The majority of Californians favor keeping COVID-19 restrictions, including requiring proof of vaccination at large events and certain indoor spaces, according to a new poll published Wednesday.
Though many COVID-19-related restrictions are being lifted and cases remain low in California, more than 6 in 10 Californians are in favor of efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 — even if this means having some restrictions, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll of nearly 1,672 adults statewide conducted between March 6 and March 17.
A majority of Californians polled, 57%, favor requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to be able to enter large outdoor gatherings, restaurants, bars and gyms, while 41% oppose this requirement.
The results of the poll showed support for COVID-19 restrictions, even as authorities continue to ease mandates amid declines in case numbers following an omicron-fueled winter surge.
California and Los Angeles County have both lifted vaccine and masking rules in recent weeks. As of Friday, people are no longer required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to attend large indoor events like concerts and sports games.
The poll did find a divide based on political party, with most Democrats strongly in favor of controlling the spread and most Republicans strongly in favor of having no restrictions.
About 71% of Democrats favored requiring proof of vaccination, while 72% of Republicans and a slim majority of independents, 52%, opposed this requirement, according to the poll.
Support for requiring vaccine proof was also higher among Californians with higher education levels, as well as those with lower incomes.
“Surprisingly large” gender differences were also seen on the issue, according to the Public Policy Institute.
At 57%, women were far more likely to favor controlling the spread than men (35%). Women were also more likely to support vaccine verification than men were.
Support also varied based on location, with 60% of those polled in the San Francisco Bay Area strongly in favor, compared to only 36% in the Central Valley.
The support for COVID-19 restrictions was found as health authorities are closely monitoring the spread of BA.2, a highly-contagious omicron subvariant.
The subvariant has been fueling concerns that COVID-19 could climb again after weeks of declines following the winter surge.
It has been spreading in L.A. County, where it now already accounts for 32% of all sequenced specimens.
The increase in L.A. County mirrors trends seen across the country, with the World Health Organization announcing last week that BA.2 accounted for 86% of sequenced cases worldwide during the past month.