Canadians say 75% should be vaccinated before border reopens

Shelby Thevenot
Published: July 17, 2021

Justin Trudeau's government says the Canada-U.S. border will not open to tourism until at least 75 per cent of Canadians are fully vaccinated — and the majority of Canadians agree.

Responses from a new Angus Reil poll suggest Canadians are still cautious about reopening the border. The majority say — if the choice was theirs — they would wait until the Trudeau government's threshold is met.

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Most respondents say they would wait until more than 75 per cent of Canadians were vaccinated, while one in five want to see the border opened right away. Those who want the border to reopen immediately are more likely to have travelled frequently before the pandemic.

When asked about the Canadian government's decision to nix the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Canadians and other exempt travellers, slightly more than half say the change came right on time. There were close to equal numbers taking opposing sides. One fifth say the Trudeau government waited too long, and one quarter say the decision was too rushed.

Trudeau's popularity among Canadians is the highest it has been since January. About 50 per cent of Canadians now say Trudeau has done a good job of handling the pandemic. Conversely, 46 per cent say he has done a poor job.

Canadians are also less worried about getting COVID. Personal concern over becoming ill with the virus has dropped 47 per cent, the lowest since June 2020.

Also, the overwhelming majority feel that the worst of the pandemic's negative health impacts have passed. Only 12 per cent disagree. Although, a much larger portion, 28 per cent, say the worst of the economic effects are yet to come. Still, about 72 per cent say the worst of the economic blow has passed as well.

The non-profit Angus Reid institute randomly surveyed 2,040 Canadians from July 9 to 13, 2021. The margin of error for this poll is plus or minus two percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Canada's current border restrictions expire on July 21.

Trudeau noted on Thursday that Canada is considering lifting its border restrictions on fully-vaccinated U.S. tourists by mid August and for the rest of the world by early September.

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