The goal of the present study was to explore COVID-19 related hesitancy, which represents the inability of people to return to previous levels of functioning after a major medical crisis like the current pandemic. A new questionnaire was developed to evaluate participants’ hesitancy. The study was conducted online in November, 2020, using convenience sampling. A total of 538 individuals from the general Greek population participated in the study and completed the Hesitancy Questionnaire, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 2-item (GAD-2), the Short Health Anxiety Inventory and a COVID-19-related worry question. The Hesitancy Questionnaire proved to have adequate psychometric properties. Correlation with anxiety as assessed by GAD-2 proved to be significant but low, indicating that the two scales are measuring two different concepts. The greatest hesitancy was observed in older adults for both genders (males, M = 40.86, SD = 15.24; females, M = 49.34, SD = 14.74). Women in general appeared more hesitant than men scoring higher (males, M = 36.13, SD = 15.25; females, M = 42.63, SD = 17.31) with a statistically significant difference [t(536) = − 3.706, p = .001). This study provided a tool to informed understanding on how citizens perceive the new normality after the COVID-19 pandemic. If not appropriately addressed, hesitancy may increase stress levels and result in mental health or socialization problems.