Updated throughout the day on Tuesday, July 13. Questions/comments: email@example.com
Updated throughout the day on Tuesday, July 13. Questions/comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
French retailers were puzzled on Tuesday over how a new government proposal requiring them to block people not vaccinated against COVID-19 from shopping malls could possibly work out in practice, the Reuters news agency reports.
Ahead of a meeting with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Wednesday, retailers said that a widening of COVID health pass requirements announced by President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday was difficult to implement.
In a bid to slow down the spread of the virus, Macron said a health pass would be required from July 21 to enter places of leisure and culture and that from early August it would be required in bars and restaurants, shopping malls, hospitals as well as in planes and long-distance trains and buses.
A health pass would have to show double vaccination against COVID-19, recovery from the illness or a recent negative test.
“The government did not want to make vaccination mandatory for all and puts the onus on private companies,” retail federation FCD chief Jaques Creyssel said on C-News TV.
He said it was hard to imagine how anyone could stop a customer who needed to buy food or medicines.
He added that the industry has a lot of young staff, many of whom are not vaccinated and that given that it takes about one and a half months to get two doses, it was not feasible to get everyone ready by early August.
“We hope the law to be voted on will make clear that public authorities will be in charge of controlling access, because we cannot do this ourselves,” he said.
The head of French retailer System U, Dominique Schelcher, said on his Twitter account that putting in place a health pass system at the entrance of a supermarket would raise many issues, such as who is in charge of control, what to do in case of conflict and what to do with non-vaccinated workers.
He also said that the new measure would only impact shopping malls, not small neighbourhood supermarkets.
From the Reuters news agency:
U.S. health officials, after meeting with vaccine maker Pfizer, reiterated on Monday that Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need to get a booster shot, a spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department said.
Pfizer said last week it planned to ask U.S. regulators to authorize a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, based on evidence of greater risk of infection six months after inoculation and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
HHS officials had a briefing from Pfizer on Monday regarding their latest, preliminary data on vaccinations and will continue to discuss when and if booster shots will be needed in future, the spokesperson said.
Pfizer said it planned to publish “more definitive data” in a peer-reviewed journal.
The west-central Montreal regional health authority says it will hold pop-up Pfizer vaccination clinics at two west end parks this week, weather permitting:
All of these clinics will run from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
In Laval, the regional health authority is planning three first-dose pop-up vaccination clinics over the next few days – at Centropolis, Carrefour Laval and Bernard-Landry Park.
“Given the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, we sadly cannot host a live event this year,” Brian MacKenzie, president of the Montreal Highland Games, said in a press release today.
“Instead, we will be broadcasting Montreal’s very own Jason Baines’ attempt to beat the current Guinness World Record for tossing the most cabers in one hour.”
The current record stands at 122 tosses by fellow Canadian Kevin Fast, organizers said.
The event will take place on Aug. 1.
“To qualify as a successful toss, the caber must be thrown up in the air at such an angle that the top end hits the ground, allowing the caber to flip end over end,” the Games said. “A caber must be a minimum of 14 feet 7 inches in length and weigh at least 55 pounds.”
The caber toss, along with Highland dancing and a bagpipe competition, and will be broadcast on the Montreal Highland Games YouTube channel.
Quebec has recorded 54 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced this morning.
No new deaths were reported.
Some other key statistics from Quebec’s latest COVID-19 update:
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Quebec has reported 375,969 cases and 11,231 deaths linked to COVID-19. A total of 364,103 people who have contracted the disease have since recovered.
From the Reuters news agency:
Greece has made vaccinations against COVID-19 mandatory for certain workers and announced restrictions to contain the spread of the virus as infections have kept rising during the vital summer tourism season.
“The country will not shut down again because of some,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address announcing the measures. “It is not Greece that is in danger, but unvaccinated Greeks.”
Nursing home staff will need to get vaccinated immediately, while healthcare workers will have to be vaccinated starting Sept. 1, Mitsotakis said.
As part of the new measures, only vaccinated customers will be allowed indoors in bars, cinemas, theatres and other closed spaces, he said.
A country of 11 million people, Greece has so far administered more than 5,200,000 first shots and about 41 per cent of the general population is fully vaccinated.
In an effort to entice more people to get vaccinated, the government has offered incentives including cash and free mobile data for youths to try to bring the rate up to 70 per cent by autumn.
Greece’s bio-ethics committee had recommended compulsory shots for health workers and staff at nursing homes “as a last resort measure” if efforts to encourage inoculation proved ineffective.
Canada has passed the halfway point in vaccinations, The Canadian Press reports.
As of Monday, more than 50 per cent of eligible Canadians – at least 12 years old – have had their second shot.
That means 26.3 million Canadians now have had both required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
More than 20 million of them received their second dose at least 14 days ago, the time period after which the immune system has reacted enough so you are considered to be fully vaccinated.
Provinces logged almost 450,000 second doses Monday, though that number includes second doses in some provinces given over the weekend.
Canada is also edging closer to hitting 80 per cent of eligible people at least partially vaccinated, with 79.11 per cent of people over 12 now having received at least one dose.
Manitoba, at 58 per cent, leads the way on second doses given to eligible people.
The Legault government on Wednesday will launch its latest multimedia publicity campaign promoting vaccination against COVID-19.
An estimated 11,300 marriages took place in 2020, a 49-per-cent drop compared to the previous year – an unprecedented decline.
Not since 1903 have so few marriages taken place in Quebec, according to a report published this morning by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.
Due to the pandemic, there were severe restrictions on events such as marriages during much of 2020.
“The decline in marriages began in March 2020 and was particularly pronounced in early summer, the season in which the majority of the year’s weddings are normally celebrated,” the provincial statistics institute said.
“In May, June and July of 2020, the fall was around 70 per cent compared to the average for 2015 to 2019. While the gap compared to previous years narrowed beginning in August, the first monthly results for 2021 indicate that the number of marriages remains below average.”
The decline in religious marriages was more pronounced than in civil ones, the institute said.
And the decrease was greater among couples where both spouses were born in Canada, compared to cases where one or both were born abroad.
From the Reuters news agency:
More than 900,000 people in France rushed to set up appointments to get vaccinated on Monday night after the president warned that people would see curbs imposed on them if they did not have a health pass that covered a vaccine or negative COVID test.
Unveiling sweeping measures to combat a surge in infections, Emmanuel Macron said vaccination would not be compulsory for the general public for now but stressed that restrictions would focus on those who are not vaccinated.
The president said health workers had to get vaccinated by Sept. 15 or face consequences.
Stanislas Niox-Chateau, who heads Doctolib, one of the country’s biggest online websites used to book vaccine appointments, told RMC radio there were record numbers seeking vaccines after the president’s announcement.
“There were 7.5 million connections on Doctolib in a few minutes. More than 900,000 French people made their vaccination appointment yesterday, which is twice the last record which dated from May 11,” Niox-Chateau said.
Macron said on Monday that a health pass required to attend large-scale events would now be used much more widely, including to enter restaurants, cinemas and theatres.
It will also be required to board long-distance trains and planes from the beginning of August, giving a further incentive for people to get the shot as the summer holiday season kicks in.
A slowdown in vaccination rates and a sharp upturn in new infections due to the highly contagious, now dominant, Delta variant, have forced the government to rethink its strategy.
At least 4,119 people with cancer were not diagnosed in Quebec from March 1 to July 18, 2020, according to a Health Department report published at the beginning of this year that examined the pandemic’s impact on cancer care and services.
Eva Villalba, executive director of Coalition Priorité Cancer au Québec, questions whether that number is now double, since it reflected only the first wave of the pandemic.
“As the number of new cases in Quebec plummets (52 were reported Monday) and the vaccination rate climbs, the last vestiges of the restrictions imposed to keep us safe are fading away. Capacity limits for stores were lifted. (Yay! No more lineups!) And the two-metre distance between people who don’t share our address has been eased to a mere one metre.
“We’ve dreamed of this day. It’s been a long time coming. Yet the latest transition feels just as strange as the introduction of isolating public health measures way back in March 2020. New habits die just as hard.”
Local health authorities have set up mass vaccination sites across Montreal.
You can book appointments via the Clic Santé website or by phone at 1-877-644-4545.
Here are the nuts and bolts of getting vaccinated, by Katherine Wilton. Her guide includes the age groups targeted, how to book appointments, and addresses of vaccination centres.
Two private sites can also help you book appointments:
We are regularly updating our list of what services are open, closed or modified in Montreal and Quebec, including information on the curfew and other lockdown measures.
Montrealers can be screened at test centres across the island.
Here’s the rate of case growth per 100,000 people over the past seven days, via the federal government’s latest epidemiology update.
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With new restrictions announced specifically for the Central Okanagan today (July 28), the Kelowna International Airport (YLW) said they are not expecting any changes to their operations.
Senior manager of airport operations Phillip Elchitz said that with the COVID-19 safety plan already in place at YLW, they don’t expect much more to change.
Elchitz also said that they’re not expecting much impact on passenger numbers because of the new restrictions.
“YLW is not anticipating a reduction in commercial scheduled flights as a result of the new provincial health guidelines specific to the Central Okanagan,” he said.
“YLW currently has a mandatory mask policy in place for all areas of the Air Terminal Building and on aircrafts due to Transport Canada requirements.”
Individual passenger temperature is also checked just before they go through security as an added safety measure.
Earlier in the afternoon on July 28, the province announced that masks will be mandatory again in indoor public spaces throughout the Central Okanagan, which includes Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country.
The province is also discouraging non-essential travel to and from the Central Okanagan, especially for those who are not vaccinated or who don’t have both doses yet.
The mayor of Calgary says it’s the “height of insanity” that Alberta is moving ahead with removing almost all of its remaining COVID-19 public health orders, even as cases climb in the province.
Alberta has ended isolation requirements for close contacts of people who test positive and contact tracers will no longer notify them of their exposure. The province has also ended asymptomatic testing.
Further measures are to be eliminated Aug. 16. People who test positive will no longer be required to isolate. Isolation hotels will close as quarantine supports end.
“It is inconceivable to me. It is the height of insanity to say we don’t even know what’s happening,” Nenshi said Thursday.
“It is putting the health of Albertans at risk. To stop contact tracing, to stop testing people for the coronavirus and to become one of the first _ if not the first — jurisdictions in the world to say that people who have tested positive, who are infectious, can just go about their lives.”
Naheed Nenshi, who was making an announcement at the Calgary airport, said if he were in another jurisdiction he would be thinking hard whether to put travel restrictions on Albertans starting Aug. 16.
“I’m aware of no science that backs this up. It is clear for the last month or so on this file (that) our government has been grasping and struggling, just trying to get some good news out of something,” he said.
“To say we don’t want to know who has the coronavirus, we don’t want to track outbreaks. Even the most fervent of the anti-maskers wouldn’t say (to) unleash people who are actually infectious into the population.”
Nenshi said he worries that the decision to lift the health orders is politically motivated and has nothing to do with science at all.
“The only possible explanation here is a political one. It might be that they’ve run out of money, but you know what? Don’t spend $1.5 billion on a pipeline you know isn’t going to get built if you’re running out of money.”
© 2021 The Canadian Press
Come to the Central Okanagan, but only if you’re fully vaccinated.
That is the message from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and Tourism Kelowna after the provincial government announced new local steps Wednesday to try and lower COVID-19 cases.
A new regional mask policy was announced by Interior Health after 240 new cases of the virus were identified among Central Okanagan residents in the last week.
Along with the indoor mask mandate, the province is now discouraging non-essential travel into and out of the Central Okanagan for people who are not immunized.
TOTA says after an extremely tough 15 months they are concerned about how it might affect the industry, but she says it is a necessary step.
‘’I think the bigger concern is that if we don’t address it now and get things under control we will continue to lose ground. We have done so well up until now. I think that doing this to make sure that we nip it in the bud and we get a good rest of the summer and fall is very important,” said senior vice president Ellen Walker-Matthews.
Tourism Kelowna president and CEO Lisanne Ballantyne says the change will likely impact frontline staff the most.
“We know especially with having dealt with the haze and smoke recently that this is going to have an impact on our tourism businesses. Primarily it is going to be our frontline staff I’m afraid. These are the folks who are dealing with the public every day, and because this health order is only for the Central Okanagan, many travellers don’t realize that it is in effect and it is the frontline staff that have to do the education.”
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce says the regional mandate has also caused some confusion amongst businesses.
“Earlier this year we were loud and clear along with chambers across the Interior when our numbers were extremely low we petitioned the province to do regional decision making because the rates were so high in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley they introduced the circuit breaker,” said Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president Dan Rogers.
“When they did that it had a massive impact on our businesses even though our rates were low. The line we heard from the province at that time was all of our decisions would be made province-wide and there won’t be any regionally based decision making. Now they have flip-flopped,” Rogers added.
The Interior’s vaccination rate is slightly lower than the provincial average, with 60 per cent of eligible people having received both doses, compared to B.C.’s 63.2 per cent.
Interior Health did not announce an end date for the new measure but says it will be in place for “at least 14 days.
890 million-year-old fossils may be oldest sign of animal life on Earth, Canadian geologist says – The Washington Post
QC: Art feeds the soul for Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway – Regina Leader-Post
N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 4 new cases, 66.1% of eligible population fully vaccinated – CBC.ca
Amid pushback, Alberta health minister defends plan to ease COVID-19 isolation, masking, testing rules – Globalnews.ca
Zach Hyman is exactly what was missing in the Edmonton Oilers top-six – Edmonton Sun
U.S. Economy Grew 1.6% in Second Quarter – The New York Times
Filmer, Janssens capture bronze in women’s rowing pair at Tokyo Olympics – CityNews Toronto
City incentives, 'red-hot' real estate market fuel action on brownfields – Windsor Star