social distancing canada

98% of Canadians say they’ve practiced social distancing in the past week

It seems as though people in Canada are getting more serious about stopping the spread of COVID-19 so that life can go back to normal.

Just weeks after publishing the results of a survey showing that one in five Canadians believed the pandemic was being "blown out of proportion," Leger has released a new paper indicating that 98 per cent of the country is now practicing some form of social distancing.

For its latest coronavirus-related poll, the marketing research and strategy firm polled 1,508 Canadians and 1,012 Americans over the age of 18 using computer-assisted web interviewing technology between April 9 and April 12.

Respondents were asked for their thoughts on everything from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to how satisfied they are with measures put into place by their respective governments to fight COVID-19.

The polling firm also gauged the impact of the ongoing pandemic on common behaviours.

Based on what respondents told them, Leger concluded that 98 per cent of Canadians had followed at least one social distancing protocol within the past week.

social distancing canada

Leger's regular surveys about the COVID-19 pandemic are conducted in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Press. Image via Leger.

Rates of social distancing were highest in Ontario and B.C., specifically, with 99 per cent of people answering "yes" to the prompt "practiced social distancing myself."

Some 97 per cent of Canadians also tried to maintain a distance of two metres between themselves and others over the past week, according to the poll results, which can be viewed in their entirety here.

Roughly 95 per cent of respondents said they now only go outside for necessities and that they wash their hands more frequently than usual, though when broken down by province we see that Quebec residents are more likely to be washing their hands frequently (97 per cent) than residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan (90 per cent.)

Where Canada seems to be most divided on the alteration of their daily practices is face masks: Only 15 per cent of respondents in Quebec indicated that they had worn a protective mask in public areas over the past week, compared to 36 per cent of those in Ontario and B.C.

Overall, Canada seems to be doing pretty well in the social distancing department — though it's important to note that social distancing is one of many different recommendations and orders implemented since the pandemic first hit Canada in January.

Leger reports that 26 per cent of Canadians are still not complying with all measures in place. Is that great? No, but it's better than the 28 per cent non-compliance rate recorded by the firm last week.

Lead photo by

Roozbeh Rokni

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