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Fewer than a third of Canadians willing to travel without a COVID-19 vaccine, says new poll

Most Canadians and Americans aren’t rushing to travel anywhere, even within their own countries, before a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, according to a new online survey.

Fewer than a third of Canadians are willing to take a flight anywhere right now whether it’s to another continent, to another province, or within their own province, according to the poll by Research Co., a Vancouver-based polling firm. 

Only 17 per cent of Canadian respondents were willing to take a plane to the United States.

Thirty-five per cent of Americans say they are willing to take a flight within the U.S., but only 28 per cent would fly to Canada.

“The appetite for travel before a COVID-19 vaccine is readily available is low in Canada and the United States,” said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., in a written release.

“North American residents aged 55 and over, who are usually ready to explore and spend, are particularly reticent about all journeys unless inoculation is a reality.”

The online poll, conducted July 1-5, surveyed representative samples of 1,000 Canadians and 1,200 Americans.

It asked them their willingness to travel by five different modes of transportation: by train, by plane, by bus, by cruise ship and by ferry.

A comparable margin of error for a probability-based sample of this size would be +/- 3.1 percentage points for Canada and +/- 2.8 percentage points for the United States.

Travelling by ferry was the most popular mode of transportation, with 35 per cent of Canadians saying they’d be willing to travel by ferry. In Atlantic Canada and British Columbia, nearly half of respondents felt comfortable taking a ferry trip.

Willingness to travel dropped significantly when respondents were asked about going on a cruise ship. Only 13 per cent of Canadians said yes to a cruise, while one in five Americans were willing to go on a cruise without a vaccine.

There was also a “sizeable gender gap” between Americans who took the survey, with men saying they were more likely to travel without a vaccine than women.

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