Coronavirus: Provinces, territories vary on lifting health restrictions

Some regions of the country are easing restrictions on the spread of the pandemic while others are tightening them depending on their perceptions of whether the COVID-19 curve has flattened or not yet peaked.

Quebec has announced that 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, fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19, is on its way to a peak.

Nunavut says the strict measures it implemented before Christmas were so effective that it scrapped travel restrictions on Monday, allowing businesses to reopen and schools will resume in-person learning on January 24.

It’s a different story in New Brunswick as new restrictions come into effect today limiting residents to a single family bubble while also closing gyms, entertainment venues and indoor dining in restaurants.

In neighboring Prince Edward Island where chief medical health officer Dr Heather Morrison said “the worst of this wave” was yet to come, existing restrictions that include limits on commercial capacity and distance learning for school students will be expanded.

Across the country, numbers of new COVID cases and associated hospitalizations remain at or near record levels.

Ontario reported a jump in the number of hospitalizations from 182 to an all-time high of 3,630 on Thursday. About 6,000 new cases have been reported in Alberta and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

The federal government also announced late Thursday that the vaccine mandate for truck drivers crossing into Canada from the United States would begin Saturday as planned, despite an earlier statement from the Canada Border Services Agency that said Canadian truck drivers would be exempt.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on January 14, 2022.

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