As some provinces loosen community restrictions and unveil post-pandemic reopening plans, Canadians may be forgiven for day-dreaming about future days of free movement and travel. But a return to the “good old days” will come with new realities.
As discussions of “vaccine passports” – certification that an individual has been vaccinated against COVID-19 – circulate in public policy circles, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians largely accepting of the concept in various forms.
More than three-quarters say that they would support mandatory vaccination proof for both travel to the United States (76%) and for international travel outside Canada’s southern border (79%). In each case one-in-five disagree.
That said, there is a clear preference to reduce reliance on proof of vaccinations in domestic life when compared with international travel.
While a majority also agree that vaccine passports could be used at public places in their communities, like restaurants, malls and movie theatres, two-in-five (41%) oppose the idea – suggesting much more difficult implementation.
More broadly, Canadians continue to voice meagre support for opening up international travel, with one significant exception. Those who travelled regularly before the pandemic are far more likely to say that the Canada-U.S. border should have been opened after the long-weekend (37%) compared to those who did not take any international trips from 2018 to 2020 (16%).
Overall, 48 per cent would keep the border closed until September, though the more they travelled pre-pandemic, the more likely Canadians are to say that it should be opened sooner.
More Key Findings:
- Making vaccination proof mandatory in various parts of society would not convince many anti-vaccination individuals to get their jab. Just eight per cent among this group say it would make them more likely to be inoculated
- 59 per cent of Canadians are concerned about potentially contracting COVID-19, down seven points from April to the lowest point since last July. Notably, 64 per cent of those who have received at least one dose of the vaccine maintain some level of anxiety about becoming sick
- Half (51%) say that international travel should be prohibited in Canada, unchanged from April. That said, just 40 per cent of frequent pre-pandemic travellers agree, while 60 per cent would not enforce travel restrictions