As Omicron spreads, almost 80% Canadians won’t travel this holiday season: poll


A majority of Canadians will not be travelling over the holiday period, according to a new poll, as the highly-transmissible Omicron variant continues to drive a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases at home and abroad.

In a survey published Thursday by, 79 per cent said they don’t plan to travel by plane during the 2021 holiday season. But almost 22 per cent said they would.

Read more:

Omicron COVID-19 variant disrupts holiday travel with over 6,000 flights cancelled

The online survey included 1,157 participants and was conducted from Dec 15-20. The survey questions focused on air travel, which is considered relatively safer than cruise travel, in the context of COVID-19, though riskier than travelling by car.

Heeding the federal government’s travel advisory to avoid non-essential travel, 31 per cent of respondents said they have cancelled their flights due to the Omicron threat. Some 63 per cent said they were hesitant to book new flights because of it.

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However, 70 per cent stated the Omicron variant, which is threatening to replace the Delta variant as the dominant strain in several countries, had not affected their travel plans.


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The Omicron variant has already led to hundreds of flight cancellations due to staff shortages tied to COVID-19, disrupting holiday celebrations during one of the busiest travel times of the year.

Shifting regulation in response to Omicron and discomfort among Canadians is forcing many to reconsider their travel plans, said Kate Musgrove, director of

Read more:

Omicron and the holidays: How to celebrate safely

Early research shows the Omicron variant is more transmissible than Delta, even though it carries less risk of hospitalization and severe illness.

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“The new variant being much more contagious is a big concern for people,” Musgrove told Global News.

Despite the worry, 76 per cent feel that airlines have instituted reasonable COVID-19 safety measures.

“So it’s not that they feel like the airlines aren’t doing a good job of keeping people safe. They just feel like, inherently, there is too much risk or too many unknowns,” said Musgrove.

Click to play video: 'Travel insurance questions amid new COVID recommendations'


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In an effort to blunt the impact of Omicron, Canada has tightened its travel restrictions.


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