By Gordon Lambie
The Government of Canada announced the first phase of its plan to ease COVID-19 border restrictions on Monday.
Beginning July 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on day eight and fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized hotel.
To be considered fully vaccinated, the traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering the country. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country, but must provide documentation supporting their vaccination in English, French or with a certified translation.
For these new measures to apply to them, fully vaccinated travellers must still meet all other mandatory requirements, including pre- and on-arrival testing, and being asymptomatic.
The plan, described as “cautious” was announced in light of what was deemed acceptable progress in the country’s vaccination campaign.
Continuing its downward trend, the province of Quebec reported only 90 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday based on the data from 16,315 tests, bringing the total number of people infected to 374,011, with 1,299 cases currently considered active.
The number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic remained stable at 11,191, while the number of people hospitalized due to the virus decreased by two, to 168. Of that number, 39 people were in intensive care, the same number as over the last several days.
There was only one new case reported in the Eastern Townships on Monday, in Sherbrooke, bringing the total number of active cases in the region to 48. Although the number of cases reported in the region was low for Saturday and Sunday (reported on Sunday and Monday), it is worth remembering that this past weekend marked the first for reduced hours at local testing centres, with only the locations in Bromont and Sherbrooke open on those two days.
The number of hospitalizations in the region dropped back down to 10, with no one in intensive care, and the number of deaths in the region remained unchanged at 351.
A cumulative total of 7,404,597 doses of vaccine were received by Quebecers as of Monday morning, accounting for first dose coverage in 70.3 per cent of the population as a whole, 80.3 per cent of the population 12 and up, and adequate vaccination in 19.1 per cent of Quebecers.