NW Week

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Canadians support strict travel restrictions of the Omicron COVID-19 variant

restrictions of the Omicron COVID-19 variant

Key Takeaways:

  • Following discovering the Omicron variant of COVID-19, a new poll suggests that Canadians are bracing for the worst.

More than four out of 5 respondents in an online survey conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies stated they support closing the Canadian border to visitors from countries where the variant is already present.

To combat the spread of Omicron, Canada quickly implemented travel restrictions, including a ban on visitors who had recently traveled through ten African countries.

The survey of 1,547 Canadians was conducted on December 3rd. However, because internet-based polls are not considered genuinely random samples, they cannot be assigned a margin of error.

According to Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque, based on respondents’ feedback on the potential impact of Omicron, people expect the new variant to be as bad, if not worse, than the Delta variant. 44% of respondents said Omicron would have a more significant impact on case counts than Delta, while 43% said the effect would be the same.

Canada's travel restrictions
Canada’s travel restrictions; Image from AI Jazeera

“Expectations are not overly optimistic,” Bourque said. Sixty-eight percent of Canadians said they would support reintroducing restrictions such as social distancing and temporary lockdowns for certain public places and activities.

According to Bourque, the approval rate for restrictions has dipped slightly compared to previous polls, in which more than 80% supported these safety measures.

“I don’t think Canadians are excited about having to go back there,” he said. However, most respondents said they support temporarily closing Canada’s border with the United States.

“We were surprised to see that nearly two-thirds of Canadians believe we should reconsider closing the border with the United States, even though many Canadians have been waiting for months for the border to reopen,” said Bourque.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada, Leger has asked respondents to describe their feelings about the pandemic’s current state in the country.

According to the most recent poll, there has been a significant drop in the proportion of respondents who believe the bad of the crisis is over. “Since Omicron was announced, we have seen a significant drop in Canadians who are optimistic about where we’re in the pandemic,” Bourque said.

Source: Global News

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