A majority of Canadians want the border with our neighbours to the south to stay closed for the time being, according to a new poll.
The poll, conducted by DART and Maru/Blue, found that 83 per cent of Canadians believe that it’s not the time to reopen and let Americans back into the country.
This sentiment was expressed strongest in Atlantic Canada (91 per cent), followed by Ontario (85 per cent). The lowest levels of support for border closure were seen in Quebec (82 per cent) and Alberta (69 per cent).
The federal government decided this week to extend border restrictions past May 21, when they were originally set to expire. The border has been closed for non-essential travellers since March 21 and will remain closed for at least another 30 days.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference on Tuesday that provinces had expressed a desire to keep borders closed to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has exceeded 1.5 million, with 92, 645 recorded deaths. Canada in contrast, has managed to limit cases to 81,194 and 6,106 deaths.
Despite the unified reaction surrounding border closure, respondents were divided over protocols for when borders to reopen.
Twenty five per cent said that they would like to see the border open soon, but only if visitors pass a temperature check and confirm that they have no symptoms. Twenty two per cent said that they believe strict regulations such as wearing a mask and physical distancing should be mandatory for those crossing the border. Others (24 per cent) want proof of a vaccine before borders are opened with an equal amount who said they want the border shut indefinitely.