COVID-19: Restrictions vary widely from province to province

Some regions of the country are easing their pandemic-related restrictions while others are tightening them based on their perception of a flattening or peaking of the COVID-19 curve.

Quebec has announced that a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. will be lifted on Monday, because experts in the province believe the latest wave of the pandemic, fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant, has reached its peak.

Nunavut says its draconian measures before Christmas have been so effective that it scrapped travel restrictions from Monday, allowing businesses to reopen schools and resume in-person learning Jan. 24.

It’s a different story in New Brunswick as new restrictions take effect Friday, limiting residents to a single-family bubble while closing fitness centers, entertainment venues and dining areas at restaurants.

In neighboring Prince Edward Island, where Dr Heather Morrison, chief medical officer for health, says “the worst of this wave” is yet to come, existing restrictions, which include capacity limits for work and distance learning for students, will be extended.

Nationally, the number of new COVID-19 cases and associated hospitalizations remain at or near record levels.

On Thursday, Ontario recorded an increase of 182 hospitalizations to an all-time high of 3,630. About 6,000 new cases were reported in Alberta and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.

The federal government also announced Thursday night that the vaccination requirement for truck drivers entering Canada from the United States will begin Saturday as scheduled, despite an earlier statement from the Canada Border Services Agency that Canadian truck drivers will be exempted.

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