Canadians Split on “Family Bubbles” During COVID-19 Pandemic

While 82% would take advantage of an opportunity to expand their social circle, only 44% believe the concept is a good idea.

Vancouver, BC [May 12, 2020] – Fewer than half of Canadians agree with the notion of allowing two households a chance to socialize and interact during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 44% of Canadians believe the “family bubbles” are a good idea, while 35% disagree and 21% are undecided.

The “two-household bubble” or “family bubble” concept was originally introduced last month in New Brunswick as an effort to reduce social isolation.

There are some drastic discrepancies across the country when Canadians ponder this concept. While two thirds of Quebecers (68%) think the “family bubbles” are a good idea, the proportion of residents who feel the same way drops to 40% in Ontario, 39% in British Columbia, 37% in Atlantic Canada, 25% in Alberta and 18% in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

If their province allowed it, more than four-in-five Canadians (82%) say they would take advantage of the opportunity to have a “family bubble”—including 84% of those aged 55 and over, 83% of those aged 18-to-34 and 77% of those aged 35-to-54.

However, while 50% of Canadians say they know exactly which household they would ask to become part of their “family bubble”, 37% disagree and 13% are not sure.

“There is a significantly large proportion of Canadians who would jump at the chance to expand their social circle during the pandemic,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “However, most are not entirely convinced that this is the right course of action at this time, and half are currently unable to select who to join.”

Canadians are not particularly optimistic of two particular milestones happening before the end of the summer.

Only 41% of Canadians expect people to go to the office and not work from home anymore before the end of August, and just 31% foresee being able to attend or host a large social gathering during the same period.

Across the country, 48% of Canadians expect things in their city or town to go back to the way they were before the COVID-19 outbreak in January 2021 or later.

Only 11% of Canadians believe a return to normalcy will happen before the end of August, Including 17% of those aged 18-to-34 and 17% of Quebecers.

More than two thirds of Canadians (68%) believe the worst is “definitely” or “probably” ahead of us when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak—a four-point drop since Research Co. asked this question for the first time in March 2020.


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 4 to May 6, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.
For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.