Growing Proportion of Canadians (39%, +13) Not Strictly Adhering to Physical-Distancing Measures

Three-Fourths (72%) Agree (41% Strongly/32% Somewhat) Vaccine Should Be Mandatory for All Canadians When Available

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
  • Chris Chhim Senior Account Manager, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, May 13, 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt normal life across the globe, Canadians are finding ways to adapt to the current situation. As such, they are becoming more emboldened when it comes to self-isolation and physical distancing. A recent Ipsos poll carried out on behalf of Global News has found that fewer Canadians are saying they are adhering to strict physical distancing measures, as more Canadians are emerging from their homes after many weeks in isolation. It seems that patience may be starting to erode as the country wonders just when we will start to fully open again for business.


Fewer Adhering to Physical Distancing

A growing proportion of Canadians are not adhering to strict physical distancing measures, especially as areas are already beginning to open for business again. A sharp thirteen-point increases from last month, 4 in 10 (39%) Canadians say they are not strictly adhering to measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19. This means that they are either carrying on with their lives as normal (5%, +2) by going to work and socializing as normal, reducing contact with others but still going out and socializing in person with friends and family (6%, +3), or limiting personal contact but still going out more than once a week to shop or get groceries and having personal contact with a few people outside of their home (28%, +8).


Those in Saskatchewan/Manitoba are most likely to say they are not adhering to strict measures (48%), while those in Ontario are the least likely (32%). While some may have already loosened up on physical distancing before advised to do so by public health authorities, it should also be noted that many Canadians have adopted behaviours that make them more comfortable to leave the home, such as wearing face masks and maintaining an appropriate distance from others when outside.


Supportive of Delaying Elections, Mandatory Vaccines

Even as they start to venture outside more frequently, Canadians are doing what they can to protect themselves, such as avoiding large gatherings of people. However, this may prove to be problematic for the country’s leaders if avoidance of mass gatherings has an effect on the political process. South of the border, many states are left wondering what to do to encourage voters to participate in elections in a safe manner, particularly as Election Day inches closer. In Canada, a large majority (72%) believe agree (28% strongly/43% somewhat) that all Canadian elections should be postponed until the pandemic is under control. However, support for delaying elections is lowest in Saskatchewan/Manitoba (59%); perhaps not coincidentally, this is where satisfaction with provincial premiers is among the lowest. In addition, Saskatchewan is the province that will have their provincial election the soonest according to the province’s fixed election date law. The province is due to be at the polls no later than the end of October 2020.

When it comes to getting the pandemic under control, an effective vaccine seems the most sure-fire way to stop the spread of COVID-19. While it will be a long while before a vaccine can be found, Canadians have already made up their minds. Seven in ten (72%) agree (41% strongly/32% somewhat) that when one does become available, a vaccine against COVID-19 should be mandatory for all Canadians. Support for this measure is high in all regions of the country, further underlining just how much the current pandemic has affected Canadians from coast to coast and just how eager they are to return to some form of normalcy.



About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 8 and 11, 2020, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.


For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker
CEO, Ipsos Global 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).

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The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
  • Chris Chhim Senior Account Manager, Public Affairs