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Many Canadians still plan to travel, visit over holidays despite COVID-19 pandemic: poll

Last Updated Dec 7, 2020 at 10:20 am PST

Farm decorated with Christmas lights. (iStock Photo)

Most Canadians say they're planning a more solitary rather than merry Christmas this year due to COVID-19

Despite pleas from public health officials to stay local, not to gather, many Canadians still plan to do so: poll

Poll finds many Canadians are planning to leave their communities to celebrate the holidays this year

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – We’re being asked to stay close to home this holiday season, but it seems a significant number of Canadians plan to ignore public health pleas to visit family and friends anyway.

According to the Angus Reid Institute, most of us are planning a “more solitary rather than merry Christmas.” However, its latest poll finds a significant number of people — about three-in-10 — still plan to visit people outside their household locally.

That number climbs to more than 35 per cent in both Alberta and Quebec, where daily numbers of new COVID-19 infections are regularly setting records.

Alberta has not imposed any restrictions on gatherings for the holidays. In Quebec, Premier Francois Legault has said Quebecers will not be allowed to gather over the holidays either.

The province was originally planning on allowing groups of up to 10 to get together over Christmas in regions where gatherings of any kind are currently banned. New numbers have forced Legault to backtrack on that promise, with exceptions.

Meanwhile, one-in-10 respondents say they are still planning a trip for the holidays, leaving their communities despite urgings for everyone to stay as local as possible to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The polling shows, once again, those figures are slightly higher in Alberta and Quebec, with one-in-eight Albertans and one-in-seven Quebecers saying they plan to leave their communities for holiday celebrations.

While worries still continue throughout the pandemic, the pollster has found that spirits are not dampened — despite the challenges of the season.

Angus Reid says the same number of Canadians are looking forward to the holiday season this year as there was last year.