The western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia shorten the self-isolation period, while Quebec imposes curfews at night.
Two Canadian provinces have shortened the self-isolation period for vaccinated individuals testing positive for COVID-19 as the country struggles with an increase in cases associated with the Omicron variant.
Alberta and British Columbia in western Canada halve the required self-isolation period for vaccinated individuals with COVID-19 to five days as Canadian provinces try to adapt to the challenges of the workforce.
Unvaccinated people who get the virus still need to isolate themselves for 10 days.
“We are making these changes to help prevent disruption to Alberta’s workforce, especially for those who provide services that Albertans expect,” Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping announced Friday. The changes take effect on Monday.
Alberta has also suspended regular reporting of coronavirus data for the New Year holiday period.
British Columbia will now offer a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine to all pregnant women six months after their second dose, the province’s top doctor also said Friday. BC reported a record 4,383 cases on Friday, a jump of nearly 50 percent from Wednesday.
In Canada, provincial governments are responsible for administering health care, which means that the rules regarding quarantine periods, capacity limits and other responses to the pandemic vary considerably in the world’s second largest country.
Meanwhile, Canada’s second most populous province in Quebec on Friday reported 16,461 new coronavirus cases. The primarily French-speaking province will impose a daily curfew at night, starting at. 22:00 local time (3:00 GMT), among other restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus and protecting Quebec’s strained health network.
“It’s an extreme action to take because the situation is extreme,” said Prime Minister Francois Legault.
Also from kl. 17:00 (22:00 GMT) on Friday, restaurants in Quebec will also be restricted from providing takeaway or delivery, while most indoor private gatherings are prohibited. Gyms, bars and other entertainment venues have been closed since the beginning of last week.
In addition, schools at all levels in Quebec will not reopen for personal classes until at least January 17th. Places of worship can not open except to hold funerals, which will be limited to 25 people.
In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, tuition was scheduled to resume Monday, but it was pushed back to Wednesday. Ontario has also relaxed its isolation rules for vaccinated individuals receiving COVID-19 to five days.
As of Friday, Ontario is limiting eligibility for publicly funded PCR tests to high-risk individuals who are symptomatic or at risk of severe coronavirus disease. This includes hospital and long-term care home staff and residents and people living in indigenous communities.
Ontarians who have COVID-19 symptoms but are not eligible for a publicly funded test should assume they are infected and follow the new guidelines for five days of self-isolation, health officials said.
In Ontario, like other provinces, everyone 18 years and older is eligible for a third coronavirus booster shot three months after receiving a second dose.
In a New Year’s announcement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on eligible Canadians to get a booster shot to stem the rising tide of Omicron infections.
“With the threat of new variants, vaccination remains our best line of defense against COVID-19, and we will have to work together in 2022 to put this pandemic behind us,” Trudeau said late Friday.
It’s not quite midnight yet, I know, but we’re all ready to say this sooner rather than later anyway: happy new year! Whatever you and your loved ones have planned for this evening, and in the coming year, Sophie and I wish you all the best. https://t.co/Olq27qzqT9
– Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 31, 2021