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Nova Scotia announces tougher restrictions after 10 new COVID-19 cases –



Nova Scotia officials announced a series of new restrictions as it reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 Friday.

According to the province, nine of the new cases are in the Central Zone – five are close contacts of previously reported cases and three are under investigation.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia reports 3 new COVID-19 cases, more U.K. variant cases confirmed

The other case is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. One case is in Eastern Zone and is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

The person in both of these cases is self-isolating as required, said the province.

Click to play video 'Nova Scotia announces tougher restrictions after 10 new COVID-19 cases'

Nova Scotia announces tougher restrictions after 10 new COVID-19 cases

Nova Scotia announces tougher restrictions after 10 new COVID-19 cases

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New COVID-19 restrictions announced amid uptick of cases

Premier Ian Rankin announced at a COVID-19 briefing Friday new restrictions for the Halifax area as the province continues to see a steady climb in cases.

Restrictions are returning in areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) up to and including Porters Lake, as well as the communities of Enfield, Elmsdale, Mount Uniacke and Hubbards effective 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 26.

An extension for those restrictions is possible.

Rankin said the restrictions include having restaurants and bars stop serving at 9 p.m. and close by 10 p.m.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia premier announces new restrictions, says virus ‘making a comeback’'

Coronavirus: Nova Scotia premier announces new restrictions, says virus ‘making a comeback’

Coronavirus: Nova Scotia premier announces new restrictions, says virus ‘making a comeback’

Nova Scotians were also asked to avoid all non-essential travel, especially to and from restricted areas of HRM, Hants and Lunenburg counties.

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Strang said he’s worried, especially since there are too many people not following public health measures.He said they’re moving faster than they did in December to resolve this outbreak as he wants to avoid the situation Newfoundland found itself in.

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Sports games, competitions, arts and culture performances will not be allowed, according to Strang, but practices will be allowed to continue with up to 25 participants.

Additional testing announced to protect Nova Scotia’s borders 

The province said residents in long-term care homes can only have visits from their designated caregivers and can only leave for medical appointments or for a drive.

“We had hoped we would not be back in the situation where these restrictions are necessary. We understand that they are disruptive but they are absolutely critical to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Strang.

“Everyone needs to behave with the same caution as they did last spring when the virus first arrived in Nova Scotia. Everyone needs to get tested even if they only have one mild symptom,” he added.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia’s long-term care vaccine rollout on track despite supply chain uncertainties

In light of the new restrictions, the province said the general gathering limit is 10 indoors and outdoors, and if people do not follow the gathering limit can be fined. The fine is $1,000 for each person at an illegal gathering.

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To protect Nova Scotia’s borders, additional testing will be in place for some groups who regularly travel, the province said.

Effective Monday, March 1, three COVID-19 tests are required for rotational workers, specialized workers, and parents and children whose child custody visits involve travel outside Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island.

The full list of restrictions are listed at

Read more:
First COVID-19 case found at Halifax Shipyard as province reports 8 new cases

Due to a technical issue resulting in incomplete data, the province said that the COVID-19 dashboard has not been updated on Friday.

As a result, the number of active cases, resolved cases, and immunization data was not made available as of yet.

“The dashboard will be updated once all the information becomes available,” the province said in a release.

NSLC confirms one COVID-19 case 

The new restrictions came after a spokesperson for the NSLC confirmed a case of the virus at its head office distribution centre complex in Halifax.

Beverley Ware said the company closed the building on Chain Lake Drive late Thursday to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfecting process in response to the confirmed case of the virus.

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She said the company has 30 employees per shift in the distribution centre and 280 in the head office, though not all at once.

“A number are on the road or working from home on a rotational basis,” said Ware of staff.

Click to play video 'Nova Scotia prototype vaccine clinics successful'

Nova Scotia prototype vaccine clinics successful

Nova Scotia prototype vaccine clinics successful

She also noted the distribution centre normally closes from 3 p.m Saturday until 7 a.m. Monday, so “this has a minimal impact on our operations.”

“We’re awaiting Public Health’s direction on what they require of us and we’re prepared to do anything to keep our employees safe,” she said.

Ware said the confirmed case and the closure of the building will not interrupt business for customers.

“Our stores do have a safety supply of inventory build in, so we don’t expect any company disruptions at this time,” she said.

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Click to play video 'Nova Scotia reports 8 new COVID-19 cases Thursday'

Nova Scotia reports 8 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

Nova Scotia reports 8 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

The NSLC’s head office distribution centre is expected to reopen Monday.

HRM’s response to COVID-19

The Halifax Regional Municipality announced in a press release on Friday that new public health guidelines will take effect in the Halifax Regional Municipality as of 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27.

According to HRM, spectators will not be permitted in any municipally-owned facility across the region as of Saturday.

In the affected areas of HRM up to and including Porters Lake, as well as the communities of Enfield, Elmsdale, Mount Uniacke and Hubbards, no games or tournaments will be permitted.

Click to play video 'Here’s why Indigenous-led vaccine strategy matters in Nova Scotia'

Here’s why Indigenous-led vaccine strategy matters in Nova Scotia

Here’s why Indigenous-led vaccine strategy matters in Nova Scotia

However, sport practices and training as well as organized arts and culture rehearsals will continue to be permitted with up to 25 people.

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The municipality’s facility bookings for all Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE) schools in the affected areas will also be cancelled as of 8 a.m. Saturday.

In the meantime, fitness facilities will continue to be permitted to operate at 75 per cent capacity while maintaining three metres between people during high-intensity activities.

HRM said these new guidelines will continue until at least March 27, 2021.

For more information on municipal services during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

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

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96% of COVID-19 cases are among those not fully vaccinated, B.C. health officials say – Global News



Ninety-six per cent of the COVID-19 cases recorded from June 15 to July 15 were among people who were either only partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all, B.C.’s health minister says.

“If you take all the cases from June 15 to July 15, 78 per cent of those cases are among those who are unvaccinated,” Adrian Dix said.

“I think the evidence will encourage more people to get vaccinated. That tells you people should need to get vaccinated. We are seeing new cases and they are largely in unvaccinated people.”

Read more:
B.C. reports over 100 new COVID-19 cases for first time in five weeks

The B.C. government will not require people to get the vaccine, but will not stop private businesses from doing so.

The seven-day rolling average for new cases rose from 42 new cases a day one week ago, to 73 new cases a day on Friday.

Most of the new cases are linked to indoor social gatherings at people’s homes, Dix said.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: B.C. reports 89 new cases of virus, highest daily total in more than a month'

COVID-19: B.C. reports 89 new cases of virus, highest daily total in more than a month

COVID-19: B.C. reports 89 new cases of virus, highest daily total in more than a month

“We are not going to deny access to services. Based on your vaccinated. That is our position. It will not be mandatory in that sense. There will be requirements in certain sense if people are not vaccinated,” Dix said.

“I think if you are going to have someone over to your house for dinner, you should ask them if they have been vaccinated, and it’s ok to tell them not to come if they haven’t been.”

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: B.C. government provides $36.5M to 83 anchor tourist attractions, higher vaccination rates mean lower cases'

COVID-19: B.C. government provides $36.5M to 83 anchor tourist attractions, higher vaccination rates mean lower cases

COVID-19: B.C. government provides $36.5M to 83 anchor tourist attractions, higher vaccination rates mean lower cases

As of Friday, 80.3 per cent of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received at least one vaccine.

The province is hoping to hit 85 per cent immunization.

All five health authorities have been adopting additional strategies to supplement the mass immunization clinics, including pop-up clinics for first doses at parks, amusement parks, and beaches.

Read more:
COVID-19: B.C. reports no deaths but 89 new cases, highest daily total in over a month

Dr. Navdeep Grewal of the South Asian COVID-19 Task Force said the province or private businesses should consider vouchers for food or sports tickets to encourage immunization.

“I think it is that final 10 per cent (of the population) we need to get vaccinated, so we can avoid the fourth wave in the fall and winter,” Grewal said.

“We need to find out where they are gathering, give them the information they need, and then give them that first dose that is so needed.”

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

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Run, don't walk, to the nearest clinic to get vaccinated before September, families told –



Kids who are going back to local elementary and high schools in September must get their first COVID-19 shot by Saturday to ensure they’re eligible for their second dose and be fully vaccinated by Labour Day, according to the health unit. 

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says 73 per cent of those aged 12 to 17 in Middlesex-London already have their first shot, and just over a quarter have two doses. 

 “The uptake among this age group has been tremendous, right on board with some of our older population who was really eager to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Alex Summers, the associate medical officer of health for the MLHU. 

“We see eagerness for people to get vaccinated and we’re just delighted by that. 12 to 17-year-olds will be back in in-person activities, and that’s where they flourish, that’s where they want to be, and we want to be able to support them to do so in a way that COVID isn’t transmitting.” 

Vaccination is the “key ingredient” to maximizing the coming school year and making sure there are few disruptions. 

With school eight weeks away, Ontario health officials examine what the upcoming school year will look like. Overall, vaccine numbers are good but the data shows a lag in vaccination rates among eligible younger Canadians. If vaccine pickup does not improve before the beginning of the school year, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore is concerned about rising infections. 4:06

COVID-19 vaccines have yet to be approved for those under 12. 

“That’s why it’s really important to be gathering outdoors and making sure that everybody who is older than the age of 12 who is interacting with kids is vaccinated,” Summers said. “We can limit transmission among those who just can’t get the vaccine because they’re not old enough as we approach the school year.”

What exactly school will look like in September isn’t quite clear, but screening for symptoms, staying home when exhibiting symptoms, and wearing masks in classrooms are likely.

No appointments are required for COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone 12 or older for first or second doses at walk-in and mass vaccination sites. For more information on vaccinations and locations, visit the health unit’s website here.

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Air Canada anticipating recovery in demand as travel restrictions are eased – Yahoo Canada Finance



Air Canada is anticipating a recovery in demand in the coming months as travel restrictions are eased and leisure passengers look to get away after being grounded by COVID-19.

Although overall bookings remain below pre-pandemic levels, customer interest began to increase in June with the elimination of quarantines for fully vaccinated returning Canadians and the removal of other travel restrictions.

“We can now optimistically say that we are turning a corner, and we expect to soon see correlated financial improvements,” CEO Michael Rousseau said Friday during a conference call.

“Indications are that the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may now be behind us. Based on what we are seeing in other markets that are further along in reopening in Canada, we anticipate travel will resume at a quickening pace.”

Rousseau said bookings are steadily increasing for domestic, transborder and Atlantic markets as well as to sun destinations for the coming winter. Future bookings In some weeks of June were ahead of the same period in 2019.

“We expect the most recent announcements of the Government of Canada relaxing existing measures will further help strengthen the interest of our customers in flying again.”

Current demand is largely for leisure and visiting friends and family, but Air Canada expects to see a progressive return of corporate demand in September and October, added chief commercial officer Lucie Guillemette.

That could be aided by the ability of Canadian passengers to rely on COVID tests taken in Canada for trips of less than 72 hours.

“We are encouraged by some of the commentary from our peers in the United States with regards to overall business travel recovery,” she told analysts.

Guillemette said that rebuilding its U.S. operations as the largest foreign carrier is key to its recovery. That will also expedite the recovery of international long-haul operations as it seeks to achieve or exceed its share of the U.S. long-haul global market.

The Atlantic business will recover quicker than the Pacific or Latin America because of high vaccination rates, strong cultural and business connections with Europe and strong leisure interest from Canadians.

“We are already observing healthy demand signals for Europe into 2022,” she added.

The Montreal-based company says it lost $1.17 billion or $3.31 per diluted share, compared with a loss of $1.75 billion or $6.44 per share a year earlier.

Adjusted profits were $1.08 billion or $3.03 per share.

Revenues during the three months ended June 30 surged 58.8 per cent to $837 million from $527 million in the second quarter of 2020. Passenger revenues more than doubled to $426 million from a year ago which marked the first full quarter to be impacted by the pandemic. Cargo revenues increased 33 per cent to a record $358 million.

Air Canada was expected to post $2.76 per share in adjusted profits on $848.2 million of revenues, according to financial data firm Refitinitv.

The country’s largest airline increased its seat capacity by 78 per cent compared to the same time last year, and was down 86 per cent from the second quarter of 2019. It plans to increase available seat miles in the third quarter so capacity will be 65 per cent below the same period in 2019.

In August, its domestic capacity is expected to be about two-thirds of what it was in 2019.

“The third-quarter outlook pointed to healthy demand recovery and a significant improvement in daily cash burn,” Walter Spracklin of RBC Dominion Securities wrote in a report.

Air Canada says it has refunded about $1 billion for non-refundable tickets and expects to pay an additional $200 million in the third quarter, which will be covered by the federal government’s $1.4 billion refund credit facility.

The airline says it has recalled about 2,900 employees in June and July as it restores service this summer to destinations, particularly in Canada and the U.S. More workers will be called back for the fall season.

Air Canada has retained about half of its workforce, including the vast majority of pilots who have remained current and ready to fly when conditions warrant.

While it works to rebuild operations, the airline said it is also preparing to meet the challenges from increased competition stemming from expansion plans for Porter Airlines and Flair Airlines. Porter plans to add jet service from several gateways, including Toronto’s Pearson airport, in the second half of next year, while Flair is adding aircraft and routes.

“We certainly welcome healthy competition. but suffice to say, we will be ready to deal with that situation,” Rousseau said of Porter.

He also said the failed purchased of Transat may have been beneficial long-term, but it would have been very difficult to integrate while also focusing on the post-COVID recovery.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

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