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More Canadians support mask mandate return, survey finds

Since Oct. 1, the federal government lifted the mask mandate on airplanes.
Only 21 per cent of Canadians support the return of vaccine passports. 

This year's holiday season is a direct contrast to the past two, which had many public health restrictions in place across the country. 

Although masks are no longer mandated in public spaces, including airports, 31 per cent of Canadians continue to wear masks most of the time, according to a new study from the Angus Reid Institute.

In fact, more than half of Canadians say they support the re-implementation of mask mandates if COVID-19 cases increase this winter. 

As influenza and respiratory illnesses, and immune-evasive Omicron variants spread across the country, some Canadians believe that masks mandates are necessary to stop cases from rising. 

The survey finds that 23 per cent of Canadians who “never” wear a mask, and two-thirds of individuals who sometimes wear one would support the return of the mask mandate. Furthermore, women are more likely to support the return of the mandate than men. 

Still, only 21 per cent of Canadians support the return of vaccine passports. 

Out of sight, out of mind

COVID-19 has been top of mind for many Canadians during the past two years: whether the virus itself, or public health restrictions.

On average, the provinces share similar sentiments. The Angus Reid Institute study finds that at present, 49 per cent of Canadians say they do not think about the virus anymore. 

Two provinces, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, stray the most from the average: 61 per cent of Saskatchewanians do not think about the coronavirus, while 58 per cent of Nova Scotians still do.

In terms of gender analysis, more women say they continue to think about COVID-19 than their male counterparts—no matter the age demographic.