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Canadians much more comfortable gathering for holidays this year: poll

At the time of the poll, 44 per cent of respondents say they are taking a wait-and-see approach and 38 per cent say they will get together with family and friends no matter what advice comes from health officials.
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It appears as though holiday gatherings are ready to return in a big way for Canadians this year regardless of what public health and officials have to say.

A new survey by Abacus Data found only 12 per cent of Canadians plan to restrict their holiday plans to household members only. That numbers is down from 51 per cent a year ago.

“Comparing our results to last year, Canadians are significantly more comfortable celebrating with family and friends this holiday season,” writes Abacus content specialist and analyst Michael Monopoli.

At the time of the poll, 44 per cent of respondents say they are taking a wait-and-see approach and 38 per cent say they will get together with family and friends no matter what advice comes from health officials.


Holiday gathering poll


If officials end up discouraging gatherings, 1-in-5 respondents say they would no longer gather, but just over a third of respondents say they would still get together with loved ones.

Residents from Ontario and Québec were found to be the least likely to follow public health recommendations, with 18 per cent in each province saying they would adhere to recommendations. Residents in B.C. were the most likely to follow public health advice.

The poll surveyed 1,500 Canadian adults between Nov. 25 and Nov. 30.

Toronto’s top doctor urged residents this week to get their flu shots as soon as possible. Dr. Eileen de Villa says according to the the latest data, influenza is expected to peak just as people are set to gather for the holidays near the end of December.

Earlier this month, Dr. Kieran Moore strongly recommended Ontarians mask up in all indoor settings in an effort to help overwhelmed children’s hospitals. Officials have yet to provide any direction on how Canadians should manage holiday gatherings.

Health officials urged Canadians to adjust their holiday plans in 2021 in the face of the rapidly rising Omicron variant. It was the second straight holiday season that most residents across the country were advised to refrain from gathering with those outside of their immediate households.

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