Travellers are directed to take a mandatory COVID-19 test after arriving on a international flight at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, February 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Travellers are directed to take a mandatory COVID-19 test after arriving on a international flight at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, February 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Poll finds overwhelming support for Canada’s new travel restrictions

The urge for tougher travel rules comes as Canadians find their mental health on the wane

The vast majority of Canadians support tighter restrictions on international travel imposed by the federal government, a new poll suggests.

Eighty-six per cent of respondents agree with stricter measures that suspend flights to most sun destinations and require quarantining at a hotel at the passenger’s expense upon arrival in Canada, according to an online survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies.

The poll also found that 87 per cent of respondents think the government should go further by banning international travel until there are several consecutive days of reduced COVID-19 numbers.

The wariness of foreign trips stems in part from more transmissible — and possibly more lethal — variants of the virus emerging abroad as well as homegrown politicians jetting off to far-flung beaches during the holidays, says Léger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

“We probably would not have gotten such high numbers before the whole talk about the South African variant, the Brazil variant,” Bourque said in an interview. “I think this probably jolted Canadians in a way.

“And then when you see people coming back with a very nice tan, you’re thinking, ‘Why am I making the effort and you’re not?’ And in certain cases it was MLAs and even (provincial) cabinet ministers,” senators and MPs, he noted.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last Friday that Canadian airlines have suspended flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until April 30 and that returning passengers will soon have to self-isolate at a federal facility for up to three days after taking a PCR test at the airport.

The reaction differed depending on geography, with 91 per cent of respondents from Quebec and Atlantic Canada in favour of the new restrictions but just three out of four Albertans backing the clampdown, the poll found.

READ MORE: New travel rules leave flight options on U.S. airlines for Canadian sun seekers

The possibility of even stricter rules such as an outright ban on international travel raises questions around the flow of essential goods, many of which enter the country in the bellies of passenger planes, and around freedom of movement as guaranteed in the Canadian Constitution.

Section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that “every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada,” though all rights are subject to reasonable limits.

The urge for tougher travel rules comes as Canadians find their mental health on the wane, with just 29 per cent of survey respondents rating it as very good or excellent, the lowest since the pandemic began.

“We’re getting into the doldrums of February, and things are not improving. If you look from November to today, it’s a steady decline in self-perception of the state of your mental health,” Bourque said.

Conducted Jan. 29 to 31, the online poll surveyed 1,559 Canadians. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirustravel

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read