Albertans among the least likely in Canada to continue wearing masks: poll

Mar 16 2022, 10:29 pm

The Government of Alberta lifted its provincial mask mandate on March 1, and it seems that many Albertans won’t be continuing to wear a face covering now that it’s no longer required.

A new study from the Angus Reid Institute found that less than half of Albertans polled say that they will voluntarily keep wearing masks in indoor public spaces.

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to wind down across the country, Angus Reid took a look at how Canadians feel about the lifting of many public health measures.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Canadians are divided about the removal of COVID-19 restrictions, with 36% saying that removal is happening too quickly, 38% thinking it’s happening at the right pace, and 22% who say that this has happened too slowly.

“Significant regional differences define the overall findings, as people in various parts of the country react to the situation where they live and gauge the changes through the lenses of their own realities,” reads the study.

When it comes to wearing face masks, 41% of Albertans said that they would continue to do so when indoors around strangers, compared to the country-wide average of 50% who say they would keep masking.

Those in Quebec were even less likely to continue wearing a face covering than Albertans, at 38%, and Alberta was closely followed by Saskatchewan, with 43% of people saying they would keep wearing a mask.

albertans masks

Angus Reid Institute

In the remaining Canadian provinces, at least 50% of people polled said that they would continue masking, with Atlantic Canada topping the list at 63%.

When it comes to other public health measures, 62% of Albertans say that they will continue sanitizing their hands in addition to washing them, 51% will keep practicing physical distancing, and 29% will refrain from travelling abroad.

Additionally, of the Albertans polled, 45% will avoid large gatherings, and 24% won’t be shaking hands or hugging the people the people in their lives.

According to the study, women are more likely than men to stick to pandemic-era habits in the absence of restrictions, along with older Canadians (more so than younger ones of the same gender). As well, the Angus Reid Institute says that political views appear to play a part in the likelihood of people continuing to take precautions after public health orders are lifted.

“Past Liberal voters are the most likely to continue sanitizing, distancing, masking and avoiding travel, followed closely by past NDP voters,” reads the report. Of those who voted Conservative in the last federal election, 57% say they’ll keep sanitizing their hands, and more than half are not likely to continue other measures.

According to the study, an overwhelming majority of past PPC voters say it’s unlikely they’ll be keeping up any of these pandemic practices.

As more public health measures are rescinded, recent reports show that the federal government plans to drop pre-arrival COVID-19 testing for travellers entering the country by land or air. This follows the removal of the PCR pre-arrival test requirement last month.

Will you be continuing to wear a face mask or carrying on with other public health measures as restrictions lift across the country?

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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