With new travel restrictions in place in Canada, and hundreds of vacations cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey suggests Canadians are on board with mandatory quarantines, grounded flights and COVID-19 tests.
Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies conducted an online survey of 1,559 Canadians between Jan. 29-31.
It found that 86 per cent of Canadians agree with the new travel restrictions put in place, including suspending all flights to sun destinations until April 30th, COVID-19 testing upon arrival into the country and a mandatory three-day quarantine at a designated hotel at the travellers' expense.
Meanwhile, 10 per cent disagree with the safety measures and four per cent said they didn’t know.
In North Bay, Mayne Travel Services said travel trends are already way down compared to previous years, something officials expect is happening countrywide.
“Compared to a typical January, February, winter season, we were down about 80 per cent,” said owner Chris Mayne. “Business travel is probably down about 90 per cent … You’re not going to go to a war zone or a place where there’s active fighting; you’re not going to go somewhere where there’s a real risk of catching a serious illness as well.”
Even with travel numbers significantly lower than normal, some people are suggesting the government should ban international travel entirely until daily COVID-19 numbers start to come down.
Poll found 87% in favour
The survey by Leger found 87 per cent of Canadians were in favour of such a ban, with only 13 per cent against the idea.
Even as a travel agency, Mayne said he completely agrees with the new restrictions.
“(People) are a little bit frustrated,” he said. “They’re looking for alternatives and I know some people are considering driving to, say, Florida for example. I’m not sure that’s a great idea. There’s still risk to anyone who’s travelling like that. The return to Canada requirements will still likely be imposed.”
“I think the best advice is really just stay home, stay safe, get the vaccine as soon as you can and be patient and look to travel again in the future,” he added.
Mayne said he hopes normal travel will return by late 2021, but even with not booking sunny vacations right now, the office has stayed busy.
“Even though people aren’t actually travelling as much, there’s been a lot of requests for information on how to cancel, how to try and get a refund, how can I manage my travel credit, when can I rebook,” he said.
“Right now, in terms of future travel credits, which is what most people have, I would say we have over 400 people right now who had cancelled trips from last spring and summer.”