As restrictions continue to ease across the country, Canadians have high expectations that the levels of cleanliness and maintenance of facilities and public spaces seen during the peak period of the COVID-19 pandemic will be maintained for the long term.
That’s according to a new national survey conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of Nocospray Disinfection System.
The survey found that more than half (51 per cent) of Canadians expect public spaces to continue to clean and disinfect at the same rate as they did during the peak of COVID-19.
However, only 13 per cent of respondents believe that public spaces are currently being disinfected at a level similar to what was being seen at the height of the pandemic.
Additionally, over eight-in-ten (84 per cent) feel that public spaces have a moral obligation to improve their disinfection practices for post-pandemic life to protect the health and safety of our community.
Consumers look to businesses to lead
While preserving the overall health and safety of the community is a joint effort, the survey reveals Canadians are looking to businesses to take the lead when it comes to maintaining high standards of cleanliness.
In fact, ahead of the government (88 per cent) and citizens (86 per cent), Canadians feel businesses (89 per cent) are most responsible for preventing the spread of disease and expect public spaces to continue enforcing cleanliness measures post-pandemic, such as providing sanitizers (72 per cent) and disinfecting their spaces and surfaces (67 per cent).
When choosing their disinfectant tools and services, eight in 10 Canadians want businesses and public spaces to prioritize effectiveness (83 per cent), far ahead of credibility and certification (49 per cent) or sustainability (45 per cent).
Confidence in disinfection low
Three-quarters (76 per cent) of Canadians surveyed are confident that disinfectants can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but only 13 per cent believe that public spaces are currently being disinfected at a high level.
Over a quarter (28 per cent) feel disinfecting is currently not being done well, indicating there is room for improvement when it comes to how businesses are being maintained.
For non-essential businesses, the link between cleanliness and confidence will be more important than ever in determining how and where consumers spend their time and money.
The survey reveals one-third of Canadians (33 per cent) are not likely to visit shopping malls and restaurants if they are unsure of their disinfectant practices. Only two in five (40 per cent) would be likely to go on public transit while only a third would be likely to go to a gym (34 per cent) or place of worship (33 per cent) if they were unsure of the level of cleanliness.
Communication is key
Seventy-eight per cent of respondents agree that they would feel safer if businesses clearly communicated which services, tools, or technology they are using to protect the health and safety of their visitors. Meanwhile, three-quarters (75 per cent) would feel safer if they knew that hospital-grade disinfectants were being used in public environments.
“These survey results show that people are concerned and that confidence in cleanliness will be directly linked to a quick bounce-back for businesses,” says Philip del Buey, President, A.M.G. Medical Inc., distributors of Nocospray Disinfection System.
“After 18 months on edge, everyone wants to feel at ease and safe when they return to their place of work or favourite indoor spaces. Businesses will want employees and customers to feel comfortable that they are going to a clean, safe environment. It’s really in the best interest of all businesses to communicate the steps they take to reassure staff and customers that they are valued.”
Enhanced personal hygiene practices to persist
In addition to public spaces elevating their cleanliness standards, the majority of Canadians plan to maintain strict personal hygiene practices, even after restrictions ease.
The survey reveals that eight in 10 respondents use hand sanitizers more often now than they did prior to the pandemic (79 per cent), while three-quarters indicate they intend to continue using hand sanitizers even post-pandemic. More than half have started using disinfectant wipes more often since the pandemic (54 per cent) and three in five intend to use this product even post COVID-19 (60 per cent).
The survey was conducted by Leger for the Nocospray Disinfection System, which has been helping prevent the spread of disease and deadly pathogens in hospitals across Canada. The survey was based on an online survey of 1,500 Canadian aged 18+.