Canadian governments vary on lifting COVID-19 restrictions amid Omicron wave – National
Some areas of the country are easing pandemic restrictions while others are tightening them depending on their perceptions of whether the COVID-19 curve is flattening or has yet to peak.
Quebec announced its controversial 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will be lifted on Monday because researchers there believe the latest wave of the pandemic, fuelled by COVID-19’s highly infectious Omicron variant, is cresting.
And Nunavut says the tough measures it implemented just before Christmas have been so effective that it’s cancelling travel restrictions on Monday, allowing businesses to reopen and schools will resume in-person learning on Jan. 24.
It’s a different story in New Brunswick where new restrictions come into effect Friday limiting residents to a single-household bubble while also closing gyms, entertainment venues and indoor dining at restaurants.
In neighbouring Prince Edward Island where chief medical health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says the “worst of this wave” is yet to come, current restrictions that include business capacity limits and remote learning for school students will be extended.
Across the country, new COVID-19 case counts and related hospitalizations remain at or near record levels.
Ontario recorded a jump in hospitalizations of 182 to an all-time high of 3,630 on Thursday. About 6,000 new cases were reported in Alberta and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced he has tested positive for COVID-19.
The federal government also announced late Thursday that a vaccine mandate for truck drivers crossing into Canada from the United States would start Saturday as planned, despite an earlier statement from the Canada Border Services Agency that said Canadian truckers would be exempt.
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