News: Quick Takes

COVID won’t block N.C. holiday travel plans, poll finds

Two out of three adults in North Carolina (68%) say the coronavirus pandemic won’t prevent them from traveling during the holiday season. Just 29% say COVID will thwart their travel plans, according to a new High Point University poll.

An even larger majority (72%) say the pandemic won’t stop them from gathering with friends and family during the holidays, according to the poll of 867 N.C. residents. Some 27% of respondents said COVID concerns would block them from holiday gatherings.

High Point released the poll results Wednesday, one day before Thanksgiving launches the holiday season.

Respondents split almost evenly on the question of whether COVID-19 would affect their holiday plans at all. While 48% said COVID-19 would not affect their plans “much at all,” another 48% responded that the pandemic would affect plans “a little or a lot.”

Beyond holiday plans, the poll found that 43% of people say they have been affected “a lot” by rising gas prices. Some 37% say rising gas prices have affected them “a little,” while 18% say they haven’t been affected much at all.

Just over half of poll respondents (51%) say they have heard “a lot” about recent supply chain problems and shipping delays. About 35% say they have heard little about these issues, while 11% haven’t heard much at all.

Three in five respondents (61%) say they’re “very” or “somewhat” concerned about shipping delays when it comes to holiday shopping this year. Another 21% are not very concerned about shipping delays, and 16% are not at all concerned.

Regardless of the concerns, a plurality (48%) of poll respondents say they’re shopping about the same time this year as last year for holiday gifts and decor. About a third of respondents (35%) are shopping earlier, and 8% say they’re planning to shop later than last year.

High Point pollsters conducted their surveys from Nov. 11-19.