B.C. residents less likely to follow COVID-19 restrictions than other provinces | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. residents less likely to follow COVID-19 restrictions than other provinces

February 20, 2021 - 3:30 PM

With spring break only a few weeks away, many British Columbians are planning at least some activities that will counter COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.

When looking at underlying motivators for rule-breaking, pandemic fatigue and other justifications of behaviour are common. B.C. residents appear to be the worst in the country when it comes to the proportion of residents who are not following all of the rules all of the time, according to researchers at Insight West, full-service marketing research firm based in Western Canada.

Only about one-half of Canadians claim to be following all pandemic restrictions and guidelines all of the time.

A further 36% claim that they follow nearly all of the restrictions and rules nearly all of the time, while 8% said they are following them most of the time and 7% claim to be breaking rules more blatantly, according to Insight West's press release.

READ MORE: B.C. has some of the toughest Christmas COVID restrictions in Canada

Only 34% of B.C. residents claim they are following all of the rules all of the time, which is 14 points to 22 points lower than other regions. Instead, British Columbians have more people (48% compared to between 24% and 36% in other regions) following the restrictions only ‘nearly all the time, according to Insight West.

Image Credit: Insight West

About 50% of Canadians are considering having an indoor visit with family members or friends outside of their immediate household during the spring break period. Between one quarter and one-in-three Canadians are contemplating driving to a vacation destination, staying in a hotel or their vacation property or skiing at a resort outside their community.

Between 1 in 6 and 1 in 5 Canadians are thinking of taking a flight to go visit family within their province, a flight to a vacation in the country, a flight to a vacation destination outside Canada or elsewhere in Canada to visit relatives, according to Insight West.

Rule-breaking considerations are substantially higher among 18-34-year-olds relative than other age groups and Albertans tend to be the worst offenders when it comes to rule-breaking spring break intentions, acccording to Insight West.

B.C. residents are the least likely among any in Canada to take a flight of any kind, particularly compared to Ontarians and English Quebecers.

Insights West compiled a list of eight possible reasons that some Canadians are not following the rules and regulations all of the time and found ranging levels of agreement that help us understand some of the underlying motivators for breaking the rules.

The largest proportion, 39%, feel they can break the rules occasionally because they keep their bubble small and still feel like they are doing the right thing—a sentiment that is pretty consistent across the country. A similarly high percentage feel that they can occasionally visit members outside their household because they keep their bubble small (36%). Some that don’t always follow all of the rules indicate they are careful when they break them (34%).

Pandemic fatigue is also a factor in some of the rule-breaking and bending that is occurring across the country. One-third believe that in order to stay happy and mentally healthy, they are breaking the rules occasionally. Taking it a step further, 28% say they are tired of all the rules and recommendations, so they feel it is OK to bend the rules.

Other reasons for rule-breaking and bending is confusion over the rules, feeling the rules are unnecessary, so they bend them, and believing their health risk if they get COVID-19 is low, therefore they feel entitled to bend the rules.

“Early indications are that a significant number of Canadians are planning to bend the rules during spring break and beliefs around it being OK to bend those rules are likely the reason for the slow decline in the COVID-19 numbers” said Steve Mossop, president of Insights West, in the press release.

“What is interesting is the wide number of reasons Canadians give in justifying their rule-breaking behaviour. When it comes down to it, less than half of us are serious about following all of the rules, and that is problematic if we want to see a faster decline of the numbers”


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