New restrictions on gatherings and restaurants take effect in Quebec as the highly infectious variant of Omicron continues to cause an increase in COVID-19 cases across much of Canada. The country crossed the threshold of two million cases on Sunday.
Quebec reported 9,206 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, a day after counting more than 10,000 daily cases for the first time. He also reported four more deaths.
From Sunday, the province capped private gatherings at six people or two family bubbles. Restaurants are limited to serving groups of six or two family bubbles – versus 10 people and three households.
In a Christmas message posted on Facebook, Prime Minister François Legault acknowledged that the next few weeks would be “difficult”.
“It will be very important to continue our efforts and to stay united, even if we are tired,” he wrote.
Montreal’s director of public health said it was a “critical time” for the city’s health network, with 181 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the city on Thursday, an increase of 60 % compared to last week.
New Brunswick will put in place its own restrictions on Monday, with households being urged to stick to a stable bubble of 10, down from 20.
Stricter Tier 2 rules also include a requirement for restaurants to operate at 50% capacity and request proof of vaccination, as well as capacity limits for other businesses, public gatherings, and places of worship. .
The province reported 265 cases on Friday, its highest number on a single day and one additional death.
During this time, Ontario reported 9,826 new cases on Sunday, a day after surpassing 10,000 new cases for the first time. He also reported seven more deaths.
The 10,412 new cases reported on Saturday marked the third consecutive day the province had broken its record for the daily number of cases. With Sunday’s figures, the seven-day moving average of new daily cases now stands at 6,746, down from 2,542 a week ago.
I shared my appreciation with everyone who works at the Mitchell Field Community Center and all the other clinics in our city for their dedication and sacrifice in helping us get Torontonians vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/QlzW1rJr98
Experts said the actual number of cases is likely much higher than those reported each day as many public health units have reached their testing capacity.
The province is racing to provide COVID-19 vaccine boosters, with some clinics open on Christmas Day. Anyone aged 18 and over is now eligible as long as three months have passed since their second stroke.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said more than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Elsewhere in Canada, New Scotland reported 1,147 new cases over a two-day period, and Nunavut reported four new cases, all in Iqaluit.
With Sunday’s updates, Canada has now reported 2,000,150 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. A total of 30,159 Canadians have died from the disease.
– From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated 1:45 p.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
For more details on the impact of COVID-19 on your community – including hospital data and the latest restrictions – check out coverage from CBC newsrooms across the country.
- Experts fear the actual number of COVID-19 cases in British Columbia may be higher as the province reaches its testing capacity.
What is happening in the world
As of 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, more than 279.7 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University Case Tracker. The death toll worldwide stood at nearly 5.4 million.
In the Americas, U.S. airlines canceled hundreds of flights for a third day in a row on Sunday as growing COVID-19 infections immobilized crews and forced tens of thousands of Christmas weekend travelers to change their plans.
Commercial airlines on Sunday canceled 720 flights to or from the United States, according to a tally posted on flight tracking site FlightAware.com. Further cancellations were likely and over 1,400 flights were delayed.
In the Asia Pacific region, Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales on Sunday reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases and a sharp increase in hospitalizations. Doctors and pharmacists have said they are running out of vaccine doses amid a rush for injections spurred by concern over the Omicron variant.
Meanwhile, a large Sydney lab said 400 people who had been told a day earlier that they had tested negative for COVID-19 had in fact tested positive, with the error believed to be due to a ” human error”. The lab’s medical director said those people had been contacted and informed of the error.
In the Middle East, Iran has banned the entry of travelers from Britain, France, Denmark and Norway for 15 days amid restrictions following the discovery of the Omicron variant in the worst-affected country in the Middle -East.
Oman requires foreign travelers aged 18 or older to have received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to enter the sultanate, the state news agency reported on Sunday.
In Israel, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tested negative for COVID-19 on Sunday after his 14-year-old daughter was infected with the coronavirus, his office said.
In Africa, meanwhile, the main media adviser to the Nigerian president, Garba Shehu, said on Saturday he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in isolation. Shehu, in his early fifties, is in the immediate entourage of President Muhammadu Buhari, 79.
In Europe, France recorded a record 104,611 COVID-19 infections on Saturday, surpassing the 100,000 threshold for the first time since the start of the pandemic as the Omicron variant continued its rapid spread. Health officials said the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care increased from 28 to 3,282.
– From Reuters and The Associated Press, latest update 3:30 p.m. ET