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Canadian travel restrictions extended until Halloween

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Canada is once again extending travel restrictions to foreign travellers as cases of coronavirus continue to rise.

A new Canadian government Order in Council states that coronavirus travel restrictions will be extended until Halloween, on October 31.

Canada initially closed its borders from March 18 to June 30. Since then travel restrictions have been rolled over on a month-by-month basis.

The border is closed to foreign travellers who are coming to Canada for a non-essential reason such as recreation, tourism, or entertainment.

Some people are exempt from travel restrictions, such as:

  • Canadian citizens (including dual citizens) or permanent residents;
  • certain people who have been approved for Canadian permanent residence;
  • certain temporary foreign workers;
  • certain international students;
  • protected persons;
  • immediate family members of Canadians; or
  • anyone else who falls under the exemptions listed on the government’s webpage.

Everyone who crosses the Canadian border must still quarantine for 14 days. The only exemptions to the mandatory quarantine requirement are:

  • crew members;
  • people invited by the health minister to help with the COVID-19 response, and other healthcare workers;
  • members of visiting forces who are coming to work;
  • people coming to receive medical services within 36 hours of their arrival;
  • crossing the border in a trans-border community;
  • people crossing into Canada aboard a “vessel” for the purposes of research, as long as they stay on the vessel; and
  • other circumstances listed in the Order in Council.

Canada has a separate order in place that has also limited cross border travel between it and the U.S. since March. This order was also extended again earlier this month.

The decision to extend Canada’s travel restrictions come as no surprise in light of the rising COVID-19 cases in Canada and abroad.

Canada was able to successfully flatten the coronavirus curve from late May until August.

However, COVID-19 cases have been steadily increasing since late August.

Canada’s largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, have announced stricter measures in recent days to try and reduce the significantly higher levels of COVID-19 cases they have experienced over the past month.

Canada is still issuing new permanent residence invitations throughout the pandemic.

These invitations are being issued to individuals currently in Canada as well as those abroad, although the number of individuals completing their permanent residence landing in Canada is much lower than usual due to the pandemic.

In addition, the travel restrictions stipulate that only those who received their permanent residence approval prior to March 18 are currently eligible to travel to Canada.

As such, Canada’s ongoing Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws are meant in part to facilitate the arrival of immigrants in support of Canada’s economy after the pandemic.

In a speech last week, the Canadian government stated it plans to continue to welcome global talent to drive the country’s economic growth.

Two major events in October will provide more clarity on the Canadian government’s immigration plans following the pandemic.

Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino has made a series of remarks throughout the pandemic suggesting that immigration will be vital to Canada’s economic recovery.

Since 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal government have regularly and widely championed immigration to Canada and the welcoming of refugees. Now, …

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

Shelby Thevenot

Shelby is an Editor at CIC News.

Shelby has worked as a freelance writer, photojournalist and staff video journalist before she came to CIC News in 2019.

She has lived in Manitoba, Alberta, B.C., and now Quebec. Her exposure to life in multiple communities across Canada
helps her connect readers with the places where they may end up living someday.

Helping people navigate the complex Canadian immigration system is what drives her to create new, engaging, and comprehensive content for CIC News readers.

Talking to people with interesting stories and insights is the best part of her day. Send story ideas to shelby.thevenot@canadavisa.com.

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – CityNews Toronto

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

11:15 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 827 new cases of COVID-19 today, and four new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 355 cases are in Toronto, 169 in Peel Region, 89 in York Region and 58 in Ottawa.

The province has conducted 23,945 tests since the last daily report, with an additional 22,636 being processed.

In total, 312 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 75 in intensive care.

11:10 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 963 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

The Health Department said today four of the deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, 14 date back to last week and one death was from an unknown date.

The number of patients in hospital declined by 16 to 527 while the number of intensive-care patients dropped by two to 91.

Quebec has reported a total of 101,885 COVID-19 cases and 6,172 deaths linked to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

10:55 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Health officials say the case is in the central health zone, which includes Halifax, and is related to travel outside the Atlantic region.

The province has six active cases of novel coronavirus.

In total, Nova Scotia has confirmed 1,102 cases, while 1,031 cases have been resolved and there have been 65 deaths.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Trudeau says pandemic 'sucks' as COVID-19 compliance slips and cases spike – CBC.ca

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he understands that Canadians are increasingly frustrated by “annoying” measures designed to curb the spread of COVID-19, but he’s urging people to stay the course as cases continue to climb in some parts of the country.

Canada is in the grips of a second pandemic wave. Some provinces — notably Alberta, B.C., Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec — are now seeing case counts larger than those reported in the spring, at the onset of the pandemic.

“This sucks, it really, really does,” Trudeau told a COVID-19 press briefing this morning. “It’s going to be a tough winter. It’s easy for us to want to throw up our hands … it’s frustrating to have to go through this situation.

“Nobody wanted 2020 to be this way, but we do get to control how bad it gets by all of us doing our part.”

Trudeau said Canadians must get this latest pandemic wave under control or risk putting their Christmas festivities in jeopardy.

“Unless we’re really, really careful, there may not be the kinds of family gatherings we want to have at Christmas,” he said.

After a summer lull, the death count in Canada has also started to climb. Hospitalizations and the number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) remain at manageable levels in most regions, despite the cresting caseload.

Some Toronto-area hospitals are nearing 100 per cent capacity as they grapple with both COVID-19 cases and other patients.

Data indicates that younger, healthier people — who are more likely to recover without medical intervention — are driving the COVID-19 spike during this round of the pandemic.

Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, said there’s no doubt that Canadians are tired of the restrictions that have upended their social and economic lives for the better part of eight months.

“What we’re seeing around the world is people are suffering from COVID fatigue,” Njoo said.

Another full lockdown is not necessary at this point, he said.

“We want to get back to as normal as possible, the functioning of society,” he said, adding Canada needs to find the “sweet spot” where new cases of COVID-19 don’t threaten to overwhelm the health care system.

Asked if governments bear any responsibility for conflicting messages from federal and provincial leaders and local public health officials about how Canadians should go about their daily lives during the pandemic, Trudeau said the situation on the ground in the provinces and territories varies greatly and does not demand national uniformity.

WATCH: Trudeau questioned about public confusion over pandemic messaging

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at the bi-weekly pandemic briefing in Ottawa on Tuesday. 2:34

Trudeau said Ottawa is not intent on plunging the country into another shutdown — and the country is better equipped to handle this wave than it was in March and April.

“We have a better understanding of COVID-19. We have better tools to deal with COVID-19 and we can be a little more targeted but, yeah, that means a little more complication in our messages,” Trudeau said.

“It’s frustrating to see friends at the other end of the country doing things you’d love to be able to do but you can’t.”

Trudeau said that when his six-year-old son Hadrien recently asked him if COVID-19 would with us “forever,” he assured him the pandemic  would end — but its impact will depend on Canadians doing their part in the short term by wearing masks wherever possible, keeping a two-metre distance from others and avoiding large social gatherings altogether.

“We need to do the right thing, we need to lean on each other, we need to use all the tools that we can,” he said.

Trudeau sounded a positive note today, too, saying that Canada has placed orders for tens of millions of possible vaccine candidates. He said pharmaceutical companies are developing promising treatments.

“Vaccines are on the horizon. Spring and summer will come and they will be better than this winter,” he said.

All told, the federal government has secured 358 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines — an insurance policy if some of the vaccines in development prove to be ineffective in clinical trials.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Tuesday – CBC.ca

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The latest:

People in British Columbia and Alberta’s two largest cities are facing tighter restrictions around some social gatherings after an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday that while she has often spoken about the need to “balance between minimizing the risk of COVID-19 and minimizing the risk of harms of restrictions,” the province is now “losing the balance we have been seeking.”

The temporary measure, which caps attendance at 15 for events where people will be “mixing and mingling” like parties and baby showers, applies in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.

Alberta has reported a total of 25,733 cases since the pandemic began, with 4,477 of those listed as active cases. As of Sunday, health officials reported 118 people were being treated in Alberta hospitals, with 16 of those patients in ICU beds. 

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer in British Columbia, also placed restrictions on gatherings on Monday, with a focus on events in people’s homes. Henry said gatherings are now limited to people in an immediate household, plus their so-called “safe six” guests.

WATCH | Dr. Bonnie Henry said mask-wearing is expected in public in B.C.:

B.C.’s provincial health officer says British Columbians must wear non-medical masks in public, but stopped short of making them mandatory. 2:13

“This is a bit of a sobering weekend for us,” she said after provincial health officials reported 817 new cases since Friday.

B.C. has reported a total of 13,371 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with 2,325 of the cases considered active. The most recent information from health officials said 77 people were in hospital with 26 in intensive care.


What’s happening across Canada

As of 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 220,213 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 184,303 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,973.

Manitoba’s provincial public health officer also urged people to avoid gathering in large groups, saying many of the 100 new cases reported in the province on Monday linked back to social gatherings — including Thanksgiving.

Dr. Brent Roussin said if the province’s trajectory continues, health officials expect to have a total of more than 5,000 cases by the end of the week. The province had 4,349 cases as of Monday, with 2,117 considered active. There were 80 people in hospital, with 15 in intensive care.

WATCH | Manitoba frustrated by rise in COVID-19 cases:

As Manitoba sees a continued increase in COVID-19 cases, it’s seeing an unprecedented surge in its hospitals and ICUs. As pressure to close parts of the province mounts — officials are pointing fingers and doctors are bracing for the worst. 1:55

Roussin wasn’t the only Manitoba official with words of warning. Premier Brian Pallister expressed frustration on Monday at people with too many close contacts as cases increase.

“Grow up and stop going out there and giving people COVID,” the premier said. 

Saskatchewan reported 54 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the province to 2,783, with 650 of those considered active cases.

In Ontario, a region west of Toronto is waiting for word on whether tougher measures will be imposed by the province as part of the effort to fight COVID-19. Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer, said while neither he nor Halton Region’s local medical officer are ready to make a decision on tighter measures for the area, they will be watching case counts and other metrics closely in the coming days.

Quebec Premier François Legault moved Monday to extend restrictions on people living in so-called red zones until Nov. 23, saying daily COVID-19 case numbers and deaths are still too high to allow an easing of limits in places like Montreal and Quebec City.

WATCH | How health authorities are trying to balance restrictions and COVID-19 caseloads:

Infectious disease physician Dr. Zain Chagla discusses how health officials try to balance restrictions and COVID-19 case loads when the data doesn’t show up for weeks after a decision is made. 1:35

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported three new cases on Monday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 60. Health officials in both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland reported one new case, while there were no new cases reported in Prince Edward Island.

There were two new cases reported in Yukon on Monday, and a mine in Nunavut reported that two workers who had been reported as presumptive cases were confirmed as positive for COVID-19. The workers were flown to their home province of Quebec and instructed to self-isolate.


What’s happening around the world

Several potential COVID-19 vaccines are seeing early results from Phase 3 trials, with AstraZeneca saying its has shown results in older and younger participants. Meanwhile, Moderna is so positive about its results it has applied to make its vaccine available earlier. 2:07

A case count maintained by Johns Hopkins University put the number of COVID-19 cases around the world at over 43.5 million as of Tuesday morning with over 29.2 million cases considered recovered. The Baltimore, Md.-based institution’s count of deaths stood at more than 1.1 million. 

In the Americas, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States is at a two-month high, straining health-care systems in some states.

The White House said on Tuesday it saw a potential deal on COVID-19 stimulus funding in “coming weeks,” casting doubt on whether a deal could be struck with Congress before the Nov. 3 election. A spokesperson for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that she was hopeful an agreement could be reached ahead of the election, but noted that there were still major issues that needed to be addressed.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people vote in the U.S. presidential election in the Jurassic Parking structure at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif., on Monday. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

In the Asia-Pacific region, China reported the highest number of asymptomatic infections in nearly seven months. China detected 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on Sunday in Kashgar in the northwestern region of Xinjiang after one person was found to have the virus the previous day — the first local new cases in 10 days in mainland China.

Hong Kong announced it would reopen public beaches and increase the number of people allowed to sit together in bars and restaurants starting Friday as the city continues to unwind strict COVID-19 rules put in place in July.

In India, authorities reported 36,470 newly confirmed coronavirus infections. That’s the lowest one-day tally in more than three months in a continuing downward trend. In its report Tuesday, the country’s health ministry also listed 488 new fatalities from COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 119,502.

The case number reported Tuesday is the lowest since India had 35,065 newly confirmed infections on July 17. Last month, the country hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but daily infections have been decreasing since then.

In Europe, many governments prepared on Tuesday to introduce new restrictions to try to curb a growing surge of coronavirus infections across the continent and provide economic balm to help businesses survive the pandemic. 

Italian police officers stand in front of a shattered Gucci store window during a protest of far-right activists against measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, in downtown Turin on Monday. (Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images)

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets across Italy on Monday to vent their anger at the latest round of restrictions, including early closing for bars and restaurants, with demonstrations in some cities turning violent.

In neighbouring France, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin warned the country to prepare for “difficult decisions” after some of the strictest restrictions currently in place anywhere in Europe have failed to halt the spread of the disease.

South Africa remained the hardest hit country in Africa, with more than 716,000 recorded COVID-19 cases and more than 19,000 deaths according to the Africa CDC.

People in Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, faced new daily records of infections and deaths. Authorities have ordered residents in Tehran to wear masks in public, and many public sector workers in the capital have been told to stay home every second day.

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