Canadians Hold Mixed Views on End of Pandemic Regulations

COVID-19 infections have hit almost one-in-four Canadian households since the end of restrictions and mandates.

Vancouver, BC [May 20, 2022] – While almost half of Canadians endorse the decision to abandon all regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than two-in-five believe the call was made too soon, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 49% of Canadians believe COVID-19 restrictions and mandates were “definitely” or “probably” lifted at the right time in their community, while 43% think they were lifted too early.

At least half of residents of Ontario (52%) and Alberta (50%) believe restrictions and mandates came to an end at the right time. The proportions are lower in British Columbia (49%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (also 49%), Quebec (47%) and Atlantic Canada (44%).

Almost one-in-four Canadians (23%) report that either themselves or someone else in their household became infected with COVID-19 after restrictions and mandates were lifted in their community—a proportion that rises to 36% among those aged 18-to-34 and to 27% among Quebecers.

“More than half of Canadians who endured a COVID-19 infection after restrictions and mandates were lifted (52%) feel that this decision was taken too soon,” says Mario Canseco. “Still, 42% of these respondents believe the regulations were halted at the correct time.”

Just over three-in-five Canadians (61%) say they would be satisfied if proof of vaccination was required once again in the future to go to restaurants or public events. Higher proportions of Canadians would be satisfied if two other restrictions and mandates returned: a reduction of capacity at venues (such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports arenas) (64%) and having to wear a mask or face covering when entering an indoor premise (68%).

A majority of Canadians (52%) state that, as long as people are vaccinated, COVID-19 is a minor nuisance. This includes 58% of those who have experienced the virus personally or in their household after the end of restrictions and mandates.

Larger proportions of Canadians agree that it’s only a matter of time before everyone catches COVID-19 (59%) and expect to be vaccinated against the virus at least once again in the next six months (60%).

Compared to a similar Research Co. survey conducted in April, fewer Canadians (45%, -11) say are “anxious” about the end of COVID-19 restrictions and mandates in their community.

This month, there are also marked drops in the proportion of Canadians who, over the course of the next two weeks, intend to continue wearing a mask or face covering when entering an indoor premise (54%, -6) or every time they leave their home (35%, -10).

Two thirds of Canadians (66%, +8) are planning to visit relatives or friends in person in the next fortnight. In addition, more than half of Canadians will have dinner (52%, +6) or lunch (51%, +8) at a sit-down restaurant in the same span.

Canadians are also more likely to be planning a visit to the theatre or cinema (27%, +5), to a live concert (17%, +6) and to a live sporting event (14%, +3) than last month.

Travel plans are also on the rise, with 30% of Canadians (+8) intending to take a trip by car for an overnight stay in the next two weeks, while 16% (+3) are considering a trip by airplane.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from May 14 to May 16, 2022, 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, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]