Four in 10 Canadians favour rapid antigen tests for travellers instead of PCR: Angus Reid poll

Four in 10 Canadians favour rapid antigen tests for travellers instead of PCR: Angus Reid poll

VANCOUVER — The latest Angus Reid poll shows that while there’s little consensus over dropping PCR tests for returning travellers, some two-in-five want rapid tests at the border.

Canadians are divided about how to handle border testing, says the Angus Reid Institute, based on the data from its latest survey.

However Canadians are largely ready to move past molecular tests such as the PCR test.

Last Friday the federal government announced that the PCR test requirement for returning Canadians would be dropped effective Nov. 30, but only for short trips 72 hours or less. The PCR test requirement is still in place for longer trips.

According to the Angus Reid poll, one-quarter (25%) of respondents said PCR tests should remain the standard. However the largest group of respondents (39%) said they would switch to rapid antigen tests currently used by the U.S.

Some 27% said there should be no testing for fully vaccinated travellers, and one-in-ten (9%) would drop testing entirely regardless of vaccination status.

The Angus Reid Institute says its data shows those who travelled frequently prior to the pandemic are most open to dropping restrictions. Among Canadians who say they travelled to the U.S. five or more times per year before pandemic restrictions took effect, half (48%) would drop testing for fully vaccinated travellers. And 14% would drop testing completely. Meanwhile, the most infrequent travellers are the most inclined to keep molecular tests in place.

Complete poll results can be found here.