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How should Canadians prepare for a 1-day trip to the U.S. once the border reopens? – Global News



Canadians will soon be able to drive to Disneyworld for a week-long vacation or make daily trips across the border to go shopping at an outlet mall or take in a sporting event or concert.

On Nov. 8, the U.S. will lift restrictions on Canadians driving across the border that have been in place since practically the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more:
Canada-U.S. land border to open for fully vaccinated on Nov. 8: official

With the border closed to drivers at the moment, traffic heading across is currently less than 15 per cent of what it once was, according to the Canada Border Service Agency.

For example, a million people drove across the border for the week of Oct. 11, 2019, whereas that number was just 144,603 this year.

Click to play video: 'How to deal with international travel barriers'

How to deal with international travel barriers

How to deal with international travel barriers – Oct 21, 2021

While the CBSA does not track daily visits, well over half of those travellers were Canadians heading across the border and heading home.

So when the border does open, what should Canadians do before making the trip south of the border, specifically if they want to watch the Buffalo Bills play or hit a Target and come home on the same day?

Whether it be a day or a week, those who are looking to head across the border need to be fully vaccinated, though they will not be required to have a COVID-19 test in advance.

Canadians will need to be able to provide proof of vaccination if they are randomly selected to do so.

For Canadians looking to come home after a short trip, they will need to prepare in advance, according to a spokesperson for the CBSA.

“For short trips, that are less than 72 hours, Canadian citizens, people registered under the Indian Act, permanent residents and protected persons travelling to the United States are allowed to take their pre-arrival molecular test before they leave Canada,” Rebecca Purdy told Global News in an email.

“If the test is more than 72 hours old when they re-enter Canada, they will be required to get a new pre-arrival molecular test in the United States.”

Read more:
Canada-U.S. border reopening a chance for neighbours to ‘connect again’

She said the test can be submitted up to 72 hours in advance using the ArriveCan travel app or website.
Purdy noted that rapid tests will not be allowed to come into Canada.

“Antigen tests, often called ‘rapid tests,’ are not accepted,” Purdy said.

“Fully vaccinated travellers who are eligible to enter Canada continue to be subject to mandatory random testing on arrival.”

— with files from Global News’ Aaron D’Andrea

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

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Canada finds first cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant in Ontario. Here’s what we know –



Canada has detected its first two cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

A statement from Ontario’s Ministry of Health confirmed that cases of the variant, recently declared as the novel coronavirus’ fifth variant of concern by the WHO, have been identified in Ontario.

“Today, the province of Ontario has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Ottawa, both of which were reported in individuals with recent travel from Nigeria. Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management and the patients are in isolation,” read the statement Sunday.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Doctors encourage vaccination as Omicron variant emerges'

COVID-19: Doctors encourage vaccination as Omicron variant emerges

COVID-19: Doctors encourage vaccination as Omicron variant emerges

Read more:
Netherlands, Australia confirm cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant

“In addition to the measures recently announced, we continue to urge the federal government to take the necessary steps to mandate point-of-arrival testing for all travellers irrespective of where they’re coming from to further protect against the spread of this new variant.”

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore is set to hold a press conference on the variant’s discovery Monday morning, according to the statement.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos also confirmed Canada’s first two cases in a statement Sunday evening, and said that he was working with the province’s public health officials to contact trace the cases.

“As the monitoring and testing continues with provinces and territories, it is expected that other cases of this variant will be found in Canada,” read Duclos’ statement.

Click to play video: 'Staying ahead of a new COVID variant of concern'

Staying ahead of a new COVID variant of concern

Staying ahead of a new COVID variant of concern

“I know that this new variant may seem concerning, but I want to remind Canadians that vaccination, in combination with public health and individual protective measures, is working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in our communities.”

South African scientists first identified the heavily mutated variant earlier this week after an exponential surge in cases, prompting a host of nations — including Canada — to impose new travel restrictions on a wide swathe of southern African countries.

Public health experts and officials were alarmed by the variant’s high number of mutations — with preliminary data showing at first an increased potential for transmissibility, a reduction in vaccine effectiveness and increased reinfection.

Other experts were quick to point out South Africa’s low rates of vaccination, which currently sit at under 30 per cent of the total population, as well as a lack of evidence suggesting the variant is deadlier than the current dominant strains of the virus.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: South African president “deeply disappointed” by travel restrictions due to Omicron variant'

COVID-19: South African president “deeply disappointed” by travel restrictions due to Omicron variant

COVID-19: South African president “deeply disappointed” by travel restrictions due to Omicron variant

Canadian public health officials previously said that getting vaccinated was still the best way of preventing the most severe outcomes from contracting COVID-19, and that there was no definitive evidence yet of its ability to completely circumvent the protection offered by the inoculations.

Canada’s Chief Public Officer Dr. Theresa Tam also confirmed the detection of the new variant, and said that Canada has a “robust monitoring” system in place to detect genetic changes in the virus or new variants of concern, such as the Omicron.

“Last Friday, Canada announced additional travel measures for all travellers coming into Canada from the South African region. It is not unexpected that additional cases of this variant will be discovered in Canada,” read Tam’s statement.

A handful of vaccine makers have recently announced that they were also developing or examining ways to enhance or create new versions of their shots to combat Omicron.

The most recent was that of Moderna, whose chief medical officer Dr. Paul Burton told BBC that a new vaccine could be produced by “early 2022” if it was necessary.

Read more:
Will COVID-19 booster shots protect against the Omicron variant? Experts undecided

“The remarkable thing about the mRNA vaccines, Moderna platform, is we can move very fast,” he said, noting that the company started work on an Omicron vaccine on Thursday.

Canada’s vaccination rates also stand among the highest in the world, with nearly 80 per cent of the country’s eligible population already vaccinated against COVID-19.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Vaccine against Omicron variant could be ready by early 2022, Moderna says'

COVID-19: Vaccine against Omicron variant could be ready by early 2022, Moderna says

COVID-19: Vaccine against Omicron variant could be ready by early 2022, Moderna says

Public health experts told Global News earlier on Friday shortly before Canada’s announcement of new travel restrictions that they would not be surprised if the variant was “already here” and spreading within Canada’s borders.

On Sunday, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia became the latest countries alongside Canada to discover the new variant among their cases.

The variant has already been found in Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong, the U.K., Germany and Italy.

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

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Canada's inflation not caused by stimulus: Poloz – CTV News



Former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says government spending and stimulus are not to blame for increased inflation.

“I think that’s not right,” he said during an interview on CTV’s Question Period airing Sunday. “In fact, what the stimulus did was to keep the economy from going into a deep hole in which we would have experienced persistent deflation.”

Inflation has reached 4.7 per cent, according to the latest numbers released by Statistics Canada in October. The Bank of Canada expects it to peak at the end of this year and start to decline in the latter half of 2022.

“We have to accept the fact that policy [stimulus] response was in the right time, well intended and it did avert all the worst calls that people were making at that time,” he said.

In response to affordability concerns, the federal government has repeatedly referenced their national childcare program, as a means to combat higher costs of living. Nine provincial and territorial governments have signed childcare deals with the federal government, while Ontario and New Brunswick have yet to sign on.

Families, Children and Social Development Minister Karina Gould said in a separate interview that the inflation problem is not a uniquely Canadian issue and can be attributed to global supply chain problems.

Conservative Finance Critic Pierre Poilievre says the federal government’s fiscal spending is to blame for inflation.

The average inflation rate for member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is currently at 4.3 per cent but Poilievre says the problem is only a global issue as a result of other central banks around the world taking a similar approach to Canada on fiscal stimulus.

“I think those are the countries that did the best job of countering the downside risk that everybody was facing,” said Poloz. “Read a book or two about the Great Depression in the 1930s and realize what was averted when we went through this.”

Poloz says that while governments can try to address affordability concerns in the short-term, any government policy normally takes a year or two to have any effect on inflation.

But he expects housing inflation to persist and says those rising costs can be something the federal government can address immediately.

“What they can do there is get all the levels of government together and figure out a list of things that they should be doing in order to promote supply of housing, we’re clearly short of supply and housing,” he said.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sunday –



The latest:

  • Liberals introduce bill to ban intimidation of patients and health-care workers.

More omicron infections were reported around the world on Sunday, with 13 cases of the new coronavirus variant found in the Netherlands and two in Australia, as more countries tried to seal themselves off by imposing travel restrictions.

Dutch health authorities announced that the 13 cases of the variant were found among passengers who were on flights from South Africa that arrived in Amsterdam on Friday.

The discovery of omicron, classified as a variant of concern last week by the World Health Organization, has sparked worries around the world that it could resist vaccinations and prolong the nearly two-year COVID-19 pandemic. Scientific research has yet to confirm those concerns about the infectiousness and transmissibility of the new variant.

First discovered in South Africa, the variant has also been detected in Britain, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.

WATCH | What’s known about the omicron variant: 

What’s known about the omicron variant

2 days ago

The World Health Organization has declared a new variant of concern called omicron, first identified in South Africa. Scientists say there are a large number of mutations in the omicron variant, which means it could be more infectious and cause more severe illness. 3:00

New Zealand announced it was restricting travel from nine southern African countries because of the threat posed by the variant, and Japan widened its border controls to include more countries from the region.

Tourist-dependent Thailand, which only recently began loosening its tight border restrictions to leisure travellers from certain countries, announced a ban of its own on visitors from eight African counties. Similar restrictions took effect in the business hub of Singapore, which is barring entry and transit to anyone with a recent history of travel to seven southern African nations.

Sri Lanka banned disembarkation of passengers arriving from six African countries due to the detection of the omicron variant, as did the Maldives, the luxury Indian Ocean resort archipelago. In addition to the similar entry ban, quarantine officials in the Philippines have been ordered to track down recent travellers from southern Africa and put them in quarantine.

Israel banning all foreign travellers

Israel went further, barring entry to all foreign nationals, mandating quarantine for all Israelis arriving from abroad and red-listing travel to 50 African countries. On Sunday, it also approved use of the Shin Bet internal security agency’s controversial phone monitoring technology to perform contact tracing of individuals confirmed with the new omicron variant  in Israel.

Travellers arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on Sunday. Israel has approved barring entry to foreign nationals and the use of controversial technology for contact tracing as part of its efforts to clamp down on a new coronavirus variant. (Ariel Schalit/The Associated Press)

Austria has detected its first suspected case of the omicron coronavirus variant in the state of Tirol, authorities in the alpine region said late Saturday.

A traveller who returned from South Africa last week tested positive for COVID-19 with indications of the new variant, though confirmation requires further sequencing over the coming days, Tirol authorities said in a statement.

Under Canada’s new rules, all foreign nationals who have travelled through South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini or Mozambique are barred from entering Canada. Canadian citizens and permanent residents in those places are allowed to return home, but they must get tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and quarantine for 14 days. 

The tighter restrictions reflect steps rapidly taken by countries around the world to limit the spread of the omicron variant just days after it was identified by researchers in South Africa. The act-first-ask-questions-later approach reflected growing alarm about the emergence of a potentially more contagious variant in a pandemic that has killed more than five million people, upended lives and disrupted economies around the globe.

The United States is praising South Africa for sharing information about the new coronavirus variant. In a tweet on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken thanked its government and scientists for their “professionalism and transparency.”

Safura Abdool Karim, a public health lawyer from South Africa and member of the African Vaccine Delivery Alliance, says there is a downside to the flight bans.

“In many senses, they are counterproductive in efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic because they disincentivize countries and almost punish countries for being open and transparent with their surveillance,” she told CBC News on Sunday.

What’s happening across Canada

So far, no cases of COVID-19 involving the omicron variant have been confirmed in Canada, although health officials reported almost 2,200 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, the vast majority in Ontario and Quebec.

In Ontario, health officials reported 964 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and one more death. It’s the highest number of new cases in a single day since the province’s fourth wave of the pandemic began in September.

What’s happening around the world

As of Sunday morning, more than 261.2 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus database. The reported global death toll stood at more than 5.1 million.

In Asia, more than 2.48 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered on the Chinese mainland as of Saturday, according to data released on Sunday by China’s National Health Commission. 

The Philippines, meanwhile, will buy an additional 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, seeking to fully inoculate more than 80 per cent of its population against COVID-19 by mid-2022, a government official said on Sunday.

In the Americas, France’s minister for overseas territories will hold crisis talks about its Caribbean islands on Sunday, an official said, as the government looks to defuse tensions after more than a week of unrest stemming from its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic there.

PHOTOS | France mulls more autonomy for Martinique, Guadeloupe amid COVID-19 riots: 

A plan for compulsory vaccination for health workers stoked a sentiment among the majority Black population of Guadeloupe and Martinique of being excluded and marginalized from the mainland, although the same measure had already been introduced on the mainland.

The issue sparked protests and fanned long-standing grievances over living standards and the relationship with Paris. Protesters have insisted they should be allowed to make their own choices about health treatment.

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