Hollywood ended its vaccination verification requirements for restaurants and indoor gyms. On March 11, Berkeley did the same, while San Francisco on the same date ended a proof of vaccination or negative test requirement for indoor restaurants and gyms.

Oakland still has a vaccination verification requirement for indoor restaurants, gymnasiums and theaters.

Times editor Emily Alpert Reyes contributed to this report.