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 The hospitality, food, live sports and transportation industries are poised to see significant declines in consumer visits to these spaces driven by lingering concerns about sanitation and the coronavirus, according to a national study released by the Healthy Spaces Initiative.

Based on a representative survey of over 2,000 American adults, the new research paints a stark picture of significant changes in Americans’ habits over the next six months, including:

- 24 percent decline in weekly visits to brick-and-mortar retail

- 23 percent decline in weekly visits to restaurants, bars and clubs

- 12 percent decline in visits to stadiums and arenas

- 7 percent decline in visits to hotels

- 7 percent decline in taking flights combined with a 16 percent increase in long-distance car travel

“We can see how habits have changed during the pandemic, but this study is significant for what it says about how Americans plan to act months after reopening begins,” says Jim Mooney, HSI partner and Enginuity CEO in a press release. “It’s clear that a lot of businesses will suffer unless they take steps to improve the public’s confidence in their ability to provide healthier spaces.” 

When asked what disease mitigation tools make a difference to them, a large majority of survey participants felt that indoor air quality and surface disinfection affected their decisions on where to work, shop and visit. Of those surveyed, 86 percent reported that sanitation and air quality were important. Similarly, 88 percent said that disinfecting surfaces mattered, as did 82 percent for air quality.

Furthermore, 84 percent of participants felt that employers were responsible for the ongoing monitoring and support of their employees’ health.

“To satisfy the public’s interest in clean indoor air and surfaces, businesses can turn to advanced solutions like Bipolar Ionization (BPI),” says Dr. Philip M. Tierno, Jr., Professor of Microbiology and Pathology at New York University School of Medicine. “Recent research has demonstrated that certain BPI technologies can achieve a 99.92 percent reduction in a coronavirus from indoor air and surfaces within 30 minutes. That's incredibly promising, especially at this time of a coronavirus pandemic.”

The research report is based on a demographically representative survey of 2,007 Americans 18 and older conducted between May 4 and 8, 2020. Participants were asked about a range of activities and spaces, including educational facilities, bars, clubs and restaurants; brick-and-mortar retail; gyms; salons and spas; hotels; stadiums and arenas; transportation centers; hospitals and urgent care centers; and public restrooms. The margin of error for these findings is approximately plus or minus two percentage points.