British Columbians Hesitant About Life Without COVID-19 Vaccine

Most residents are willing to visit barbershops and restaurants, but the proportion drops for public transit, gyms and music venues.

Vancouver, BC [May 21, 2020] – A significant proportion of British Columbians are unwilling to partake in specific activities unless a vaccine against COVID-19 is available, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, more than half of British Columbians say they would not attend a live sporting event as a spectator (61%) or a music venue (59%) before there is a vaccine against COVID-19.

At this stage, more than half of British Columbians are willing to visit a community centre (60%) as well as a gym or fitness facility (53%).

“More than half of women in British Columbia (54%) say they would not set foot inside a gym or fitness facility before they can have access to a COVID-19 vaccine,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Conversely, most men (60%) say they would have no problem visiting these venues.”

There is a split among residents on the issue of public transit usage. Across the province, 57% of British Columbians are willing to ride on a bus without a COVID-19 vaccine, while 43% would not do so. In addition, 55% would ride on SkyTrain, while 45% would not.

Men are more likely than women to say they would be willing to ride a bus (63% to 52%) and ride on SkyTrain (60% to 50%) before a COVID-19 vaccine is accessible.

Fewer than a third of British Columbians say they would not visit restaurants, pubs or bars where people can only eat indoors (32%), libraries (29%), restaurants, pubs or bars where people eat outside (also 29%) and barbershops or salons (27%) without a COVID-19 vaccine.

British Columbians aged 55 and over are more likely to have no reservations about going to a restaurant patio (72%) or to a restaurant that only offers food indoors (64%).

British Columbians of European descent are more likely to say that they would visit an indoor restaurant before a COVID-19 vaccine is available (76%) than those of East Asian (69%) and South Asian (57%) heritage.

At least three-in-five British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (60%) and aged 55 and over (64%) say they are not willing to visit a music venue without a COVID-19 vaccine. The proportion is lower among those aged 35-to-54 (54%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 15 to May 17, 2020, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.5 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.