Canadians Worried About COVID, But Don’t Want Restrictions

Provincial governments in Canada are attempting to maintain a delicate balance amid a summer surge of COVID-19 cases, fueled by the BA.5 variant. Canadians continue to be worried about the risk the virus poses to their own and their families’ health. And, while some are taking their own steps to prevent further spread, the appetite for government public health measures is minimal, at only a fraction of what it was in previous waves, says a study from Angus Reid Institute. In September 2021, amid the fourth wave of the virus, 70 per cent of Canadians said they would support a vaccine passport in their community to require residents to show proof of inoculation to enter larger public spaces; this concept is now supported by 25 per cent. While masking in indoor spaces is still recommended by public health officials, it is not required in most public settings in Canada. Three-quarters of Canadians (74 per cent) recognize the effectiveness of masking at reducing the spread of COVID-19, but only half say they would support mandating it in public spaces (51 per cent). Thirty per cent of Canadian residents say they wear a mask when inside places like grocery stores, banks, or movie theatres ‘most’ or ‘all of the time.’ Half (53 per cent) say they do so ‘rarely’ or ‘never.’