8 in 10 Canadians want border with US to remain closed due to virus concerns: poll

8 in 10 Canadians want border with US to remain closed due to virus concerns: poll
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An overwhelming majority of Canadians want their government to keep the border with the U.S. closed as the U.S. continues to be ravaged by the coronavirus. 

In a poll released Wednesday by Nanos Research obtained by The Globe and Mail, 81 percent of Canadian adults called for the border to remain closed for non-essential travel.

Just 14 percent of respondents said that they would be supportive of the border opening in areas where infection rates are low, possibly signaling a broad mistrust for the U.S.'s handling of the pandemic.

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Only 3 percent wished the border would open immediately without restrictions.

Canada's border with the U.S. closed to nonessential foreign travelers in the spring as the coronavirus pandemic hit North American shores. Under current directives, the border restrictions were extended until at least July 21.

“The response is actually quite surprising considering we are a border country that relies on the United States for our livelihood … [it] suggests that Canadians have a very high level of anxiety about what’s happening in the pandemic in the United States,” Nik Nanos of Nanos Research told The Globe and Mail.

The news comes as the U.S. has been an explosion of cases in the South and Western parts of the country. States including Florida, Texas and Arizona have recorded thousands of confirmed cases per day, and hospitals in these areas have reported flooded ICUs as a result. 

The U.S. has confirmed more than 3 million cases of the coronavirus within its borders and more than 130,000 deaths from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

By contrast, Canadian authorities reported fewer than 250 new cases across the entire country Tuesday.

The polling results also come as other countries have expressed apprehension about letting American travelers across their borders due to the rampant spread of COVID-19. The European Union announced earlier this month that Americans would not be allowed to travel to the continent, except for long-term visa holders. 

Nanos Research's survey contacted 1,049 Canadian adults between June 28 - July 2. The poll has a margin of error measuring 3.1 percentage points.