Half of Canadians (48%) Getting Tired of Following Public Health Rules About COVID-19

Despite this, majority continue to follow facemask rules and nine in ten support continued closure of land border with the United States

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, October 27, 2020 – As Canada continues to grapple with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are signs that the safety measures imposed on Canadians may be taking their toll. A new Ipsos poll for Global News finds that half of Canadians (48%) say they’re getting tired of following public health recommendations and rules regarding COVID-19, including 15% who strongly agree and 32% who somewhat agree. Fatigue is most pronounced among Gen Z (57%), Millennial (50%), and Gen X (53%) Canadians, and exceeds 50% in Alberta (53%) and Quebec (52%) while remaining much lower in British Columbia (34%).

Doing What We Can

The sentiment comes in the wake of widespread cooperation with public health and safety measures designed to curb the spread of the virus. Most Canadians – nine in ten (93%) – say they’re doing their best to abide by public health recommendations and rules regarding COVID-19 (63% agree strongly / 30% somewhat). Interestingly, parents (88%) are less likely than those without kids living at home (94%) to say they’re doing everything they can – perhaps an indictment of how workable many social distancing measures are in practice for those with young families.

The survey finds that more Canadians are wearing a protective mask than was the case just a few months ago. However, while 92% agree (72% strongly/19% somewhat) they wear a mask when they visit indoor public places like the grocery store or bank – up significantly from 71% in July – fewer say they mask up all the time. Only half (52%) agree (25% strongly/27% somewhat) they wear a mask whenever they leave their house, even if they’re staying outside. Here too, uptake has increased since the summer. With the colder weather drawing in, Canadians are now 11 points more likely to be wearing a mask wherever they go than they were in July. 

Younger Canadians are more likely to be wearing a facemask for every outing: 71% of Gen Z Canadians agree, as do 57% of Millennials, compared to 45% of Gen X’ers and 49% of Boomers. Albertans (38%) are the least likely to wear a mask every time they leave their house, with British Columbians (59%) and Ontarians (56%) significantly more likely to do so.

Support for Safety Measures Remains High

Looking ahead, there is broad consensus that Canada should continue to be vigilant about COVID-19. Nearly nine in ten (86%) say they support the mandatory wearing of facemasks when in a public place, including 62% who agree strongly (with 93% who claim to be wearing one when entering any indoor public space, this implies that some Canadians are following the rules while not entirely supporting them).

There is even stronger public backing for keeping the border shut. Nine in ten Canadians (89%) agree (65% strongly/24% somewhat) they support the continued closure of the Canada-US land border until the Prime Minister says it’s safe to re-open. This rises to 94% among Boomers, 93% among women (vs. 85% of men), and to 97% in Atlantic Canada.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 23-26, 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]

© 2020, Ipsos Limited Partnership

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