Travellers arriving in Canada must quarantine for 14 days and most Canadians approve of the measure. (iStock)

Canadians support quarantines for arriving travellers: survey

Three-in-five Canadians think restrictions on travellers whether they arrive by land or air constitute a “necessary” measure, according to a recent survey by the Angus Reid Institute. Those who travel by air to Canada must stay in a hotel selected by the government for three days at their own expense, and wait for results of a COVID-19 test. They and those who arrive by land must quarantine for 14 days. Eighty per cent of respondents approve of a mandatory two-week quarantine for all travellers regardless of how they arrive, but 37 per cent would exempt people who could prove they have been fully vaccinated.

While Canadians approve of the government’s current measures only as many at 30 per cent think they are effective at reducing the risk that travellers may spread the virus. 

While the government has urged Canadians to not travel internationally it has not imposed an outright ban. This survey found that 51 per cent of Canadians would support a full ban on international travel. That is a 14-point drop from January 2021.

As part of the critical U.S.-Canada supply chain, truckers are exempt from travel restrictions. (iStock)

Canadians prefer the 8,891 km border with the U.S. stay closed

Canada has closed its lengthy border with the U.S. to all but essential travel and the prime minister has said he has no plans to reopen it anytime soon. Canadians have supported the closure throughout the pandemic and now, more than half of respondents would like it to remain closed until September 2021. Only 16 per cent would like the border opened on April 21. 

While the border is technically closed to travellers, there are many exceptions. Because of the heavily integrated supply chain and massive trade between Canada and the U.S., truckers, for example, are exempt. So are people who need to travel for law enforcement, officer and public safety, humanitarian, or public health interests. For example, there are many Canadians who work in health care in the U.S. and may cross the border on a daily basis. 

Many parts of Canada are in a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of it driven by more infectious variants of the virus. Respondents seem to be more discouraged. Twenty-nine per cent say that life will never go back to normal and that is an increase of eight points from January. Of those who do think normalcy will return, most say it won’t happen until after 2021. 

The online survey was conducted between April 5 and 8, 2021 among 1,577 Canadian adults.

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