Does individualism hamper collective compliance with regulations? With the hypothesis that individualists show less herd behavior, I construct a dynamic Bayesian coordination game model that predicts a heterogeneous relation between individualism and social distancing compliance depending on the mainstream risk perception of the pandemic. Individualism discourages compliance only when the majority treats COVID-19 as a serious threat. Using difference-in-differences and triple-difference approaches, I find that, consistent with the hypothesis, individualism was negatively associated with compliance across counties where people showed high mask wearing frequency, but the relation reversed or diminished to non-significance among counties with infrequent mask wearing. The differential remains significant even after accounting for potentially confounding demographic and socio-economic factors or employing an instrumental variable. The results suggest a non-negligible role of herding tendencies in the effects of the individualismcollectivism dimension on population behavior.