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COVID-19: Albertans more ready to welcome out-of-province travellers, open U.S. border sooner

Calgary Herald logo Calgary Herald 6 days ago Sammy Hudes
a clock on the side of a road: In this file photo U.S. Customs officers speak with people in a car beside a sign saying that the U.S. border is closed at the U.S./Canada border in Lansdowne, Ontario, on March 22, 2020. © LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images In this file photo U.S. Customs officers speak with people in a car beside a sign saying that the U.S. border is closed at the U.S./Canada border in Lansdowne, Ontario, on March 22, 2020.

Albertans are the most willing of any region to welcome travellers from out-of-province and the least in favour of prolonging the Canada-U.S. border closure, despite ongoing risk of COVID-19 spread, according to a new Angus Reid Institute poll.

The online survey analyzed Canadians’ attitudes toward travel amid speculation over government policy as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease across the country.

The Angus Reid Institute polled a representative randomized sample of 1,777 Canadian adults this past Monday and Tuesday. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Just one-in-five participants feel the U.S. border should open when the current deadline for closure expires on June 21, while 42 per cent are eyeing September for their preferred window, according to the survey. More than a quarter would prefer to wait until the end of the year before welcoming back American tourists.

a screenshot of text © Provided by Calgary Herald

Albertans who took part in the survey, however, are more in favour of reopening the border next month than the rest of the country, with 37 per cent indicating they are open to non-essential travel from the U.S. in mid to late-June.

Around 37 per cent of Albertans polled also favour keeping the border closed until September, while just 19 per cent — the lowest of any region polled — want to keep the border closed until the end of 2020.

When it comes to interprovincial borders, just one-in-five Canadians surveyed believe there should be free, unrestricted travel between provinces, according to the survey. Around half of all respondents believes the right move is to stop short of total interprovincial restrictions, but to strongly discourage people from outside their own province from coming in.

One-in-three would restrict movement entirely to their own province.

Around one-third of Albertans polled, however, want zero travel restrictions impacting the province, feeling anyone should be able to enter and exit freely, according to the poll.

Just 13 per cent of respondents in the province wants total travel restrictions, which would prohibit non-residents from entering Alberta, the lowest of any region surveyed.

shudes@postmedia.com

Twitter: @SammyHudes

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