With businesses reopening in southeast Wisconsin, a recent survey found that many Wisconsinites remain reluctant to return to the workplace and engage in social activities at businesses including restaurants and movie theaters.

In response to whether they were willing to go to work, only 49% responded positively. As for other activities, 41% said they would eat at a restaurant, 35% said they would visit a shopping mall, 33% said they would stay at a hotel and 23% said they would go to a movie.

The poll of 1,000 Wisconsin adults was conducted the week of Memorial Day — May 26 to 28 — and was paid for by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC).

The survey was designed to gauge for MMAC business members what to expect in terms of challenges when they reopen their offices, factories and shops, said MMAC senior vice president Steve Baas.

“Three months of lockdown did a pretty good of making people cautious and making people scared,” Baas said in an interview Friday. “And it’s going to take a while to regain that confidence.”

The survey sends a message to business owners and employers that they need to be sensitive to the feelings of employees and customers when reopening, Baas said. Businesses need to take actions that reassure employees and customers that the business environment is safe from contracting Covid-19 including practicing social distancing, dispensing sanitary wipes and wearing masks, he said.

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