Most Canadians say they are unlikely to travel outside of their community this summer: Nanos survey
OTTAWA -- New polling by Nanos Research has found that a strong majority of Canadians won’t be travelling outside of their communities this summer, despite the expected easing of public health restrictions and the acceleration of vaccinations.
According to the survey, commissioned by CTV News, nearly 70 per cent of respondents said they were either “unlikely” or “somewhat unlikely” to travel, while 28 per cent said they were “likely” or “somewhat likely.” Three per cent were “unsure,” even if their community is under a stay-at-home order.
“I think the fact of the matter is that until more Canadians are vaccinated, until we know that the pandemic is under control, a majority of Canadians have resigned themselves to the fact that they won’t be travelling very far,” said Nik Nanos of Nanos Research in an interview with CTVNews.ca
Respondents from Quebec and Atlantic Canada were more likely to say they would stay put, compared to those in Ontario and the Prairies.
The survey findings come the same day the Public Health Agency of Canada unveiled preliminary guidelines detailing what Canadians can expect the summer and fall to look like beyond the “one-dose summer” and “two-dose fall” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau endorsed earlier this week.
The documents show that if 75 per cent of Canadians eligible for vaccines have had one dose and 20 per cent have had a second dose, summer can include camping, hiking, picnics, and patios, but crowds should still be avoided. By fall, if 75 per cent of those eligible for a vaccine have been fully vaccinated, expect to be able to gather indoors with people outside your household, participate in indoor sports, and attend family gatherings.
The Canadian government hasn’t given any specific indication as to when they will lift their national advisory to avoid non-essential travel or when the U.S.-Canada border would fully open up again, only to say any measures will align with vaccination numbers and a steady decline in transmission of the virus.
CANADIANS IN THE OLYMPICS
The Nanos survey also found that nearly 60 per cent of respondents were either “not comfortable” or “somewhat not comfortable” with Canadian athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Thirty-six per cent of respondents said they were “comfortable” or “somewhat comfortable” and five per cent were “unsure.”
“We’re having basically the pandemic of the century and the Olympics is usually a celebration and gathering of the best athletes in the world,” said Nanos. “They look at what’s happening in Tokyo, numbers are on the up…so roll all those things together and Canadians are uncomfortable.”
Respondents from Atlantic Canada and Ontario were more likely to say they were uncomfortable or somewhat uncomfortable with it, compared to Quebec and the Prairies.
Canadian officials applauded news last week that Pfizer and BioNTech are donating COVID-19 vaccines for athletes and officials preparing for the Olympics. Delivery of doses is set to begin this month to give Olympic delegations time to be fully vaccinated with a second shot before arriving in Tokyo for the Games, which opens on July 23.
While the Olympics are moving forward, other summer Canadian events, including the Canadian National Exhibition have been cancelled.
Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land-and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,025 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between April 29th and May 3rd, 2021 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.
Individuals were randomly called using random digit dialing with a maximum of five call backs.
The margin of error for a random survey of 1,025 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The research was commissioned by CTV News and conducted by Nanos Research.
With a file from The Canadian Press.