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3 children under 5 killed in tractor accident, 7 others injured

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jul 2nd, 2020

Three children under the age of five are dead following a tractor accident Wednesday evening southeast of Montreal.

Provincial police say seven other people were injured in the mishap in Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, about 55 kilometres southeast of Montreal.

The injured include three children whose lives are not believed to be in danger, and four adults, two of whom are in critical condition.

The accident occurred shortly before 7 p.m. as the farm tractor was apparently carrying 10 people and pieces of wood in its front shovel.

Provincial police spokeswoman Anik Lamirande says that for unknown reasons, all the people were suddenly thrown from the shovel.

Police say alcohol could have been a factor in the accident, and the tractor’s driver, a man in his 30s, has been arrested and is expected to appear in court later today.

Poll suggests COVID-19 not changing Canada Day for many Canadians

STEPHANIE LEVITZ, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2020

COVID-19 means the true north is not entirely free this Canada Day, but a new survey suggests that’s not going to change how many people mark the holiday.

Leger Marketing and Association for Canadian Studies surveyed Canadians asking whether, given all that’s gone on in the last three months with the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ll be more or less likely to find a way to celebrate this year.

For 42 per cent of those polled, this Canada Day will be no different than any other.

Sixteen per cent overall of those surveyed are feeling that true patriot love — they say they’re more likely this year to find a way to celebrate, even if it’s just a small gathering.

The feeling is strongest in B.C., the province widely seen as weathering the COVID-19 storm better than others. There, 22 per cent say they’re more likely to party.

But 38 per cent overall in Canada are standing on guard, saying it’s actually less likely they’ll mark the holiday.

In Ontario, still struggling with pockets of oubtreaks, 44 per cent say they’re less likely to mark the occasion, and the figure is the same for those in Alberta.

In the U.S., where there is a surge of outbreaks and some states have even revised their opening plans, 39 per cent of those polled say it’s less likely they’ll mark their own national holiday, the Fourth of July.

For 35 per cent of Americans, their plans are unchanged, while 18 per cent say they’re more likely to celebrate.

The poll surveyed 1,524 Canadians and 1,002 Americans online between June 26 and June 28 and cannot assigned a margin of error because internet polls are not considered truly random.

As both countries get set to celebrate, there is more of a divide when it comes to how they’re feeling about their respective nations.

Of those polled, 90 per cent say they’re proud to be Canadian, compared to 74 per cent of Americans.

For Americans, it is a phrase rooted in the Declaration of Independence that gives them the most pride: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — 93 per cent said that was the thing that made them most proud to be American.

For Canadians, the slightly less cinematic slogan of “peace, order and good government” was also at the top of the list, as was universal health care, the natural landscape and equal rights.

Mid-way through the rankings? Political leadership. Fifty-five per cent of Canadians surveyed said it was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who makes them proud, compared to 42 per cent who feel the same about U.S. President Donald Trump.

A look at how provinces plan to emerge from COVID-19 shutdown

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2020

Provinces and territories have been releasing plans for easing restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Here is what some of the provinces have announced so far:

Newfoundland and Labrador

The province entered “Alert Level 3” on June 8 in its five stage reopening plan. It means groups of up to 20 people are now permitted, as long as they observe physical distancing. Up to 19 people are allowed on public transit.

Private health clinics, such as optometrists and dentists, can open, as well as medium-risk businesses such as clothing stores and hair salons.

Eleven government service centres reopened to offer in-person services that can be booked by appointment, including written tests, driver exams and identification photos.

During Level 4, some businesses such as law firms and other professional services were allowed to reopen along with regulated child-care centres, with some restrictions.

Outdoor games of tennis were allowed to resume, though players must bring their own equipment and not share it.

At Level 2, businesses with performance spaces and gyms are to reopen, while Level 1 would represent “the new normal.”

The four Atlantic provinces have also announced plans to ease interprovincial travel restrictions, creating a so-called “bubble” as the region has reported relatively few new COVID-19 infections in recent weeks.

As of July 3, residents of Atlantic Canada will be allowed to travel within the region without having to self-isolate for two weeks when arriving in another province.

Visitors from provinces and territories outside the region will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days and adhere to local entry requirements. However, once the self-isolation period has passed, those visitors will also be allowed to travel within the Atlantic region.

Nova Scotia

The province announced on June 26 that all bars and restaurants could resume operating at full capacity and serve customers until midnight. However, establishments must continue to adhere to physical distancing rules.

The province is also allowing private campgrounds to operate at 100 per cent capacity.  Provincial campgrounds reopened June 15 at reduced capacity to ensure a minimum of six metres between individual sites.

All public pools can now reopen with physical distancing for lane swimming and aquafit classes.

On Friday (July 3), Nova Scotia will increase the limits on gatherings organized by recognized business or community organizations. That includes weddings, funerals, cultural events, concerts, festivals, dance recitals and faith-based gatherings, which will increase to 250 people if they’re outdoors and 200 — with maximum 50 per cent capacity — if they’re indoors. In either case, physical distancing is still required.

These events do not include family gatherings, which remain limited to a 50-person maximum with physical distancing.

The province earlier announced that Nova Scotians could start gathering in close social groups of up to 10 without physical distancing.

Licensed child-care centres and family daycare homes reopened across the province on June 15.

Nova Scotia has allowed summer day camps for children to open as long as they have a plan to follow public health measures.

Most businesses ordered shut in late March were allowed to reopen on June 5. The list of businesses includes bars and restaurant dining rooms, hair salons, barber shops, gyms and yoga studios, among others.

Some health providers were also able to reopen, including dentistry, optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy offices.

The province has said there will be no return to school this year.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island moved into Phase 4 of its reopening strategy over the weekend.

Households can now gather in groups of up to 15 indoors and up to 100 people can congregate in larger venues. People can also gather for religious services of up to 50, or up to 100 in larger churches.

More personal services are also available and casinos are reopening.

Under Phase 3, which began June 1, in-house dining at restaurants was allowed. Small groups were permitted to participate in recreational and some sporting activities and libraries got the green light to reopen. Gatherings of up to 15 people indoors and 20 people outdoors and the reopening of child-care centres were also allowed.

As well, family and friends could once again visit residents at long-term care homes, though the visits require an appointment and must take place outdoors.

People wanting to travel to seasonal residences can apply to do so, and will be put through a risk assessment before approval. Seasonal residents will also to be tested for COVID-19 before completing two weeks in self-isolation after arriving in the province.

Under Phase 2, non-contact outdoor recreational activities were permitted, and retail businesses could reopen with physical distancing and select health-service providers.

Priority non-urgent surgeries resumed on May 1.

The P.E.I legislature resumed May 26.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick moved to the yellow phase of its COVID-19 recovery plan on May 22, allowing barbers and hair stylists to reopen as well as churches and fitness facilities. Dental care, massage, chiropractors and other “close contact” businesses and services could also reopen.

But the Campbellton region, which extends from Whites Brook to the Belledune, had to take a step backward to the “orange” level on May 27. Residents were told to once again avoid contacts outside their two-household bubble. Non-regulated health professionals and personal service businesses that opened May 22 also had to close again. And people should only be travelling in and out of Zone 5 for essential reasons.

Further restrictions were lifted on June 5. Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people were allowed, as well as indoor religious services of up to 50 people, low-contact team sports and the opening of a long list of facilities including swimming pools, gyms, rinks, water parks, and yoga and dance studios.

Under New Brunswick’s latest recovery rules, Canadian residents can now visit family members or properties they own in the province, provided they self-isolate for 14 days — or the duration of their visit if it’s less than two weeks.

As well, New Brunswick residents no longer need to self-isolate when returning from work in another Canadian province or territory.

All organized sports can resume with appropriate physical distancing and sanitizing. Overnight camps can reopen and indoor visits can resume at long-term care facilities for one visitor at a time, or two if one of the visitors needs help.

The cap on the number of people who can gather in controlled venues — including churches, swimming pools and rinks — has been lifted, but crowd numbers will be limited by the ability to maintain physical distancing.

Masks in any building open to the general public are required except for children under the age of two, children in daycare and people who can’t wear face coverings for medical reasons.

Retail businesses, offices, restaurants, libraries, museums and seasonal campgrounds were earlier allowed to reopen providing they have clear plans for meeting public health guidelines.

The final phase, which officials have said will probably come only after a vaccine is available, is to include large gatherings.

Quebec

Quebec reopened several sectors and relaxed the rules for indoor gatherings on June 22, particularly impacting the Montreal area.

Restaurants can reopen in the greater Montreal and Joliette areas while indoor gatherings of up to 10 people from three households are now permitted in these regions, like elsewhere in Quebec.

Gyms, arenas, cinemas, concert venues and places of worship can reopen across the province with a maximum capacity of 50 people for indoor gatherings.

Day camps across the province have also reopened, with physical distancing. Sleep-away summer camps won’t be allowed to reopen until next year.

Residents of long term care homes that don’t have active COVID-19 cases were earlier allowed to receive visitors inside, meet people outdoors and participate in group activities.

They were also allowed to leave the facilities unaccompanied for more than 24 hours. Volunteers and hairdressers were also allowed inside the facilities.

On May 25, some retail businesses reopened in the greater Montreal area, while retail stores outside Montreal reopened on May 11.

Parks and pools have also been allowed to reopen across the province with certain restrictions.

Sports teams resumed outdoor practices on June 8, and matches can resume at the end of the month. That includes baseball, soccer and any other sports that can be played outdoors.

Quebec’s construction and manufacturing industries have resumed operations with limits on the number of employees who can work per shift. Elementary schools and daycares outside Montreal reopened on May 11, but high schools, junior colleges and universities will stay closed until September.

Elementary schools in the greater Montreal area are to remain closed until late August.

Courthouses across the province were permitted to reopen on June 1, with limited seating capacity and Plexiglas barriers protecting clerks and judges.

Camping is now allowed outside the Montreal and Joliette regions, as are cottage rentals.

Checkpoints set up to slow the spread of COVID-19 came down on May 18 in various parts of Quebec, including between Gatineau and Ottawa.

Ontario

Ferry service between Toronto and the Toronto Islands resumed on June 27 but at only 50 per cent capacity to allow for physical distancing.

The Toronto Zoo also reopened and the province said it’s loosening some restrictions around indoor sports and fitness to enable amateur and professional athletes to train.

Ontario’s two most heavily populated regions saw more businesses open their doors on June 24 as Toronto and Peel moved into the next stage of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

The two regions officially entered Stage 2 of the pandemic reopening framework, joining nearly all the rest of the province that began ramping up activities on June 19. All regions of the province except the southwestern communities of Leamington and Kingsville have officially entered Stage 2.

Businesses given the green light to resume operations in Toronto and Peel include hair stylists, pools and tour guide services.

Restaurants are also allowed to reopen their patios for dine-in service, though no one is yet allowed to be served indoors.

Meanwhile, the limit on social gatherings increased from five to 10 provincewide. Restrictions on wedding and funeral ceremonies were also eased. The number of people allowed to attend an indoor ceremony is restricted to 30 per cent capacity of the venue, while outdoor events are limited to 50 people. However, the number of people allowed to attend all wedding and funeral receptions remains at 10.

Ontarians can resume visiting loved ones in long-term care homes, as long as they test negative for COVID-19.

All construction has resumed, with limits also lifted on maintenance, repair and property management services, such as cleaning, painting and pool maintenance.

Golf courses can reopen though clubhouses can only open for washrooms and take-out food. Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches can also open, as can private parks and campgrounds for trailers and RVs whose owners have a full season contract, and businesses that board animals.

Short-term rentals including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes and condominiums were allowed to resume operations on June 5.

The Ontario government says students will likely return to school in September with a mix of in-class and remote learning, though boards will develop various scenarios, depending on how COVID-19 is spreading at that point. Premier Doug Ford has said there won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach in schools, but parents provincewide will have the option of sending their children back to class or keeping them learning remotely.

Ontario schools are to remain closed for the rest of the current school year.

This summer’s Honda Indy Toronto has been cancelled.

Manitoba

Several more restrictions were eased in Manitoba on June 21.

Restaurants and bars no longer have to operate at half capacity, however, tables must be two metres apart or have a physical barrier in between them. Non-smoking bingo halls and video lottery terminal lounges can also reopen at 50 per cent capacity.

Child care centres and retail stores can return to normal capacity, and people arriving in Manitoba from the other western provinces, northern territories and northwestern Ontario no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Larger public gatherings are also allowed.

Instead of a cap of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors, people can fill up to 30 per cent of the capacity of any venue as long as they can be split into groups of 50 indoors or 100 outdoors. Each group must be able to enter and exit separately.

On June 1, the province eased a ban on people visiting loved ones in personal care homes. Homes can now offer outdoor visits with a maximum of two guests per resident. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must practice physical distancing.

Amateur sports and recreation programs, as well as bowling alleys, have been allowed to resume operations.

Elementary and high schools will not reopen this school year.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan moved into the next phase of its reopening strategy on June 22.

Under Phase 4.1 camping in national parks can resume, but by reservation only.

Youth camps can reopen, but for day use only, and with guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the constant disinfection of play structures and monitoring of children for coronavirus symptoms.

Outdoor sports like soccer, softball and flag football can resume, though full-contact sports remain prohibited, as does competitive play, tournaments and inter-provincial travel for games.

Shared equipment must be disinfected frequently, while congratulatory gestures, such as high fives and handshakes, are not permitted.

Saskatchewan’s outdoor swimming pools and spray parks can reopen with physical distancing, maximum capacity, and stringent cleaning rules in effect.

Though they can now do so, some municipalities, including Regina and Saskatoon, have said they won’t be reopening their outdoor pools right away.

The province is also doubling the allowable size of indoor public and private gatherings to 30 people where space allows for two metres between participants

The third phase of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan started June 8 with the province lifting a ban on non-essential travel in the north.

More businesses were also allowed to reopen, including places of worship and personal care services such as nail salons, tattoo parlours and gyms.

Up to 150 people or one-third the capacity of a building, whichever is less, can attend church services, including weddings and funerals.

Outdoor graduations can be held with a maximum 30 graduates per class and an overall attendance of 150 people. The previous limit was 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.

Restaurants and bars can open at half capacity, with physical distancing between tables, and child-care centres can open their doors to a maximum of 15 kids.

The second part of Phase 4 is expected to include reopening guidelines for indoor pools, rinks, libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres, casinos and bingo halls. A date for Phase 4.2 has yet to be announced.

In Phase 5, the province will consider lifting restrictions on the size of public gatherings.

The Saskatchewan government says students will return to regular classes in September.

Alberta

In Alberta, everything from gyms and arenas to spas, movie theatres, libraries, pools and sports activities got the green light to reopen on June 12.

More people were also allowed to book campsites and sit in restaurants at the same time.

Fifty people can now gather indoors and up to 100 can congregate outside.

Among the other activities allowed to go ahead are casinos and bingo halls, community halls, instrumental concerts, massage, acupuncture and reflexology, artificial tanning and summer schools.

Major festivals and sporting events remain banned, as do nightclubs and amusement parks. Vocal concerts are not being allowed, given that singing carries a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Alberta aims to have students back in classrooms this September though Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says a final decision will be made by Aug. 1.

British Columbia

British Columbia allowed hotels, motels, spas, resorts, hostels and RV parks to resume operating on June 24.

Premier John Horgan said the province has been successful at flattening the curve on COVID-19, which means it can ease more health restrictions and move into the third phase of its reopening plan.

He said the province is able to open more industries, institutions and recreation areas, but gatherings must remain at 50 people or less.

The government allowed a partial reopening of the B.C. economy starting May 19.

The reopenings are contingent on organizations and businesses having plans that follow provincial guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19.

Parents in B.C. were given the choice of allowing their children to return to class on a part-time basis starting June 1. The government said its goal is for the return of full-time classes in September, if it’s safe.

Conventions, large concerts, international tourism and professional sports with a live audience will not be allowed to resume until either a vaccine is widely available, community immunity has been reached, or effective treatment can be provided for the disease.

Nunavut

Although Nunavut still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the territory did implement a wide range of public health measures to keep residents safe.

Some have since been relaxed.

Gyms and pools are available for solo workouts and lap swims.

Dental, physiotherapy, massage and chiropractic clinics, as well as offices and stores can open with appropriate safety measures.

Individuals may visit galleries, museums and libraries, and daycares are open.

Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted while indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. Territorial parks are being reopened for outdoor activites only and municipal playgrounds will be reopened, the government of Nunavut said in a statement on Monday.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories announced on May 12 a three-phase reopening plan.

The plan includes more gatherings and the possible reopening of some schools and businesses. However, the territory’s borders remain closed indefinitely to non-residents and non-essential workers.

There are several requirements that must be met before any measures are relaxed: there must be no evidence of community spread; travel entry points in the territory are strong and secure; risks are reduced from workers coming into the territory; and expanded community testing is available.

Yukon

New guidelines have been released for long-term care facilities that will allow for visits with one designated person at a pre-set location outdoors.

The territory also said bars with an approved health and safety plan could reopen at half capacity under certain other restrictions starting June 19.

Travel restrictions will be lifted between Yukon and B.C. after July 1 under the second phase of the territory’s pandemic restart plan. After that date, travellers between the province and territory will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Residents of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut will be also allowed to enter Yukon without quarantining, as long as they travel directly from one of the territories or through B.C.

Territorial parks and campgrounds have also reopened.

Two households of up to 10 people in total are currently able to interact with each other as part of a “household bubble.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2020

The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 2 a.m. ET on June 30, 2020:

There are 103,918 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 55,390 confirmed (including 5,485 deaths, 24,602 resolved)

_ Ontario: 34,911 confirmed (including 2,665 deaths, 30,196 resolved)

_ Alberta: 8,067 confirmed (including 154 deaths, 7,354 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 2,904 confirmed (including 174 deaths, 2,577 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,061 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 779 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 679 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 313 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 300 resolved), 11 presumptive

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 158 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases

_ Total: 103,918 (11 presumptive, 103,907 confirmed including 8,566 deaths, 67,178 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2020.

The Canadian Press

B.C. teenager photographs personal experiences of people around the world

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jun 29th, 2020

VANCOUVER — A 17-year-old British Columbia student has been documenting the personal experiences of strangers around the world during this pandemic one photograph at a time.

Asalah Youssef of Langley Fine Arts School said the Screenshots of Home project came about from a yearning to create and connect with people who are united in isolation.

“I mean, the whole world was told to stay at home,” she said.

Youssef said she was seeing people connect virtually, which got her thinking about photography in a different way.

“I put down my regular camera, pushed my Canon camera to the side and picked up my phone to start photographing people virtually.”

Since April, she has photographed 45 people from different parts of the world including Lebanon, the United States, London, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Ecuador, France, Mexico and Israel.

The teen reaches out to people through Instagram, tells them about her project and asks if they want to participate, she said, adding that she met some people through friends.

“The beginning is just us having a conversation because, as you can imagine, I’m asking something quite personal of them — to have a FaceTime call and to document them and photograph them.”

She eventually leads them through lighting, posing, and where to position their phone, then takes a screen shot, Youssef explained.

“It’s a beautiful collaboration between me and someone who, most of the time, I have never met before.”

The clarity of the photos surprised her, she said with a laugh.

“Sometimes you can see the glitchiness of the photograph and, you know what, I kind of embrace that because I think… it’s telling of the way it was taken,” she said.

“But sometimes you can’t even tell it’s on FaceTime, which is also quite beautiful.”

These photographs, Youssef said, are helping her stay in the present, embrace and work with the situation, and look for joy and beauty in the every day.

“It is highlighting the more personal part of this pandemic and the experience of quarantining at home. A hundred years from now, people are going to look at these photographs and see all different experiences and get a really personal look into this pandemic.”

Youssef noted that one of the most memorable shoots was a woman in the state of New Jersey who is a fashion designer and has been getting through the pandemic and lockdown by creating pieces of clothing and masks.

“She said to me during the shoot ‘creativity cannot be quarantined’. She was such a bright and colourful person and it was really lovely leaving the conversation just feeling so filled, like my cup was full having this conversation with a fellow artist I had never met before who I connected with during this time.”

Another conversation Youssef said touched her was with a woman in France who lost her father during quarantine.

“She couldn’t hold his hand and she was saying how absolutely devastating that was and how much emotion that brought up for her. Her photo is her leaning up against a wall and you can feel that emotion through it.”

Youssef said her mother and she were recently having a conversation about “how cool it would be” to do a second instalment of Screenshots of Home, where she visits the same people in person once everyone gets through it.

“That would be quite special. You never know.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

A look at how provinces plan to emerge from COVID-19 shutdown

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jun 29th, 2020

Provinces and territories have been releasing plans for easing restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Here is what some of the provinces have announced so far:

Newfoundland and Labrador

The province entered “Alert Level 3” on June 8 in its five stage reopening plan. It means groups of up to 20 people are now permitted, as long as they observe physical distancing. Up to 19 people are allowed on public transit.

Private health clinics, such as optometrists and dentists, can open, as well as medium-risk businesses such as clothing stores and hair salons.

Eleven government service centres reopened to offer in-person services that can be booked by appointment, including written tests, driver exams and identification photos.

During Level 4, some businesses such as law firms and other professional services were allowed to reopen along with regulated child-care centres, with some restrictions.

Outdoor games of tennis were allowed to resume, though players must bring their own equipment and not share it.

At Level 2, businesses with performance spaces and gyms are to reopen, while Level 1 would represent “the new normal.”

The four Atlantic provinces have also announced plans to ease interprovincial travel restrictions, creating a so-called “bubble” as the region has reported relatively few new COVID-19 infections in recent weeks.

As of July 3, residents of Atlantic Canada will be allowed to travel within the region without having to self-isolate for two weeks when arriving in another province.

Visitors from provinces and territories outside the region will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days and adhere to local entry requirements. However, once the self-isolation period has passed, those visitors will also be allowed to travel within the Atlantic region.

Nova Scotia

The province announced on June 26 that all bars and restaurants could resume operating at full capacity and serve customers until midnight. However, establishments must continue to adhere to physical distancing rules.

The province is also allowing private campgrounds to operate at 100 per cent capacity.  Provincial campgrounds reopened June 15 at reduced capacity to ensure a minimum of six metres between individual sites.

All public pools can now reopen with physical distancing for lane swimming and aquafit classes.

On Friday (July 3), Nova Scotia will increase the limits on gatherings organized by recognized business or community organizations. That includes weddings, funerals, cultural events, concerts, festivals, dance recitals and faith-based gatherings, which will increase to 250 people if they’re outdoors and 200 — with maximum 50 per cent capacity — if they’re indoors. In either case, physical distancing is still required.

These events do not include family gatherings, which remain limited to a 50-person maximum with physical distancing.

The province earlier announced that Nova Scotians could start gathering in close social groups of up to 10 without physical distancing.

Licensed child-care centres and family daycare homes reopened across the province on June 15.

Nova Scotia has allowed summer day camps for children to open as long as they have a plan to follow public health measures.

Most businesses ordered shut in late March were allowed to reopen on June 5. The list of businesses includes bars and restaurant dining rooms, hair salons, barber shops, gyms and yoga studios, among others.

Some health providers were also able to reopen, including dentistry, optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy offices.

The province has said there will be no return to school this year.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island moved into Phase 4 of its reopening strategy over the weekend.

Households can now gather in groups of up to 15 indoors and up to 100 people can congregate in larger venues. People can also gather for religious services of up to 50, or up to 100 in larger churches.

More personal services are also available and casinos are reopening.

Under Phase 3, which began June 1, in-house dining at restaurants was allowed. Small groups were permitted to participate in recreational and some sporting activities and libraries got the green light to reopen. Gatherings of up to 15 people indoors and 20 people outdoors and the reopening of child-care centres were also allowed.

As well, family and friends could once again visit residents at long-term care homes, though the visits require an appointment and must take place outdoors.

People wanting to travel to seasonal residences can apply to do so, and will be put through a risk assessment before approval. Seasonal residents will also to be tested for COVID-19 before completing two weeks in self-isolation after arriving in the province.

Under Phase 2, non-contact outdoor recreational activities were permitted, and retail businesses could reopen with physical distancing and select health-service providers.

Priority non-urgent surgeries resumed on May 1.

The P.E.I legislature resumed May 26.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick moved to the yellow phase of its COVID-19 recovery plan on May 22, allowing barbers and hair stylists to reopen as well as churches and fitness facilities. Dental care, massage, chiropractors and other “close contact” businesses and services could also reopen.

But the Campbellton region, which extends from Whites Brook to the Belledune, had to take a step backwards to the “orange” level on May 27. Residents were told to once again avoid contacts outside their two-household bubble. Non-regulated health professionals and personal service businesses that opened May 22 also had to close again. And people should only be travelling in and out of Zone 5 for essential reasons.

Further restrictions were lifted on June 5. Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people were allowed, as well as indoor religious services of up to 50 people, low-contact team sports and the opening of a long list of facilities including swimming pools, gyms, rinks, water parks, and yoga and dance studios.

Under New Brunswick’s latest recovery rules, Canadian residents can now visit family members or properties they own in the province, provided they self-isolate for 14 days — or the duration of their visit if it’s less than two weeks.

As well, New Brunswick residents no longer need to self-isolate when returning from work in another Canadian province or territory.

All organized sports can resume with appropriate physical distancing and sanitizing. Overnight camps can reopen and indoor visits can resume at long-term care facilities for one visitor at a time, or two if one of the visitors needs help.

The cap on the number of people who can gather in controlled venues — including churches, swimming pools and rinks — has been lifted, but crowd numbers will be limited by the ability to maintain physical distancing.

Masks in any building open to the general public are required except for children under the age of two, children in daycare and people who can’t wear face coverings for medical reasons.

Retail businesses, offices, restaurants, libraries, museums and seasonal campgrounds were earlier allowed to reopen providing they have clear plans for meeting public health guidelines.

The final phase, which officials have said will probably come only after a vaccine is available, is to include large gatherings.

Quebec

Quebec reopened several sectors and relaxed the rules for indoor gatherings on June 22, particularly impacting the Montreal area.

Restaurants can reopen in the greater Montreal and Joliette areas while indoor gatherings of up to 10 people from three households are now permitted in these regions, like elsewhere in Quebec.

Gyms, arenas, cinemas, concert venues and places of worship can reopen across the province with a maximum capacity of 50 people for indoor gatherings.

Day camps across the province have also reopened, with physical distancing. Sleep-away summer camps won’t be allowed to reopen until next year.

Residents of long term care homes that don’t have active COVID-19 cases were earlier allowed to receive visitors inside, meet people outdoors and participate in group activities.

They were also allowed to leave the facilities unaccompanied for more than 24 hours. Volunteers and hairdressers were also allowed inside the facilities.

On May 25, some retail businesses reopened in the greater Montreal area, while retail stores outside Montreal reopened on May 11.

Parks and pools have also been allowed to reopen across the province with certain restrictions.

Sports teams resumed outdoor practices on June 8, and matches can resume at the end of the month. That includes baseball, soccer and any other sports that can be played outdoors.

Quebec’s construction and manufacturing industries have resumed operations with limits on the number of employees who can work per shift. Elementary schools and daycares outside Montreal reopened on May 11, but high schools, junior colleges and universities will stay closed until September.

Elementary schools in the greater Montreal area are to remain closed until late August.

Courthouses across the province were permitted to reopen on June 1, with limited seating capacity and Plexiglas barriers protecting clerks and judges.

Camping is now allowed outside the Montreal and Joliette regions, as are cottage rentals.

Checkpoints set up to slow the spread of COVID-19 came down on May 18 in various parts of Quebec, including between Gatineau and Ottawa.

Ontario

Ferry service between Toronto and the Toronto Islands resumed on June 27 but at only 50 per cent capacity to allow for physical distancing.

The Toronto Zoo also reopened and the province said it’s loosening some restrictions around indoor sports and fitness to enable amateur and professional athletes to train.

Ontario’s two most heavily populated regions saw more businesses open their doors on June 24 as Toronto and Peel moved into the next stage of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

The two regions officially entered Stage 2 of the pandemic reopening framework, joining nearly all the rest of the province that began ramping up activities on June 19. All regions of the province except the southwestern communities of Leamington and Kingsville have officially entered Stage 2.

Businesses given the green light to resume operations in Toronto and Peel include hair stylists, pools and tour guide services.

Restaurants are also allowed to reopen their patios for dine-in service, though no one is yet allowed to be served indoors.

Meanwhile, the limit on social gatherings increased from five to 10 provincewide. Restrictions on wedding and funeral ceremonies were also eased. The number of people allowed to attend an indoor ceremony is restricted to 30 per cent capacity of the venue, while outdoor events are limited to 50 people. However, the number of people allowed to attend all wedding and funeral receptions remains at 10.

Ontarians can resume visiting loved ones in long-term care homes, as long as they test negative for COVID-19.

All construction has resumed, with limits also lifted on maintenance, repair and property management services, such as cleaning, painting and pool maintenance.

Golf courses can reopen though clubhouses can only open for washrooms and take-out food. Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches can also open, as can private parks and campgrounds for trailers and RVs whose owners have a full season contract, and businesses that board animals.

Short-term rentals including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes and condominiums were allowed to resume operations on June 5.

The Ontario government says students will likely return to school in September with a mix of in-class and remote learning, though boards will develop various scenarios, depending on how COVID-19 is spreading at that point. Premier Doug Ford has said there won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach in schools, but parents provincewide will have the option of sending their children back to class or keeping them learning remotely.

Ontario schools are to remain closed for the rest of the current school year.

This summer’s Honda Indy Toronto has been cancelled.

Manitoba

Several more restrictions were eased in Manitoba on June 21.

Restaurants and bars no longer have to operate at half capacity, however tables must be two metres apart or have a physical barrier in between them. Non-smoking bingo halls and video lottery terminal lounges can also reopen at 50 per cent capacity.

Child care centres and retail stores can return to normal capacity, and people arriving in Manitoba from the other western provinces, northern territories and northwestern Ontario no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Larger public gatherings are also allowed.

Instead of a cap of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors, people can fill up to 30 per cent of the capacity of any venue as long as they can be split into groups of 50 indoors or 100 outdoors. Each group must be able to enter and exit separately.

On June 1, the province eased a ban on people visiting loved ones in personal care homes. Homes can now offer outdoor visits with a maximum of two guests per resident. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must practice physical distancing.

Amateur sports and recreation programs, as well as bowling alleys, have been allowed to resume operations.

Elementary and high schools will not reopen this school year.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan moved into the next phase of its reopening strategy on June 22.

Under Phase 4.1 camping in national parks can resume, but by reservation only.

Youth camps can reopen, but for day use only, and with guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the constant disinfection of play structures and monitoring of children for coronavirus symptoms.

Outdoor sports like soccer, softball and flag football can resume, though full-contact sports remain prohibited, as does competitive play, tournaments and inter-provincial travel for games.

Shared equipment must be disinfected frequently, while congratulatory gestures, such as high fives and handshakes, are not permitted.

Saskatchewan’s outdoor swimming pools and spray parks can reopen with physical distancing, maximum capacity, and stringent cleaning rules in effect.

Though they can now do so, some municipalities, including Regina and Saskatoon, have said they won’t be reopening their outdoor pools right away.

The province is also doubling the allowable size of indoor public and private gatherings to 30 people where space allows for two metres between participants

The third phase of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan started June 8 with the province lifting a ban on non-essential travel in the north.

More businesses were also allowed to reopen, including places of worship and personal care services such as nail salons, tattoo parlours and gyms.

Up to 150 people or one-third the capacity of a building, whichever is less, can attend church services, including weddings and funerals.

Outdoor graduations can be held with a maximum 30 graduates per class and an overall attendance of 150 people. The previous limit was 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.

Restaurants and bars can open at half capacity, with physical distancing between tables, and child-care centres can open their doors to a maximum of 15 kids.

The second part of Phase 4 is expected to include reopening guidelines for indoor pools, rinks, libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres, casinos and bingo halls. A date for Phase 4.2 has yet to be announced.

In Phase 5, the province will consider lifting restrictions on the size of public gatherings.

The Saskatchewan government says students will return to regular classes in September.

Alberta

In Alberta, everything from gyms and arenas to spas, movie theatres, libraries, pools and sports activities got the green light to reopen on June 12.

More people were also allowed to book campsites and sit in restaurants at the same time.

Fifty people can now gather indoors and up to 100 can congregate outside.

Among the other activities allowed to go ahead are casinos and bingo halls, community halls, instrumental concerts, massage, acupuncture and reflexology, artificial tanning and summer schools.

Major festivals and sporting events remain banned, as do nightclubs and amusement parks. Vocal concerts are not being allowed, given that singing carries a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Alberta aims to have students back in classrooms this September though Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says a final decision will be made by Aug. 1.

British Columbia

British Columbia allowed hotels, motels, spas, resorts, hostels and RV parks to  resume operating on June 24.

Premier John Horgan said the province has been successful at flattening the curve on COVID-19, which means it can ease more health restrictions and gradually move into the third phase of its reopening plan.

He said the province is able to open more industries, institutions and recreation areas, but gatherings must remain at 50 people or less.

The government allowed a partial reopening of the B.C. economy starting May 19.

The reopenings are contingent on organizations and businesses having plans that follow provincial guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19.

Parents in B.C. were given the choice of allowing their children to return to class on a part-time basis starting June 1. The government said its goal is for the return of full-time classes in September, if it’s safe.

Under the part-time plan, for kindergarten to Grade 5, most students will go to school half time, while grades 6 to 12 will go about one day a week.

Conventions, large concerts, international tourism and professional sports with a live audience will not be allowed to resume until either a vaccine is widely available, community immunity has been reached, or effective treatment can be provided for the disease.

Nunavut

Although Nunavut still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the territory did implement a wide range of public health measures to keep residents safe.

Some have since been relaxed.

Gyms and pools are available for solo workouts and lap swims.

Dental, physiotherapy, massage and chiropractic clinics, as well as offices and stores can open with appropriate safety measures.

Individuals may visit galleries, museums and libraries, and daycares are open.

Outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted. Territorial parks and municipal playgrounds may reopen.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories announced on May 12 a three-phase reopening plan.

The plan includes more gatherings and the possible reopening of some schools and businesses. However, the territory’s borders remain closed indefinitely to non-residents and non-essential workers.

There are several requirements that must be met before any measures are relaxed: there must be no evidence of community spread; travel entry points in the territory are strong and secure; risks are reduced from workers coming into the territory; and expanded community testing is available.

Yukon

New guidelines have been released for long-term care facilities that will allow for visits with one designated person at a pre-set location outdoors.

The territory also said bars with an approved health and safety plan could reopen at half capacity under certain other restrictions starting June 19.

Travel restrictions will be lifted between Yukon and B.C. after July 1 under the second phase of the territory’s pandemic restart plan. After that date, travellers between the province and territory will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Residents of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut will be also allowed to enter Yukon without quarantining, as long as they travel directly from one of the territories or through B.C.

Territorial parks and campgrounds have also reopened.

Two households of up to 10 people in total are currently able to interact with each other as part of a “household bubble.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2020

The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jun 29th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00.am. on June 29, 2020:

There are 103,250 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 55,079 confirmed (including 5,448 deaths, 23,786 resolved)

_ Ontario: 34,654 confirmed (including 2,658 deaths, 30,107 resolved)

_ Alberta: 7,996 confirmed (including 154 deaths, 7,322 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 2,878 confirmed (including 174 deaths, 2,545 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,061 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 778 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 661 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 311 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 300 resolved), 11 presumptive

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 158 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases

_ Total: 103,250 (11 presumptive, 103,239 confirmed including 8,522 deaths, 66,191 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Canada almost self-sufficient in PPE as Canadian businesses step up: PM

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Jun 26th, 2020

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadian companies are now producing so much personal protective equipment needed in the fight against COVID-19 that Canada is almost at the point of being self-sufficient.

He’ll underscore that contention today with a visit to a Kanata, Ont., brewery that has retooled to make hand sanitizer during the pandemic.

The visit to Big Rig Brewery, which has used the federal wage subsidy to rehire workers, is also intended to emphasize Trudeau’s repeated plea to businesses to take advantage of the program to get back on their feet. It’s his third visit in as many weeks to a company that’s used the subsidy to hire back laid off employees.

Today’s visit underlines comments Trudeau made during a pre-taped interview that aired Thursday evening at the online Collision tech conference.

He touted the various federal financial support programs aimed at helping businesses survive the pandemic-induced economic shutdown and to promote innovation to help fight the disease.

And he said many Canadian companies have taken advantage of those programs to retool and start producing masks, gowns, ventilators, sanitizer and other personal protective equipment.

Indeed, Trudeau said so many have stepped up that “even as, like every country, we’re having to import massive amounts of PPE because we didn’t have enough from the beginning, we’re now getting to a place where we’re close to self-sufficient on that and able to turn around and share with the world, particularly the developing world.”

Having a secure domestic supply will be particularly important if there is a second wave of the deadly virus that causes COVID-19 in the fall, triggering another wild, global scramble for PPE.

China is the dominant supplier of PPE. With the outbreak starting in that country, there was a severe shortage of equipment as the disease first started spreading around the world in March. Countries were out-bidding one another for supplies that were often never delivered.

But the Public Services and Procurement Canada website says Canada has still not received anywhere near the quantities of PPE that have been ordered.

As of June 16, 55.7 million face shields had been ordered but only 17.6 million received; more than one billion pairs of gloves ordered but only 42.3 million received; 126.6 million gowns ordered but only 4.6 million received; 20.4 million litres of hand sanitizer ordered but just 7.1 million litres received.

As well, Canada had ordered 121.9 million of the coveted N95 respirators and 340.8 million surgical masks, just 12.9 million and 110.9 million of which respectively had been received. Of the 40,328 ventilators ordered, just 367 had been received.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Jun 26th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 6:15 a.m. ET on June 26, 2020:

There are 102,622 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 55,079 confirmed (including 5,448 deaths, 23,786 resolved)

_ Ontario: 34,205 confirmed (including 2,641 deaths, 29,528 resolved)

_ Alberta: 7,851 confirmed (including 154 deaths, 7,191 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 2,869 confirmed (including 173 deaths, 2,517 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,061 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 759 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 648 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 305 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 294 resolved), 11 presumptive

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 143 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases

_ Total: 102,622 (11 presumptive, 102,611 confirmed including 8,504 deaths, 65,419 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press

A look at how provinces plan to emerge from COVID-19 shutdown

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Jun 26th, 2020

Provinces and territories have been releasing plans for easing restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Here is what some of the provinces have announced so far:

Newfoundland and Labrador

The province entered “Alert Level 3” on June 8 in its five stage reopening plan. It means groups of up to 20 people are now permitted, as long as they observe physical distancing. Up to 19 people are allowed on public transit.

Private health clinics, such as optometrists and dentists, can open, as well as medium-risk businesses such as clothing stores and hair salons.

Eleven government service centres reopened to offer in-person services that can be booked by appointment, including written tests, driver exams and identification photos.

During Level 4, some businesses such as law firms and other professional services were allowed to reopen along with regulated child-care centres, with some restrictions.

Outdoor games of tennis were allowed to resume, though players must bring their own equipment and not share it.

At Level 2, businesses with performance spaces and gyms are to reopen, while Level 1 would represent “the new normal.”

The four Atlantic provinces also announced plans Thursday to ease interprovincial travel restrictions, creating a so-called “bubble” as the region has reported relatively few new COVID-19 infections in recent weeks.

As of July 3, residents of Atlantic Canada will be allowed to travel within the region without having to self-isolate for two weeks when arriving in another province.

Visitors from provinces and territories outside the region will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days and adhere to local entry requirements. However, once the self-isolation period has passed, those visitors will also be allowed to travel within the Atlantic region.

Nova Scotia

Provincial campgrounds reopened June 15 at reduced capacity to ensure a minimum of six metres between individual sites. Private campgrounds had already been given the green light to reopen, but only at 50 per cent capacity. They must also ensure public health protocols are followed, including adequate distancing between campsites.

Licensed child-care centres and family daycare homes also reopened across Nova Scotia on June 15.

On May 29, Premier Stephen McNeil announced a new gathering limit of 10 people, doubling the limit of five that was imposed in late March. The limit is the same indoors and outdoors, with exceptions for outdoor weddings and funeral services which can have 15 people.

Nova Scotia has allowed summer day camps for children to open as long as they have a plan to follow public health measures.

Most businesses ordered shut in late March were allowed to reopen on June 5. The list of businesses includes bars and restaurant dining rooms, hair salons, barber shops, gyms and yoga studios, among others.

Some health providers were also able to reopen, including dentistry, optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy offices.

McNeil earlier said there would be no return to school this year.

Prince Edward Island

The province moved into the third phase of its reopening plan June 1, which allows such things as in-house dining at restaurants, small groups to participate in recreational and some sporting activities and libraries to reopen. Phase three also allows gatherings of up to 15 people indoors and 20 people outdoors and the reopening of child-care centres.

As well, family and friends can visit residents at long-term care homes. The visits require an appointment and must take place outdoors.

Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King said people wanting to travel to seasonal residences could apply, and would be put through a risk assessment before approval. Seasonal residents were also to be tested for COVID-19 before completing two weeks in self-isolation after arriving in the province.

Under Phase 2, non-contact outdoor recreational activities were permitted, and retail businesses could reopen with physical distancing and select health-service providers.

Priority non-urgent surgeries resumed on May 1.

The P.E.I legislature resumed May 26.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick moved to the yellow phase of its COVID-19 recovery plan on May 22, allowing barbers and hair stylists to reopen as well as churches and fitness facilities. Dental care, massage, chiropractors and other “close contact” businesses and services could also reopen.

But the Campbellton region, which extends from Whites Brook to the Belledune, had to take a step backwards to the “orange” level on May 27. Residents were told to once again avoid contacts outside their two-household bubble. Non-regulated health professionals and personal service businesses that opened May 22 also had to close again. And people should only be travelling in and out of Zone 5 for essential reasons.

Further restrictions were lifted on June 5. Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people were allowed, as well as indoor religious services of up to 50 people, low-contact team sports and the opening of a long list of facilities including swimming pools, gyms, rinks, water parks, and yoga and dance studios.

Under New Brunswick’s latest recovery rules, Canadian residents can now visit family members or properties they own in the province, provided they self-isolate for 14 days — or the duration of their visit if it is less than two weeks.

As well, New Brunswick residents no longer need to self-isolate when returning from work in another Canadian province or territory.

All organized sports will resume with appropriate physical distancing and sanitizing. Overnight camps will reopen and indoor visits will resume at long-term care facilities for one visitor at a time, or two if one of the visitors needs help.

The cap on the number of people who can gather in controlled venues — including churches, swimming pools and rinks — has been lifted, but crowd numbers will be limited by the ability to maintain physical distancing.

Masks in any building open to the general public are required except for children under the age of two, children in daycare and people who cannot wear face coverings for medical reasons.

Retail businesses, offices, restaurants, libraries, museums and seasonal campgrounds were earlier allowed to reopen providing they had clear plans for meeting public health guidelines.

The final phase, which officials have said will probably come only after a vaccine is available, is to include large gatherings.

Quebec

Quebec reopened several sectors and relaxed the rules for indoor gatherings Monday, particularly impacting the Montreal area.

Restaurants can reopen in the greater Montreal and Joliette areas while indoor gatherings of up to 10 people from three households are now permitted in these regions, like elsewhere in Quebec.

Gyms, arenas, cinemas, concert venues and places of worship may reopen across the province with a maximum capacity of 50 people for indoor gatherings.

Day camps across the province reopened Monday, with physical distancing. Sleep-away summer camps won’t be allowed to reopen until next year.

Residents of long term care homes that don’t have active COVID-19 cases were earlier allowed to receive visitors inside, meet people outdoors and participate in group activities.

They were also allowed to leave the facilities unaccompanied and remain out for more than 24 hours. Beginning Friday, volunteers and hairdressers will also be allowed inside the facilities.

On May 25, some retail businesses reopened in the greater Montreal area, while retail stores outside Montreal reopened on May 11.

Parks and pools have also been allowed to reopen across the province with certain restrictions.

Sports teams resumed outdoor practices on June 8, and matches can resume at the end of the month. That includes baseball, soccer and any other sports that can be played outdoors.

Quebec’s construction and manufacturing industries have resumed operations with limits on the number of employees who can work per shift. Elementary schools and daycares outside Montreal reopened on May 11, but high schools, junior colleges and universities will stay closed until September.

Elementary schools in the greater Montreal area are to remain closed until late August.

Courthouses across the province were permitted to reopen on June 1, with limited seating capacity and Plexiglas barriers protecting clerks and judges.

Camping is now allowed outside the Montreal and Joliette regions, as are cottage rentals.

Checkpoints set up to slow the spread of COVID-19 came down on May 18 in various parts of Quebec, including between Gatineau and Ottawa.

Ontario

Ontario’s two most heavily populated regions saw more businesses open their doors Wednesday as Toronto and Peel moved into the next stage of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

The two regions officially entered Stage 2 of the pandemic reopening framework, joining nearly all the rest of the province that began ramping up activities on June 19.

Windsor-Essex remains the only region not cleared to move to the next phase, due to stubbornly high COVID-19 case numbers on farms in the region.

Businesses given the green light to resume operations in Toronto and Peel include hair stylists, pools and tour guide services.

Restaurants are also allowed to reopen their patios for dine-in service, though no one is yet allowed to be served indoors.

Meanwhile, the limit on social gatherings increased from five to 10 provincewide. Restrictions on wedding and funeral ceremonies across the province were also eased. The number of people allowed to attend an indoor ceremony is restricted to 30 per cent capacity of the venue, while outdoor events are limited to 50 people. However, the number of people allowed to attend all wedding and funeral receptions remains at 10.

Ontarians can resume visiting loved ones in long-term care homes, as long as they test negative for COVID-19.

All construction has resumed, with limits also lifted on maintenance, repair and property management services, such as cleaning, painting and pool maintenance.

Golf courses can reopen though clubhouses can only open for washrooms and take-out food. Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches can also open, as can private parks and campgrounds for trailers and RVs whose owners have a full season contract, and businesses that board animals.

Short-term rentals including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes and condominiums were allowed to resume operations on June 5.

The Ontario government says students will likely return to school in September with a mix of in-class and remote learning, though boards will develop various scenarios, depending on how COVID-19 is spreading at that point. Premier Doug Ford said there won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach in schools, but parents provincewide will have the option of sending their children back to class or keeping them learning remotely.

Ontario schools are to remain closed for the rest of the current school year.

This summer’s Honda Indy Toronto has been cancelled.

Manitoba

Several more restrictions were eased in Manitoba on Sunday.

Restaurants and bars no longer have to operate at half capacity, however tables will have to be two metres apart or have a physical barrier in between them. Non-smoking bingo halls and video lottery terminal lounges can also reopen at 50 per cent capacity.

Child care centres and retail stores can return to normal capacity, and people arriving in Manitoba from the other western provinces, northern territories and northwestern Ontario no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Larger public gatherings are also allowed.

Instead of a cap of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors, people can fill up to 30 per cent of the capacity of any venue as long as they can be split into groups of 50 indoors or 100 outdoors. Each group must be able to enter and exit separately.

On June 1, the province eased a ban on people visiting loved ones in personal care homes. Homes can now offer outdoor visits with a maximum of two guests per resident. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must practice physical distancing.

Amateur sports and recreation programs, as well as bowling alleys, have been allowed to resume operations.

Elementary and high schools will not reopen this school year.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan moved into the next phase of its reopening strategy Monday.

Under Phase 4.1 camping in national parks can resume, but by reservation only.

Youth camps can reopen, but for day use only, and with guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the constant disinfection of play structures and monitoring of children for coronavirus symptoms.

Outdoor sports like soccer, softball and flag football can resume, though full-contact sports remain prohibited, as does competitive play, tournaments and inter-provincial travel for games.

Shared equipment must be disinfected frequently, while congratulatory gestures, such as high fives and handshakes, are not permitted.

Saskatchewan’s outdoor swimming pools and spray parks can reopen with physical distancing, maximum capacity, and stringent cleaning rules in effect.

Though they can now do so, some municipalities, including Regina and Saskatoon, have said they won’t be reopening their outdoor pools right away.

The province is also doubling the allowable size of indoor public and private gatherings to 30 people where space allows for two metres between participants

The third phase of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan started June 8 with the province lifting a ban on non-essential travel in the north.

More businesses were also allowed to reopen, including places of worship and personal care services such as nail salons, tattoo parlours and gyms.

Up to 150 people or one-third the capacity of a building, whichever is less, can attend church services, including weddings and funerals.

Outdoor graduations can be held with a maximum 30 graduates per class and an overall attendance of 150 people. The previous limit was 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.

Restaurants and bars can open at half capacity, with physical distancing between tables, and child-care centres can open their doors to a maximum of 15 kids.

The second part of Phase 4 is expected to include reopening guidelines for indoor pools, rinks, libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres, casinos and bingo halls. A date for Phase 4.2 has yet to be announced.

In Phase 5, the province will consider lifting restrictions on the size of public gatherings.

The Saskatchewan government says students will return to regular classes in September.

Alberta

In Alberta, everything from gyms and arenas to spas, movie theatres, libraries, pools and sports activities got the green light to reopen on June 12.

More people were also allowed to book campsites and sit in restaurants at the same time.

Fifty people can now gather indoors and up to 100 can congregate outside.

Among the other activities allowed to go ahead are casinos and bingo halls, community halls, instrumental concerts, massage, acupuncture and reflexology, artificial tanning and summer schools.

Major festivals and sporting events remain banned, as do nightclubs and amusement parks. Vocal concerts are not being allowed, given that singing carries a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Alberta aims to have students back in classrooms this September though Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says a final decision will be made by Aug. 1.

British Columbia

British Columbia allowed hotels, motels, spas, resorts, hostels and RV parks to resume operating on Wednesday.

Premier John Horgan said the province has been successful at flattening the curve on COVID-19, which means it can ease more health restrictions and gradually move into the third phase of its reopening plan.

He said the province is able to open more industries, institutions and recreation areas, but gatherings of people must remain at 50 people or less.

The provincial government allowed a partial reopening of the B.C. economy starting May 19.

The reopenings are contingent on organizations and businesses having plans that follow provincial guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19.

Parents in B.C. were given the choice of allowing their children to return to class on a part-time basis starting June 1. The government said its goal is for the return of full-time classes in September, if it’s safe.

Under the part-time plan, for kindergarten to Grade 5, most students will go to school half time, while grades 6 to 12 will go about one day a week.

Conventions, large concerts, international tourism and professional sports with a live audience will not be allowed to resume until either a vaccine is widely available, community immunity has been reached, or effective treatment can be provided for the disease.

Nunavut

Although Nunavut still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the territory did implement a wide range of public health measures to keep residents safe.

Some have since been relaxed.

Gyms and pools are available for solo workouts and lap swims.

Dental, physiotherapy, massage and chiropractic clinics, as well as offices and stores can open with appropriate safety measures.

Individuals may visit galleries, museums and libraries, and daycares are open.

Outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted. Territorial parks and municipal playgrounds may reopen.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories announced on May 12 a three-phase reopening plan.

The plan includes more gatherings and the possible reopening of some schools and businesses. However, the territory’s borders remain closed indefinitely to non-residents and non-essential workers.

There are several requirements that must be met before any measures are relaxed: there must be no evidence of community spread; travel entry points in the territory are strong and secure; risks are reduced from workers coming into the territory; and expanded community testing is available.

Yukon

New guidelines have been released for long-term care facilities that will allow for visits with one designated person at a pre-set location outdoors.

The territory also said bars with an approved health and safety plan could reopen at half capacity under certain other restrictions starting June 19.

Travel restrictions will be lifted between Yukon and B.C. after July 1 under the second phase of the territory’s pandemic restart plan. After that date, travellers between the province and territory will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Residents of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut will be also allowed to enter Yukon without quarantining, as long as they travel directly from one of the territories or through B.C.

Territorial parks and campgrounds have also reopened.

Two households of up to 10 people in total are currently able to interact with each other as part of a “household bubble.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2020

The Canadian Press

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