December 15, 2021 – Federal government update on the COVID-19 pandemic
Below you will find an update on the latest decisions and measures taken by the federal government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
New restrictions on international travel
Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced that the Canadian government is advising Canadians not to travel abroad that are not strictly necessary. The government is also reintroducing the requirement to test negative for COVID-19 when traveling outside of Canada for less than 72 hours.
Both measures will take effect today for at least four weeks.
âFor those of you who have planned a trip, I can say very clearly that this is not the time. Like it or not, we have to adapt to this new reality. We need to pull together and do everything in our power to protect our health system and our frontline workers, âsaid Duclos.
The federal government has expressed concern about Canadians traveling abroad in the coming weeks.
Mr Duclos stated: âCanadians who travel could contract the virus and be stranded overseas in difficult conditions. Someone who is infected abroad may not be allowed to get on a plane home. “
The screening capacities at airports will also be increased. Announcements will be made in the coming days.
Economic update: Big investments for COVID-19
There are currently 16 million rapid tests in Canada, and another 35 million are in the process of being delivered to the provinces and territories.
Hundreds of millions of rapid tests have also been ordered to meet future needs. At least $ 1.7 billion will be spent on more than 180 million of these tests.
The federal government has pledged $ 7.3 billion to buy vaccines and booster doses.
In addition, $ 2 billion will be spent buying millions of COVID-19 pills once Health Canada approves their use.
Finally, $ 4.5 billion is earmarked to ensure the continuation of financial aid programs for businesses affected by health travel restrictions.
Epidemiological situation in the MontrÃ©al region
Dr. MylÃ¨ne Drouin, Montreal’s regional director of public health, said two doses of the vaccine did not provide adequate protection against the infection caused by the variant of Omicron. It also announced that nearly 95 cases of the Omicron variant have been identified in MontrÃ©al.
Because of this, she recommended avoiding gatherings during the holiday season.
“We may need to work together to rethink some of the plans we had in mind for the holiday season,” she said. âIt’s disappointing for everyone. It is certainly not what we wanted. “