Canadians Want to Reopen, But Please Leave the Children Out of It

Half Comfortable Returning to Work, But Only Two in Ten Are Comfortable Sending Children Back to School

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, Ontario, May 24, 2020 — After staying at home and social distancing for so many weeks, many Canadians have had about enough of COVID-19 and are ready to return to work. Indeed, a new global study conducted by Ipsos reveals that half (52%) of Canadians feel comfortable returning to their workplace, even though we have yet to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. As many as two-thirds in the Prairies (67%) and Alberta (64%) say they are comfortable returning to work whereas fewer than half in Ontario (46%) and Atlantic Canada (44%) share this sentiment. Men (57%) are more likely than women (47%) to indicate that they feel comfortable returning to their workplace.

Comparatively, 82% in South Korea and 71% in Australia are comfortable going back to work and just 32% in Brazil. Countries on par with Canada, include India, Japan, Mexico (50% each) and the U.K (48%) and South Africa (47%). To the south, in the United States, 55% of Americans say they’re comfortable returning to the workplace.

Despite this, many seem to think it is unsafe to fully reopen as well over three-quarters (78%) say the idea of sending children back to school during this pandemic makes them feel uncomfortable (53%) or they would definitely not do this in the next few weeks (25%). Only two in ten (22%) are comfortable lifting the lockdown for children and sending them back to school. Around one in three or more in Quebec (31%) and Alberta (35%) feel comfortable sending children back to school compared to only seventeen percent (17%) across all other regions of the country. Again, there’s a gender divide with men (25%) more likely than women (20%) to indicate that they are comfortable allowing children to go back to school during the pandemic.

Again, looking at worldwide sentiments, Australians are most likely to be comfortable sending their kids back to school (59%) and Brazil least likely (15%). One in four (26%) American parents are comfortable sending their kids to school.

About the Study

These are the results of an Ipsos survey conducted May 7th to 10th , 2020 on the Global Advisor online platform among 16,000 adults aged 18-74 in Canada and the United States and 16-74 in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Where available, tracking results from previous studies conducted through March and April, as well as selected results from February, are referenced by date.

The sample for this study consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each country. The samples in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. can be taken as representative of these countries’ general adult population over age 16 or 18 (as above) and under the age of 75. The sample in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa is more urban, more educated and/or more affluent than the general population and should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of the population. The data is weighted so that each market’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult population according to the most recent census data.

Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website (

For more information on this Factum, please contact:

Darrell Bricker

Global CEO, Ipsos Public Affairs

+1 416 324 2001

[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs