With around 19% of the U.S. population vaccinated and states opening up more as a result, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released updated rankings for the States with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions, as well as accompanying videos and audio files.

To identify which states have the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 13 key metrics. Our data set ranges from whether restaurants are open to whether the state has required face masks in public and workplace temperature screenings. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.

States with the Fewest Restrictions States with the Most Restrictions
1. Iowa 42. Rhode Island
2. Florida T-43. Connecticut
3. Wyoming T-43. Maine
4. South Dakota 45. California
5. Texas T-46. New York
6. Alaska T-46. Washington
7. South Carolina 48. Virginia
T-8. Mississippi 49. Delaware
T-8. Oklahoma 50. District of Columbia
10. Montana 51. Vermont

Note: Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 p.m. ET on April 5, 2021.

Biggest Changes in Rank from the Previous Report

  • Texas moved from 33 to 5, up 28 positions. This is due in part to the fact that the state currently has no mandate on face coverings in public, has fully reopened restaurants and bars, and has lifted restrictions on large gatherings.
  • Wyoming moved from 24 to 3, up 21 positions. This is due in part to the fact that the state has lifted the mandate on face coverings in public, currently has no ban on large gatherings, and has fully reopened restaurants and bars, as well as non-essential businesses.
  • Louisiana moved from 19 to 27, down 8 positions. This is due in part to the fact that the state has restrictions for large gatherings, still has service limits for restaurants and bars, and has recommended working from home.

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a phone, Skype or in-studio interview with one of our analysts. Full data sets for specific states are also available upon request. In addition, feel free to embed this YouTube video summarizing the study on your website, and to use or edit these raw files (audio and video) as you see fit.

Diana Polk
WalletHub Communications Manager
(202) 684-6386

Q&A with WalletHub

Do you expect the recent spike in COVID-19 cases to impact reopening?

“The recent spike in COVID-19 cases will not impact reopening. People are impatient for restrictions to be over and are not willing to delay reopening to wait for a decline in new cases,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Consider states like Texas and Iowa, where mask mandates and other restrictions were lifted while only a small portion of the population was vaccinated. Even though COVID-19 cases are increasing in those states, it’s unlikely we’ll see significant restrictions return.”

Should there be any vaccine-related COVID-19 restrictions?

“America should implement vaccine-related COVID-19 restrictions. The U.S. could follow the model of Israel, which has instituted a ‘Green Pass’ system. The ‘Green Pass’ allows people who have received both doses of the vaccine, as well as people who have already recovered from COVID-19, to visit certain institutions like gyms, hotels and entertainment venues that are closed to the general public,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Having a ‘Green Pass’ in the U.S. would not only help to keep people safe, but it would also encourage more people to get vaccinated and it would help struggling industries open sooner.”

Is there a correlation between how restrictive a state is and its unemployment rate?

“There is a moderate correlation between a state’s restrictiveness and its unemployment rate,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “WalletHub’s analysis found that 76% of states with few COVID-19 restrictions had low unemployment rates. This makes sense because states with fewer restrictions allow more places to open, which in turn provides more opportunities to work.”

Why does Iowa rank as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions?

“Iowa ranks as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions in part because it is one of 17 states that have not taken any action on face coverings in public, and one of 24 states that have no limits on large gatherings,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Iowa has reopened all non-essential businesses, and it is one of only 13 states that neither require nor recommend working from home.”

California has experienced the most coronavirus cases overall in the U.S. How has that impacted the state’s restrictions?

“California has the 7th most coronavirus restrictions in the U.S., and is one of only three states to currently limit gatherings to 25 people,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Non-essential businesses in California are open with limits and the state is one of only a few where bars continue to remain closed.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.