A new online survey shows more than half of Canadians support re-implementing mask mandates if COVID-19 cases rise this winter.
According to results released last week by the Angus Reid Institute, 54 per cent of Canadians say mask mandates should return to their provinces if cases escalate.
Regionally, support for mask mandates is highest in Newfoundland and Labrador (62 per cent), Nova Scotia (60 per cent) and Quebec (59 per cent). Support is lowest in Saskatchewan at 39 per cent.
Support for masks in Alberta is at 45 per cent, which has rebounded from 36 per cent in July. Support has also climbed from 50 to 59 per cent in Quebec, and from 49 to 54 per cent in Manitoba. Elsewhere, support remains consistent with levels seen in the summer:
At 72 per cent, women over the age of 54 are most likely to say mask mandates should return if cases rise. In fact, majorities of women of all ages believe masking should be mandatory if cases rise. Among men, only a majority over the age of 54 support a return of mask mandates.
The poll showed few Canadians are currently wearing masks when they are in public places around people.
One-in-six (15 per cent) say they always wear a mask in places like grocery stores and banks. Another one-in-six (16 per cent) are doing so most of the time. The majority are either wearing them rarely (27 per cent) or never (41 per cent).
Those in Alberta (58 per cent) and Saskatchewan (59 per cent) are the most to likely say they are never wearing a mask in public.
Those most likely to say they are wearing a mask all the time in public are in Nova Scotia (22 per cent), Ontario (20 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (19 per cent).
Men, especially those under the age of 55, are the most likely demographic to say they are never masking. Meanwhile, 26 per cent of women over the age of 54 say they are always masking when they are in public places.
In Alberta, 54 per cent don’t think about COVID-19 much anymore, along with 61 per cent in Saskatchewan, and 49 per cent in British Columbia.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted the online survey from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 among a representative randomized sample of 5,030 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum.
For more information on the survey angusreid.org.