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Air Canada Hopes COVID-19 Test Could End Canadian Quarantine – Simple Flying

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Air Canada wants to run its own voluntary COVID-19 testing program to encourage the unwinding of onerous border restrictions. The airline plans to set up testing stations for arriving passengers. They want to use these tests to help persuade Canada’s Government to relax its ban on most international arrivals.

Air Canada will begin voluntary testing of international arrivals in Toronto in September. Photo: Air Canada Newsroom

Tough border controls hit Air Canada hard

Canada is barring entry at its borders to all but essential travelers and Canadian citizens. Those select few allowed in must then self isolate for 14-days. But the restrictions, which have been in effect since March, are hitting Air Canada hard.

Air Canada’s second-quarter 2020 results noted year on year passenger numbers were down 96%. In addition, year on year total revenue was down 89%, and the airline posted an operating loss of US$1.18 billion across the quarter.

Air Canada’s CEO, Calin Rovinescu, called it an impossible operating environment.

“Canada’s federal and inter-provincial restrictions have been among the most severe in the world, effectively shutting down most commercial aviation in our country,” he said in a statement seen by Simple Flying.

But the Canadian Government is showing scant interest in relaxing border restrictions. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will continue to do what needs to be done to keep people safe. But Air Canada wants a smarter, more science-based approach to border restrictions. The airline thinks you can walk and chew gum at the same time by allowing some movement while keeping people safe.

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Air Canada COVID-19 Tests
Air Canada wants border restrictions eased as sees COVID-19 testing as a way to achieve this. Photo: Air Canada Newsroom

Air Canada to set up COVD-19 testing station in Toronto

Air Canada Chief Financial Officer Michael Rousseau spoke at a Raymond James conference on Tuesday. Raymond James is a Florida based investment bank. Mr Rousseau told the conference Air Canada was working with Toronto’s Pearson Airport. The airline plans to begin offering voluntary COVID-19 tests to passengers arriving in Toronto from September 7.

Following the airport test, there would be two further tests while the passenger self isolates. A Raymond James analyst said in a followup note cited in The New York Times;

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“The data collected will convince the government to take more of a science-based approach with the 14-day quarantine requirement waived or reduced for those with successful negative tests.”

Air Canada hopes that the initiative will demonstrate to the Canadian Government that there are alternative ways of managing COVID-19.

Air Canada COVID-19 Tests
Are COVID-19 airport testing stations, like this one in Frankfurt, the way forward? Photo: Lufthansa Newsroom

Are COVID-19 airport testing stations the way forward?

In the absence of a vaccine, testing regimes may offer the best way forward for travel to resume and border restrictions to relax. Airports and airlines are beginning to roll testing stations out. But, as previously reported in Simple Flying, these initiatives operate in isolation rather than as part of a formal inter-governmental framework.

But Air Canada clearly thinks it needs to get on the front foot and take the initiative here. The airline has adopted rigorous cleaning procedures across aircraft operating those flights still running. In addition, Air Canada is involved in various medical collaborations to tackle the COVID-19 threat.

These collaborations include working with the Toronto-based Cleveland Clinic Canada, BlueDot, and Spartan Bioscience to explore airport-friendly rapid COVID-19 testing procedures.

Air Canada has a vested economic interest in getting border restrictions relaxed. But the airline joins an increasing number of businesses and organizations worldwide calling for a more science-based approach to border restrictions. They argue we must learn to manage the spread of COVID-19 better while getting people moving again.

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Recall notice issued on spaghetti sauce that could cause botulism – Montreal Gazette

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A brand of spaghetti sauce sold in Quebec has been recalled by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The sauce, made by Érablière Godbout, could cause botulism, according to an advisory by the agency.

The sauce did not have a “keep refrigerated” label on the jars.

The spaghetti sauce, which was sold in 500 millilitre and one litre jars, should be returned to the store or thrown out.

No one has fallen ill after eating the sauce, but the recall has been ordered as a precaution, the agency said in a news release.

Symptoms in adults can include facial paralysis or loss of facial expression, fixed pupils, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, slurred speech and hoarseness.

Symptoms of botulism in children can include difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, generalized weakness and paralysis.

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'Netwalker' ransomware attacks pose challenge for businesses, organizations in Canada – Global News

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Despite pandemic-imposed rules, the lights of the Liquid Zoo are still on until 2 a.m., which is causing confusion for some residents in Kelowna.

The business, which is known for featuring strippers, is downtown on Kelowna’s Lawrence Avenue.

In early September, Dr. Bonnie Henry ordered businesses to stop operating as nightclubs.

Read more:
B.C. bars and restaurants call for clarity around new COVID-19 restrictions

She also said that last call must be at 10 p.m., and unless a full meal service is provided, businesses must close by 11 p.m.

A bouncer at Liquid Zoo’s door on Friday night could be heard telling guests that they could order a bunch of drinks for last call at 10 p.m. and keep drinking until 2 a.m.

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The Liquid Zoo was not available for an on-camera interview with Global News on Sunday.

Read more:
Nightclubs, banquet halls in B.C. ordered closed again as COVID-19 cases rise

However, the business said guests are restricted to ordering two drinks at last call but can sip them until 2 a.m.

The business also said that it has stopped operating as a nightclub and isn’t doing anything illegal.

Liquid Zoo said it offers a full food menu, which means it can remain open until 2 a.m.

The business said it’s had scrutiny from RCMP, Interior Health and bylaw officers.

Read more:
Bars vs. schools? WHO says countries must choose, but it’s not cut and dried

Although the public health order does say that liquor must not be consumed on premises by owners, operators or staff after 11 p.m., it doesn’t explicitly say that guests must finish their drinks before then.

Interior Health said its public health teams will be investigating the situation.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Quebec ticket holder wins Saturday night's $8.4-million Lotto 649 jackpot – CTV News

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TORONTO —
A ticket holder in Quebec won Saturday night’s $8.4-million Lotto 649 jackpot.

The draw’s guaranteed $1-million prize also went to a lottery player in Quebec.

The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Sept. 30 will be approximately $5 million.

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