Today’s Coronavirus News: New Poll Says Nearly Half of Canadians Visiting Family or Friends During Winter Vacation; Canadian travel industry ‘booming’ as government adopts new testing rules

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The last coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Tuesday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

6h21 Germany’s Center for Disease Control on Tuesday reported 944 more deaths from COVID-19, fueling expectations that Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state governors will extend the country’s lockdown until the end of the month.

Germany’s latest lockdown came into effect on December 16 after a partial shutdown starting in early November failed to reduce the number of new daily coronavirus infections. It was originally scheduled to expire on January 10.

Merkel’s meeting with governors on Tuesday will decide how long the lockdown will last and to what extent schools will reopen. Another item on the agenda will be responding to criticism of the country’s immunization program amid the frustrations of its gradual start.

Vaccinations in Germany and the rest of the 27 countries of the European Union started more than a week ago. In Germany, a country of 83 million people, nearly 265,000 vaccinations were reported Monday, the Robert Koch Institute said.

5 h 17 A new poll suggests that nearly half of Canadians visited family or friends during the winter vacation period.

Leger’s poll and the Association for Canadian Studies poll found that 48% of those surveyed had visited people outside their home, compared to 50% who had not.

Public health officials had pleaded with Canadians to drastically limit their contact during the holidays to avoid massive spikes in COVID-19 transmission.

The number of cases is increasing and the poll suggests that 62% of those polled have little or no confidence that we will limit the spread of COVID-19 in the coming weeks.

But 87% said they would support a total ban on international travel until there are several consecutive days of reduced COVID-19 cases

Pollsters asked 1,506 people questions between December 30, 2020 and January 3, 2021, as news of several politicians who traveled abroad emerged.

5 h 12 The travel industry in Canada has been thrown into a “spiral” by new federal rules requiring a COVID-19 test before Canadians are allowed to return home after most international travel, according to the Canadian Association of independent travel advisers.

The timing of the announcement of the new protocol by Transport Minister Marc Garneau last Thursday – New Years Eve – could not have been worse as many officers had closed their offices for the long holiday weekend, a the group said in a statement.

“The publication of this new protocol on New Year’s Eve has put most of our industry in a freefall,” ACITA said.

“Without a warning in place, people who had chosen to travel in the New Year were not given the option to cancel or change their trips. “

ACITA is a new association created by independent travel agents last spring, in part to lobby for government help for the industry due to the challenges caused by the pandemic.

He says the testing movement “appears to be having the opposite effect” of helping the industry recover.

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5 h 02 China has designated parts of Hebei province near Beijing as a high risk area for coronaviruses after 14 new cases of COVID-19 were discovered.

Eleven of the cases occurred in Shijiazhuang city, where some events of the 2022 Winter Olympics will take place. 30 more people have tested positive for the virus without showing symptoms, the provincial health authority said on Tuesday. .

The other three cases of COVID-19 were in Yantai City. Parts of Shijiazhuang have been designated as high danger areas, meaning they will undergo more stringent isolation tests and measures, while parts of Yantai have been registered as medium risk areas. Medical investigators were investigating whether a single event such as a family reunion was the root of many Hebei cases.

5 a.m. U.S. biotech company Moderna has said Israel has approved its COVID-19 vaccine, but the announcement comes as the country faces a rapidly growing disease outbreak.

Moderna said in a statement on Tuesday that Israel’s health ministry has cleared the company’s vaccine for use and will begin delivering the 6 million doses Israel has secured this month.

Israel’s health ministry on Tuesday reported 8,308 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus – one of the highest daily figures since the start of the pandemic – as the country struggles to contain the pandemic during a third nationwide lockdown. Israel has recorded more than 450,000 cases of the coronavirus and 3,445 deaths.

At the same time, Israel has already vaccinated more than 10% of its population, mainly the elderly and health workers.

Tuesday 4:49 am Amid public outcry, the French Minister of Health promised an “exponential” acceleration of the slow process of vaccination against the coronavirus in his country.

After barely 500 people in France were vaccinated in the first six days, the Minister of Health Olivier Veran defended the government’s strategy of giving vaccines as a priority to residents of retirement homes. But he promised Tuesday to simplify a bureaucratic consent process, partly responsible for the delay in France’s vaccinations.

Veran said the government will increase the number of vaccination centers and categories of people eligible for early vaccines, and allow people to sign up for vaccinations through an app or by phone.

The growth of vaccinations in the coming days “will be exponential, don’t worry,” he said on RTL radio. But he insisted the government would not back down on safety guidelines in a country facing widespread vaccine skepticism.

Monday 9:35 p.m .: COVID-related deaths of 96 Albertans have been reported during the five-day New Year’s vacation, the province said Monday.

On Monday, the province released new COVID-19 data showing nearly 100 deaths were reported to the province between December 30 and January 3 and 5,107 new cases were diagnosed over the five days.

The youngest person to die from the virus was a woman in her twenties from the Central Zone, who died on January 1. The province said there are no known comorbidities at this time.

In the past 24 hours, 1,128 new cases have been reported in the province and 11,900 tests have been completed. There are currently 13,839 active cases in the province and since the start of the pandemic, the province has performed 2,847,016 COVID-19 tests. There were 27 deaths reported on January 3.

Click here to read more on COVID-19 coverage starting Monday.

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