Vaccine passports may spur interest in indoor events

Research from IMI shows that those over 55 are particularly encouraged by mandatory requirements compared to those under 35.

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Mandatory vaccine passports will accelerate consumers’ desire to return to in-person events, particularly older Canadians.

That’s according to the latest IMI NextWave Global Recovery insights, which finds a spike in “intent to increase attendance” – if there are mandatory vaccines – across concerts, outdoor patios and hotels, with air travel and indoor restaurants seeing the biggest increase. For example, the IMI data shows a net increase of 21% – about six million Canadians – intending to return to restaurants if a vaccine passport was made essential for entry.

The survey, which was taken by 800 Canadians, also reveals a disproportionate impact on the 55-plus set, with an older demo being particularly encouraged by mandatory vaccine passport requirements when it comes to flying, indoor restaurants and sporting events, compared with those under 35.

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In terms of reopening live indoor events, compared with our neighbours to the south, Canadians are proceeding with caution. When asked, “Which are essential for you to return to a live indoor event in the next 3 months?”– 45% of Canadians (compared with only 20% of Americans) replied that only double vaccinated people should be allowed in.

There’s also a cross-border divergence when it comes to a mandatory vaccine passport, with 39% of Canadians, compared with 21% of Americans, saying mandatory vaccine passports are an essential requirement for people to return to live events.

Antipathy toward a mandatory vaccine remains strongest in the U.S., at 42% (compared with 37% globally), and higher than the U.K. (28%), Canada (24%) and Australia (21%).

Where there is congruence, however, is with respect to signage: eight in 10 people in Canada and the U.S. do not feel it’s essential that COVID signage be displayed and identifying what is being done in order to return to live events.

Also, Canadians and our American cousins support touchless entry/exit in almost equal measures, with one in four people perceiving the move as essential for organizers to offer for live events. However, when it comes to QR codes, there is far less support, with about only one in 10 Canadians saying it’s an essential part of live events.

The Government of Ontario mandated that people are fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and facilities starting September 22, 2021.