Connect with us

Business

Ford government to release guidelines on holiday gatherings this afternoon – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

Published

 on


Premier Doug Ford is expected to release guidelines this afternoon about what type of gatherings Ontarians will be permitted to have over the holidays.

Toronto and Peel Region are currently in a 28-day lockdown period, which is set to expire just days before Christmas.

Under the current restrictions, restaurants can only offer takeout and delivery and non-essential businesses have been forced to close stores to in-person shopping.

In the lockdown category of the province’s colour-coded reopening framework, residents must only gather with members of their own household and people have been told to only go outside for essential purposes, including picking up groceries, going to medical appointments, and getting exercise.

Mayor John Tory says he does not believe the province’s advice for holiday gatherings in Toronto will stray far from the restrictions that are currently in place.

“There are restrictions right now that say that you are not supposed to spend time with people outside your own home, with exceptions for people who live alone. And so I think you will see something more along that line,” Tory told CP24 on Wednesday morning.

Ontario’s daily case count of new COVID-19 infections has not dipped below 1,000 since Nov. 5, reaching a record high of 1,588 on Nov. 21.

Toronto and Peel Region continue to see the highest number of new COVID-19 infections in the province each day.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases in now 413 in Toronto and 421 in Peel.

Tory said in order to bring the virus under control, there will need to be strict limits on gathering in private homes over the holidays.

“There are going to be strong recommendations, if not restrictions, that are placed on the kinds of activities that people can engage in,” he said.

“Even if the 28-day period has come to an end and we’ve seen some improvement, the last thing everybody wants to see… is to be sliding back into some kind of another shutdown or series of restrictions in the New Year because we didn’t pay attention to our behaviour at Christmas.”

In Quebec, where the rolling seven-day average of new infections is now 1,182, Premier François Legault has eased restrictions for a four-day period, allowing residents in the province to attend two gatherings of up to 10 people between Dec. 24 and Dec. 27.

On Monday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister asked residents only to gather with those in their immediate households over the holidays due to a surge in new cases in that province.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases expert, told CP24 on Wednesday morning that recommendations given to Ontarians will likely be similar to the ones in Manitoba.

“I think we’re going to have a significantly modified holiday season, it’s pretty clear. Especially given how we’re doing in these hot spots. I never know what they’re going to say but I imagine it’s going to be akin to our Thanksgiving messaging which was if you don’t live under that roof, don’t go into that house,” he said.

“We know that indoor spaces, crowded spaces, confined spaces where people aren’t wearing masks in indoor spaces, we know that that’s how this is transmitted so we should be avoiding that at all costs. Connect virtually, connect outdoors, connect safely but let’s not have large family gatherings.”

Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott, and Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, will be releasing the province’s holiday gathering guidelines at a news conference at Queen’s Park at 1 p.m.

The announcement will be streamed live on CP24.com.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Heavy snow hits parts of Nova Scotia Friday – CBC.ca

Published

 on



Parts of Nova Scotia were hit with wintry weather Friday during a system that dumped up to 25 centimetres of snow in some areas before tapering off in the evening.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau said the RCMP has responded to accidents in areas including Lower Sackville, Fall River and Windsor.

“Everybody needs to just take it slow,” she said. “When the roads can be covered in snow and ice, it can lead to collisions.

“So we’re asking people to just slow down, take their time, be patient. We just want everyone to make it home at the end of the day.”

Croteau said she did not know of any significant injuries that came as a result of any of the collisions.

Several Halifax Transit bus routes were on snow plans due to slippery road conditions. Updates are being posted to the Halifax Transit Twitter page.

A Halifax Transit bus got stuck at an intersection due to heavy snow on Friday. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Friday evening, a vehicle crash knocked out electricity for some Nova Scotia Power customers in Cole Harbour. At one point, more than 2,000 customers were in the dark in the Forest Hills area.

As of 10 p.m., most of the power was restored, according to the utility’s outage map.

A picture posted to Nova Scotia Power’s Twitter account showed a Halifax Transit bus on Merrimac Drive with a power pole on top of it.

CBC meteorologist Jim Abraham said only some parts of Nova Scotia were affected by the system.

“As the sun goes down, it’s clear in Digby and clear in much of Cape Breton, but in between there’s this heavy band of snow that has plagued parts of southwestern and central Nova Scotia all day,” said Abraham.

However, Abraham said most of the snow was supposed to taper off by about 7 p.m.

“It should end early enough that we can tidy it up before we go to bed,” he said.

In a tweet, the city of Halifax said the winter parking ban will be enforced from 1-6 a.m. Saturday.

MORE TOP STORIES

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Cruise line says only vaccinated passengers can sail – CTV News

Published

 on


Given all the problems faced by the cruise industry in 2020, the announcement by one operator that all passengers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before they board sounds sensible.

But when Saga Cruises this week became the first to introduce the requirement, not everyone agreed — the British operator was inundated with so many responses, good and bad, it temporarily made its Twitter account private while it dealt with them.

Nevertheless, the move by Saga will be eagerly watched by many in the cruise industry interested to see if whether a vaccine rule will help kick start travel, or prove as divisive as other attempts to work around COVID-19.

Saga, which caters mostly to British people over the age of 50, told CNN Travel that the vaccinated-passengers-only rule was prompted by the results of a recent customer poll, which suggested 95 per cent of regular Saga customers would support such a policy change.

Saga Holidays’ CEO Chris Simmonds said in a statement that the decision was made partly because “many of our customers [are] amongst the first groups of people to be offered the vaccine.”

“With this in mind and having spoken with our customers, we want to ensure we are providing the safest possible experience whilst they are on holiday with us,” said Simmonds.

As well as offering cruises, Saga also organizes tours and all-inclusive holidays. Travelers will also need to be vaccinated before embarking on these vacations.

Before boarding a Saga ship, passengers must have had both COVID-19 jabs at least 14 days before departure.

Right now, Saga’s operations are paused, but the company aims to restart cruises in May 2021. If the U.K.’s vaccine rollout goes to plan, by then, a substantial number of Brits over 50 should have been inoculated against coronavirus.

Saga said crew, who largely skew younger, would not need to be vaccinated before working on board, stating that other protocols would be in place to protect staff until they’re able to receive inoculation.

The announcement raises the question of whether compulsory pre-boarding Covid vaccinations could become the norm for cruise passengers and/or staff.

Previously, testing had previously been championed as the key to unlocking the industry, but when seven people tested positive on-board small cruise ship SeaDream 1 in Nov. 2020, the efficacy of preboarding testing was called into question.

‘MULTI-LAYERED APPROACH’

Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), a global body that represents 95 per cent of the world’s cruise fleet, said “a multi layered approach” to on-board safety “is the right one to mitigate risk.”

Bari Golin-Blaugrund, a spokesperson for CLIA, said measures implemented by cruise lines are being constantly evaluated and will evolve “as the pandemic and circumstances change over time.”

Golin-Blaugrund wouldn’t comment on whether CLIA would enforce a vaccinated passengers-only rule for its member cruise lines.

“We share in the excitement surrounding the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 and are optimistic that it will help facilitate the global recovery from the pandemic,” she told CNN Travel.

“At the same time, we understand that the rollout of the vaccine will take some time.”

Saga confirmed to CNN Travel that it will still instigate other safety measures on board its sailings, including reduced capacity, pre-departure COVID-19 testing, social distancing, increasing cabin air flow and improving on-board medical facilities.

British cruise goer Sara Roberts, 59, who was a passenger on board the virus-hit Coral Princess back in spring 2020, told CNN Travel she thinks a widespread return to cruising will only happen if and when passengers are confident ships are Covid safe.

“Vaccination is a good way forward, providing the vaccine is proven to work,” said Roberts, who expressed concern at the current wait times in the U.K. between administration of the first dose and second dose.

Following her experience last year, Roberts also has lingering concerns surrounding cruise travel more generally.

“We have sailed with the majority of cruise lines over the last 15 years and it had always been my preferred type of holiday,” she said.

“However our experience aboard the Coral Princess made me realize you are not in control of your own destiny whilst aboard a cruise. Therefore, I would not consider embarking another for the foreseeable future until COVID is no longer a risk.”

GLOBAL CRUISE LINE PERSPECTIVE

For cruise lines that serve passengers from across the world, and of all ages, establishing a vaccinated-passenger-only policy could be difficult.

But alongside Saga’s announcement, there is already some precedent for this. Australian airline Qantas last year said passengers will need to be vaccinated before boarding international flights. Meanwhile Singapore Airlines recently announced plans to become the world’s first fully vaccinated airline, pledging to inoculate all crew and staff.

There’s also a possibility that port cities will only allow travelers to disembark cruise ships if they have proof of vaccination, which would take the decision out of the cruise lines’ hands.

Last fall, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban on cruising in U.S. waters was lifted, the CDC introduced its Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for cruise ships, outlining the lengthy process cruise lines need to follow to recommence US cruising.

Measures include mock “trial” cruises, universal mask wearing, physical distancing and COVID-19 testing. There’s no mention of compulsory vaccinations. The guidance was issued before the vaccines had been approved.

When asked whether Royal Caribbean, which owns Royal Caribbean Cruise Line alongside Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises, would adopt a vaccinated-passengers-only policy, spokesperson Jonathon Fishman told CNN Travel that the company was “still in the process of finalizing the details for our return to service.”

“As soon as we have more information on our requirements, we will let our guests know,” he added.

MSC Cruises, which was one of the first major cruise lines to restart operations last summer — in the form of a seven-day, Italian-residents-only, Mediterranean cruise — declined to comment, deferring to the CLIA.

MSC’s voyages were paused over the festive season due to the new Italian lockdown, but MSC Grandiosa is due to restart Italian voyages this weekend.

U.K.-based cruise line Fred Olsen said it had no news to share on this front as yet.

Roger Frizzell, who represents Carnival Corporation — the cruise giant that owns Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard, Holland America and P&O Cruises — also said no firm decisions had been made.

“The new vaccines represent an important breakthrough for people throughout the world, including the travel, hospitality and cruising industries,” said Frizzell.

“We are reviewing the various vaccines, but we have not made any decisions on next steps at this point.”

Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line stated that “all options regarding vaccinations” were being explored for guests and crew — but that staff safety would be at the fore.

“It is our intention that all crew members be vaccinated before boarding our vessels to begin their duties, subject to availability of the vaccine,” said a Norwegian spokesperson.

CREW PERSPECTIVE

Conny Seidler, who worked as a dancer on board the Costa Deliziosa during the first half of 2020, said she’d long expected pre-boarding COVID vaccinations to become compulsory for crew.

The Deliziosa was the last ship carrying large numbers of passengers to make it back to port amid the global shutdown of the cruise industry last year.

“You need certain vaccines to be able to work on a cruise anyway,” points out Seidler, citing the yellow fever jab and tuberculosis as examples.

“From the point of view of the cruise, it’s obviously safer and lower risk if all the crew is vaccinated.”

Seidler, who is from Austria, acknowledges that such a regulation could put off some people, but she thinks most crew members would welcome this rule.

Many crew are currently out of work, and experienced a tough time working on COVID-hit vessels in the wake of the pandemic.

“I honestly don’t think there’s going to be a lot of crew members who are going to be against the vaccine,” says Seidler. “I can imagine most of the crew will be like: ‘As long as I can work, I’m happy to do it.'”

As for the passengers, Seidler suggests some may be unwilling to travel unless they know everyone on board has been vaccinated.

But Seilder thinks most big cruise lines will be hesitant to introduce a vaccinated-passengers-only rule, because the global vaccine rollout won’t be fast enough, and it could deter certain guests.

Still, Seidler reckons the more people vaccinated on board, the safer the environment will be, and the likelier it is that cruising can recommence successfully.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Heavy snow hits parts of Nova Scotia Friday – CBC.ca

Published

 on



Parts of Nova Scotia were hit with wintry weather Friday during a system that dumped up to 25 centimetres of snow in some areas before tapering off in the evening.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau said the RCMP has responded to accidents in areas including Lower Sackville, Fall River and Windsor.

“Everybody needs to just take it slow,” she said. “When the roads can be covered in snow and ice, it can lead to collisions.

“So we’re asking people to just slow down, take their time, be patient. We just want everyone to make it home at the end of the day.”

Croteau said she did not know of any significant injuries that came as a result of any of the collisions.

Several Halifax Transit bus routes were on snow plans due to slippery road conditions. Updates are being posted to the Halifax Transit Twitter page.

A Halifax Transit bus got stuck at an intersection due to heavy snow on Friday. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Friday evening, a vehicle crash knocked out electricity for some Nova Scotia Power customers in Cole Harbour. At one point, more than 2,000 customers were in the dark in the Forest Hills area.

As of 10 p.m., most of the power was restored, according to the utility’s outage map.

A picture posted to Nova Scotia Power’s Twitter account showed a Halifax Transit bus on Merrimac Drive with a power pole on top of it.

CBC meteorologist Jim Abraham said only some parts of Nova Scotia were affected by the system.

“As the sun goes down, it’s clear in Digby and clear in much of Cape Breton, but in between there’s this heavy band of snow that has plagued parts of southwestern and central Nova Scotia all day,” said Abraham.

However, Abraham said most of the snow was supposed to taper off by about 7 p.m.

“It should end early enough that we can tidy it up before we go to bed,” he said.

In a tweet, the city of Halifax said the winter parking ban will be enforced from 1-6 a.m. Saturday.

MORE TOP STORIES

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending