The vast majority of Atlantic Canadians have not ventured outside their home province since the Atlantic bubble was announced in early July.

  • Those who have are generally satisfied with the region’s bubble travel arrangements.
  • There is clear opposition to within the next month opening the Atlantic borders to the rest of Canada, whereby a 14-day quarantine period would not be required.
  • Atlantic Canadians voice almost unanimous opposition to opening the Canada / US border within the next month.

HALIFAX, August 13, 2020: As Atlantic Canada entered its sixth month of the pandemic, Narrative Research reached out to its East Coast Voice online panel to assess public perceptions and behaviours related to COVID-19.  More than 3,300 Atlantic Canadians shared their point of view. The following provides one of three research summaries from the study.


Since the Atlantic bubble was announced in early July, two in ten (21%) Atlantic Canadians have either personally travelled, or had someone in their household travel, to another Atlantic province. The vast majority of Atlantic Canadians (79%) have not ventured outside their home province. 

The likelihood of travel varies across provinces, with PEI residents being most likely to have ventured outside their province.  In contrast, NL residents have been unlikely to travel within the region since the bubble was announced. Those who have traveled within the Atlantic bubble are more likely to be under the age of 55, and higher household income earners.

Those who have traveled within Atlantic Canada are highly satisfied with the arrangements put in place by the Atlantic region’s provincial governments. Indeed, nearly nine in ten residents (87%) report some degree of satisfaction, while only one in ten express any level of dissatisfaction. Looking across the region, residents in NL are slightly less likely to be satisfied (76%) than those in other provinces.


In terms of travel outside Atlantic Canada, few residents (3%) have left the region within the past four months.  Results are highly consistent across the region.


On a related matter, there is clear opposition among Atlantic Canadians to reopening the Atlantic borders to the rest of Canada within the next month, whereby a 14-day quarantine period would no longer be required. Overall, more than three-quarters of residents (77%) oppose such an initiative, with four in ten (42%) expressing complete opposition and over one-third (35%) mostly opposing the concept. 

Although the vast majority of Atlantic Canadians oppose lifting the quarantine and reopening the border to the rest of Canada, Nova Scotians are slightly more likely to be in opposition. Results are consistent across demographics. When it comes to reopening the Canadian borders to the United States within the next month, essentially all Atlantic Canadians oppose the prospect.  Little support for such an action is evident, and opposition is strong, with the vast majority completely opposing such a move.

“Atlantic Canadians are clearly uncomfortable with the anticipated risk associated with opening our borders,” said Margaret Brigley, CEO & Partner of Narrative Research. “We’ve taken much action in the past five months, through efforts like social distancing, remote working, personal bubbles, a regional bubble, and wearing masks.  These have collectively paid off and put the region in an enviable position with minimal to no cases and no evidence of community spread. But findings suggest that residents are not confident that safety measures in place would protect us from a viral spread if borders were to open.”

Narrative Research,, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. Visit to join Atlantic Canada’s largest panel, and share your opinions. Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative.

This survey was conducted from August 5 – 9, 2020 with 3,373 Atlantic Canadians (NB: 1115, PEI:220, NS: 1547, NL: 491) 18 years of age or older, from Narrative Research’s online panel, East Coast Voice. Using data from the 2016 Census, the results were weighted by gender, age, and region to reflect population characteristics.

As a non-probability sample (i.e. a panel sample where residents have joined a panel to share their opinions), and in accordance with CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards, a margin of error is not applied. 


For more information, contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO & Partner: 902.493-3830 (W); 902.222.7066 (M),

To read as a pdf, click here.