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Hotel quarantine for travellers to begin Feb. 22, Trudeau says – Global News

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New restrictions for incoming travellers will come into effect on Feb. 22, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday — including a fresh hotel quarantine requirement.

“These measures will take effect starting Feb. 22,” Trudeau said, speaking from the front steps of Rideau Cottage.

Read more:
COVID-19: Snowbird calls mandatory hotel quarantines and ever-changing travel rules ‘ludicrous’

Trudeau added that there will be exceptions to these new restrictions, particularly for truckers and health-care workers travelling into Canada.

“We’re not trying to punish people, we’re trying to keep people safe,” he said.

“These border measures will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and new variants.”

In late January, Trudeau announced that travellers arriving in the country by air will have to take a mandatory PCR coronavirus test. While they await the results of that test, they will be forced to quarantine at a hotel for up to three days — on their own dime.

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Some Canadian snowbirds continue to defy travel warnings


Some Canadian snowbirds continue to defy travel warnings

Trudeau had previously said that the cost for this hotel stay is “expected to be more than $2,000.”

“Those with negative test results will then be able to quarantine at home under significantly increased surveillance and enforcement,” Trudeau said at the time.

“Those with positive tests will be immediately required to quarantine in designated government facilities to make sure they’re not carrying variants of potential concern.”

During multiple press conferences on Friday, government ministers and officials explained that travellers arriving in Canada will have to take three separate COVID-19 tests. The first is taken no more than 72 hours before arrival, and then another will be taken upon arrival at the Canadian border or airport.

Travellers will then be provided with an additional testing kit upon arrival, which is to be used 10 days later for a third and final test.t.

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Read more:
Confused about the new travel restrictions? Expert breaks it down

Speaking in a separate press conference on Friday, Health Minister Patty Hajdu provided more details on the mandatory hotel quarantine all air travellers will have to undertake upon their arrival in Canada.

“It is up to the traveller to choose where they wish to stay, and book in advance of departure,” Hajdu said.

She explained the government-approved hotels will be listed on a booking website as of Feb. 18. They are all located near airports in the four cities currently allowed to accept international flights: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

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“Costs of these hotel stays may vary slightly at each location,” said Hajdu.

“The price will include costs associated with the room, food, cleaning, infection prevention and control measures, and security as well as transportation.”


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Trudeau outlines government’s reasoning behind new PCR test, quarantine requirements for travellers'



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Coronavirus: Trudeau outlines government’s reasoning behind new PCR test, quarantine requirements for travellers


Coronavirus: Trudeau outlines government’s reasoning behind new PCR test, quarantine requirements for travellers

If a traveller’s test result comes back negative, they are allowed to leave the quarantine hotel for home, or to catch their connecting flight to their final destination.

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However, this result could take up to three days to come through — a reality that Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said travellers are responsible for understanding.

“If you are travelling, it is your responsibility to understand and to follow all of the rules,” Blair said.

Read more:
Travellers to pay ‘more than $2K’ for new mandatory COVID-19 hotel quarantine, Trudeau says

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has said that the federal government is turning to private security firms to help enforce the 14-day mandatory quarantine and conduct in-person compliance visits.

Contracts totalling $2 million have been awarded to G4S Secure Solutions (Canada) Ltd., GardaWorld and Paladin Risk Solutions, according to PHAC. The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, a non-profit that hires Canadian Armed Forces veterans and retired RCMP officers, has also been tapped to help with in-person visits.


Click to play video '‘Nobody wants a third wave’ of COVID-19 infections, Trudeau says'



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‘Nobody wants a third wave’ of COVID-19 infections, Trudeau says


‘Nobody wants a third wave’ of COVID-19 infections, Trudeau says

The new restrictions come in addition to the mandatory 14-day quarantine people arriving in Canada have been required to undertake for almost a year now, as well as fresh restrictions for travellers arriving at Canada’s land borders.

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As of Monday, travellers arriving at Canada’s land border will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their arrival.

While Canada can’t technically turn away its citizens who don’t arrive equipped with a negative test, Trudeau said on Tuesday that the government has other tools at its disposal to ensure compliance. He said failure to present such a test could result in “severe penalties,” including fines of up to $3,000 per person.

Trudeau also said the government will be implementing new measures to ensure “extensive follow up by Health Canada” to ensure they are getting tested and properly quarantining.


Click to play video 'Trudeau confirms Pfizer vaccine delivery schedule, reiterates promise of COVID-19 vaccines for all Canadians ‘who want one’ by September'



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Trudeau confirms Pfizer vaccine delivery schedule, reiterates promise of COVID-19 vaccines for all Canadians ‘who want one’ by September


Trudeau confirms Pfizer vaccine delivery schedule, reiterates promise of COVID-19 vaccines for all Canadians ‘who want one’ by September

Speaking during a technical briefing on the new measures, a Canada Border Services Agency official warned travellers to expect longer wait times at the border as a result of the precautions.

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He added that the CBSA “will not compromise” the health and safety of Canadians for the sake of border wait times.

In response to concerns from reporters that the measures could limit those who must travel for medical or emergency reasons, Trudeau said the government is “aware” of the need to be “thoughtful and compassionate about people who are in extremely difficult situations and absolutely need to travel.”

“We will continue to work with people and the ministers involved will continue to watch closely for additions or adjustments that need to be made to these measures,” Trudeau said.”But every step of the way, what we are doing is to keep all Canadians safe.”

The new measures apply to all travellers — even those who have already received the vaccine, officials confirmed.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Health minister details new COVID-19 measures affecting land and air travellers entering Canada'



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Coronavirus: Health minister details new COVID-19 measures affecting land and air travellers entering Canada


Coronavirus: Health minister details new COVID-19 measures affecting land and air travellers entering Canada

However, there are groups that will be exempt from the land border measures, including the truck drivers who account for most of the cross-border travel.

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In an email to Global News, a spokesperson for the CBSA confirmed that 93 per cent of those crossing at the border are exempt from the restrictions.

“The vast majority of those travelling by land (93%) are exempt from quarantine requirements,” read the email.

Meanwhile, the airline industry welcomed aspects of the air travel measures — but not the entire thing.

“We have been major proponents of a testing regime for aviation and have been pursuing that initiative with the federal government for many months,” said Mike McNaney, president and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada.

However, he added, “we did not feel that quarantine hotel measures were necessary.”

In conjunction with airlines, the government has also taken steps to make it harder for Canadians to access sunny vacation destinations. In late January, Trudeau said Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat have all agreed to cancel air services to “all Caribbean destinations and Mexico.”

Read more:
Coronavirus: 6.3M travellers entered Canada and didn’t have to quarantine

The cancellations will continue until April 30.

McNaney said he hopes the resumption of service after April 30 can also include a clear plan for scaling airline industry back to its normal levels.

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“We now need to work to have in place for April 30 a true testing and quarantine strategy in place to enable the safe restart and recovery of the sector,” he said.

“We need to get engaged in that process now, with the goal that as of April 30th, you would have a clear initial strategy and approach to how we are going to tie testing to quarantine measures that are adjusted downward, and you would integrate in rapid antigen testing into the testing process.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Why we need to rethink COVID-19 risk as the weather warms up – CBC.ca

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This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here.


It’s been almost a year of “Stay home. Do nothing. Save lives.” And people are tired. 

Pandemic fatigue has turned to pandemic restlessness as the weather shows signs of improving and vaccines gradually roll out across the country.

Hope is on the horizon, but if last spring is any predictor of what lies ahead we can expect to see Canadians flocking outdoors in search of safe ways to gather as temperatures rise. 

And with good reason. 

After a surge of cases after the holidays, Canada has seen a significant decline in COVID-19 levels across the country following lockdowns in hard-hit regions — even with frigid temperatures driving people indoors and more contagious variants spreading.

As more people get vaccinated, cases (hopefully) continue to decline and society slowly reopens, it may be time to shift our messaging away from strict one-size-fits-all public health guidelines.

There’s no doubt people will want to congregate more as the weather improves, and experts say we should transition from an abstinence approach to one of harm reduction. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Allow small risks to counter fatigue

Experts say officials need to start to shift their messaging and set out realistic parameters for socializing safely over the next few months or risk losing the room — or worse, pushing people to more dangerous behaviour.

Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ont., says guidelines need to shift in Canada to educate people on how to see their friends and family safely. 

“Now that transmission is down, we need to start making some discussions on the trade offs,” he said.

“Can you really realistically think that people can wait it out at home without any interactions outside of their household for another three months? Or can you at least start prioritizing and building in low risk stuff, so that you give people the sense of normalcy?” 

Chagla says recent negative reactions to outdoor activities like tobogganing and skating rinks mirror concerns at the start of the pandemic, when outdoor gatherings in places like parks were seen as dangerous even with no evidence of transmission occurring. 

In Ontario, reservations for provincial parks have surged in anticipation of warmer months ahead, nearly doubling in the first few weeks of this year. Cottage rentals are also in high demand, with bookings at levels never seen before.

Finding practical ways to alleviate pandemic fatigue and allow for some level of safe interaction in the coming weeks and months will be essential to keeping Canada on a downward trajectory with COVID-19 levels. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

There’s no doubt people will want to congregate more as the weather improves, and experts say we should transition from an abstinence approach to one of harm reduction. 

“If you gave people that opportunity to do things appropriately outside, how many cases would you then save from indoor activity?” said Chagla.

“If you allow them to take that small risk, you’re preventing the people that are going to fatigue and say, ‘Well, I’m just going to have my family over, we’ve been fine, we’ve been isolating for weeks, I deserve this,’ and then have COVID transmission that way.”

Outside is better than inside

Finding practical ways to alleviate pandemic fatigue and allow for some level of safe interaction in the coming weeks and months will be essential to keeping Canada on a downward trajectory with COVID-19 levels. 

“People are tired of the sacrifices they’ve made, and for their mental health and physical health want to see other people and want to socialize,” said Linsey Marr, an expert on the airborne transmission of viruses at Virginia Tech.

“Doing it outdoors is very low risk if you avoid face-to-face conversation with people, maintain your distance and avoid crowds.” 

Prof. Linsey Marr says going for a walk side-by-side, taking an exercise class or even having a beer with friends are all relatively safe outdoors when more than two-metres of space is maintained. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Marr says going for a walk side-by-side, taking an exercise class or even having a beer with friends are all relatively safe outdoors when more than two-metres of space is maintained. 

New research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the risk of indoor activities when proper precautions aren’t taken. 

In Hawaii, 21 cases were linked to a fitness instructor during a class where physical distancing measures were in place, but masks weren’t worn and airflow wasn’t prioritized. 

A similar situation occurred in Chicago, where 55 people were infected with COVID-19 after attending indoor exercise classes despite physical distancing and some mask use. 

The missing element in both of those outbreaks was ventilation. 

“We should be opening up park spaces, we should be encouraging outdoor activities where people can gather and gather safely and converse and talk and just be with people,” said Erin Bromage, a biology professor and immunologist at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth who studies infectious diseases.

“Recognizing that there is a small risk associated with it — but it’s better than the alternative.” 

‘Get creative’ with public health messaging

Timothy Caulfield, a Canada Research Chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, said public health officials are walking a “tightrope” in communicating public health guidelines in the coming months. 

“We have to figure out ways that we can allow people to live their lives, while still making sure that we’re reducing the risk,” he said. “And I think we need to engage people as part of the solution.”

A recent research article published in SAGE surveyed several hundred Italian and French citizens under strict lockdown and found there was significantly less adherence to public health guidelines when people’s concern about COVID-19 was waning, along with their trust in officials.

WATCH | Dealing with stress in this leg of the pandemic:

Physical distancing may save lives and protect people’s health in a pandemic, but it has its own health impacts. With isolation and apprehension comes sleeplessness and stress. And the advent of new virus variants and the slow progress of vaccinations are making things even worse. 2:01

The World Health Organization released guidelines for fighting pandemic fatigue, focused on understanding people, allowing them to live their lives while reducing risk, engaging with them to find a solution and acknowledging the impact of the pandemic on their lives.

Caulfield says officials need to evolve their messaging with emerging scientific research and avoid being tuned out by the public by setting realistic guidelines for safely interacting. 

“We need to recognize that we’re really getting to a point where there’s going to be profound complacency,” he said.

“There is profound fatigue, and not just fatigue about the lockdown. I think there’s fatigue about the messaging — people are sick of hearing about this stuff. So I think we need to get creative.” 

Variants make noncompliance higher risk

Bromage said he’s concerned transmission could soon skyrocket due to increased interactions with warm weather amid the spread of variants. 

“We’re heading into March very soon, and March is when the pandemic really took off last year,” he said. “I’m holding my breath, just sort of hoping that it’s not a repeat of 2020 given the changing mobility that comes with the weather.”

COVID-19 levels have risen by about five per cent globally in the past week, after significant declines since the beginning of the year, with recent upticks in parts of Canada and the U.S. concerning officials.

“What comes next is really uncertain. Do we roll back up again? Do we just stay at this level?” said Bromage. “Nobody really knows.”

Chagla says we need to give people more low risk activities to do together in the near future, or risk people hiding their interactions with each other behind closed doors. 

“A Zoom call versus seeing a very close friend with a mask in the park is slightly higher risk,” he said. “But I think using it to allay fatigue is probably a whole lot better than the implications of just keeping people at home.” 

WATCH: The impact of stress, a year into the COVID-19 pandemic:

A physician and psychiatrist talk about the impact that stress is having on mental and physical health a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and what the longer-term effects might be. 6:10

Caulfield says officials need to re-evaluate public health messaging and explain clearly to people what’s safe and what isn’t. 

“I do want to see recommendations on what they can do outside now and how they can enjoy the weather,” he said. “Let’s put a positive spin on this, letting them know that there are steps that can be taken.”

With the emergence of variants, Chagla says the risk of people letting their guard down now is incredibly high. 

“You’ve got to get people on your side for the next few months,” said Chagla. “And realistically offering things to them, rather than taking things away, is going to be the way to do it.”


To read the entire Second Opinion newsletter every Saturday morning, subscribe by clicking here.

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Why study in Canada? – Canada Immigration News

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Published on February 27th, 2021 at 04:00am EST

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It should hardly come as a surprise that Canada ranks third in the world for numbers of international students, with our world-class educational system, friendly and welcoming culture, French and English learning options, and favourable living costs.

In fact, many new Canadians start their path to citizenship through post-secondary education. What begins as a search for adventure can end in falling in love with Canada.

By encouraging immigration schemes that support international students, Canada gains highly educated, productive members of society who make our country better by contributing to academia, working at our best firms, serving as doctors, science, etc.  There are many reasons why, barely a year ago, Canada ranked third in the world for most international students, with more than 642,000 attending Canadian post-secondaries. Three major drivers for these numbers include: a world-class system of universities and colleges; a welcoming environment; and tuition and living costs favourable in comparison to the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Studying and working in Canada

There is tremendous value to studying in Canada. International student graduates can be eligible for work permits and immigration programs that lead to permanent residence.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

While studying-full time in Canada on a valid study permit, students can work up to 20 hours per week during the school year, and full-time on scheduled breaks. After completion of a post-secondary program, graduates can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). These permits, which are valid for at least eight months and may last for up to three years, allow a great degree of freedom in working legally in Canada. PWGP holders can choose to work full-time, or part time. They have the option of working for themselves or an employer. Perhaps most importantly, they are exempt from the requirement of the Labour Market Impact Assessment. This exemption means that the employer does not have to first prove that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to take the job.

Pathway to permanent residency

Being an international graduate of a Canadian post-secondary institution is also valuable for gaining coveted permanent residency in Canada. Each of Canada’s ten provinces has at least one immigration stream dedicated to the recruitment for permanent residence of foreigners who recently graduated from institutions in a Canadian province. Many provinces have more than one; Manitoba has three and British Columbia has four. Many streams are very broad in their focus while others are targeted for graduates with training in specific areas, such as natural or applied sciences. There are also pathways for those with entrepreneurial ambitions. Some programs are designed for specific levels of education like a Master’s or Ph.D.

International students who want to immigrate through the Express Entry system can get an advantage for having Canadian work experience. Express Entry is a points-based application management system for Canada’s three main federal permanent economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. Candidates can get extra points toward their immigration application for having skilled work experience in Canada.

Why international students make excellent candidates for immigration to Canada

There are many good reasons why federal and provincial governments should prioritize the nomination of international students. International students who graduate from Canadian institutions, generally have many of the qualities that Canada values most in economic immigrants. These attributes include: Canadian study or work experience; high educational attainment; and relative youth. Studying in Canada also demands and develops strong skills in English or French, another key to gaining permanent residency and succeeding in Canada.

Such individuals, by their very nature, generally have many of the qualities, in addition to Canadian study and/or work experience, that Canada values most in its economic immigrants, particularly: high educational attainment; relative youth; and, strong proficiency in English and/or French.  Research has identified each of these factors as promoting immigrant integration and success in Canada.

Continuing to welcome international students

Hosting international students is clearly a priority for Canada, and this year has been an excellent test case for finding innovative solutions to bureaucratic hurdles.

The federal government has invited post-secondary institutions to develop quarantine plans for arriving international students. If the government approves the institution’s plan, it can welcome new international students. The federal government has also modified some of the rules regarding international students to accommodate people who— through no fault of their own— are currently unable to be physically present on campus. For example, distance or online learning normally cannot qualify as study for the purposes of a study permit or PGWP. The government has relaxed this rule to not penalize students away from campus due to COVID-19, and to make it clear that Canada still values them and hopes they will return when the situation stabilizes.

IRCC has also relaxed deadlines for PGWP applications and renewals. Circumstances have changed, but Canada remains committed to welcoming the learners of today and Canadians of the future.

Conclusion

Whether you are a Manitoba graduate with a job offer in the province, an Ontario Ph.D. graduate looking to settle permanently, or an International Graduate Entrepreneur seeking to build a business in Nova Scotia, study in Canada can be not only the start of an exciting and enriching educational experience, but also the launching pad to building your life in Canada.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

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  • Michael Schwartz

    Michael Schwartz

    Michael Schwartz is an Attorney at Campbell Cohen and a Contributing Writer for CIC News and CanadaVisa.com.

    Michael first came to Campbell Cohen in 2018, as an articling student. After his call to the Law Society of Ontario in 2019, he served as Foreign Law Clerk to Justice Daphne Barak-Erez at the Supreme Court of Israel. Upon Michael’s return to Canada, he resumed work as a lawyer at Campbell Cohen.

    Michael handles a variety of matters, particularly: research in regards to new laws and regulations, developments in immigration jurisprudence, changes to provincial nomination programs (PNPs), and, inadmissibility issues.

    As part of his undergraduate education, Michael participated in a student exchange to the University of Sydney, in Australia. He has also been a visiting graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and studied French at the Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), and Glendon College of York University.

    While in law school, Michael volunteered at the Legal Information Clinic at McGill and interned at the Elder Law Clinic; he was also the inaugural recipient of a joint prize of the Lord Reading Law Society and Ministère de la Justice du Québec for being the student who “best promotes and advances the objects of the Lord Reading Law Society and the mission of the Ministère de la Justice.”

    In addition to his B.C.L./LL.B. from McGil, Michael holds a B.A. from the same institution, and an M.A. from the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy. He is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario and the Lord Reading Law Society.

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Canada receives largest COVID-19 vaccine shipment to date | News – Daily Hive

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Canada has received its largest number of COVID-19 vaccine doses to date as February draws to a close.

At a press briefing on February 25, Major-General Dany Fortin said that 643,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines have been distributed across the country this week alone.

Fortin said that a total of 440,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine would be delivered each week in March, which will round out the company’s first-quarter commitment of 4 million doses.

Moderna, which sends vaccines to Canada every three weeks, is expected to deliver 466,000 doses the week of March 8, and another 846,000 doses the week of March 22.

These next two deliveries will complete the company’s first-quarter commitment of 2 million doses.

“This is all good news for Canadians who are hoping to get vaccinated,” he said. “As we head into spring, we are collectively gearing up for what we call the ramp-up phase.”

Fortin revealed that Pfizer has begun to finalize weekly shipment numbers for the second quarter of the year.

The company is expected to send approximately 769,000 vaccine doses each week for the first two weeks of April.

While numbers for subsequent weeks are still being confirmed, Fortin said a total of 10.8 million Pfizer doses should arrive in Canada between April and June.

The country is still working with Moderna to finalize the company’s shipment dates and dosage numbers for the second quarter.

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said that 2.9% of the country has now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 1.1% have been given two doses.

“We are on track to have [a] significant increase into the spring, and again into the summer,” Fortin said.

“The projection is that we have seen 88 million vaccines, of both approved products, in-country by September.

To date, 1,682,106 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.

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