Today’s coronavirus news: Canada to unveil travel rules for fully vaccinated citizens, permanent residents; Accelerated second dose eligibility expands across Ontario today – Toronto Star

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

6:34 a.m.: What will school look like in Ontario this September?

Quebec has already announced that students won’t have to wear masks, and cohorts aren’t needed — as parents and students here in Ontario begin to push for a normal return to school, especially for teens who should be fully vaccinated by then, along with their teachers.

“We need them to be back to normal,” said Toronto mom Tammy Doane, one of three local parents who started a lawn-sign campaign, with 900 now up on lawns in and around the city and York Region.

Kids “were pulled out of school 16 months ago, basically to save our lives,” she said. “And now parents and grandparents, we are 95 per cent safer than we were before (with full vaccinations), so now it’s time for us to save their lives.”

As kids have struggled with learning from home online, as well as the isolation from friends, she said they need to be back in school, in person, full time with extracurriculars and clubs.

Read the full story from the Star’s Kristin Rushowy.

6:28 a.m.: The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday.

Organizers set a limit of 50 per cent of capacity up to a maximum of 10,000 fans for all Olympic venues.

The decision was announced after so-called Five Party talks online with local organizers, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Japanese government and the government of metropolitan Tokyo.

The decision contradicts the country’s top medical adviser, Dr. Shigeru Omi, who recommended last week that the safest way to hold the Olympics would be without fans. He had previously called it “abnormal” to hold the Olympics during the pandemic.

The Tokyo Games are set to open on July 23.

Local organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto said it was important to acknowledge the uncertainty around the pandemic during the games.

6:28 a.m.: Medical regulators in New Zealand have approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in children as young as 12, following the lead of regulators in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

The decision by Medsafe was welcomed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, although it still needs official sign-off from the government, which is likely later this month.

The Pfizer vaccine was previously approved in New Zealand for people aged 16 and older.

Ardern said about 265,000 extra children would be eligible under the expanded coverage, although she didn’t believe it would alter plans to complete the nation’s coronavirus vaccination rollout by the year’s end.

New Zealand plans to use only the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate its population of 5 million.

6:28 a.m.: A top health official is urging Australians to get their second doses of AstraZeneca despite deaths from the vaccine exceeding the nation’s COVID-19 death toll this year.

Two women in Australia have died from rare blood clots caused by the vaccine. The only COVID-19 fatality this year was an 80-year-old traveller who died in April after being infected overseas and diagnosed in hotel quarantine.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly told state leaders on Monday that health authorities did not recommend people follow up their first AstraZeneca dose with a different vaccine. Globally, the safety and effectiveness of switching vaccines between doses is still being tested.

He urged people not to cancel their second AstraZenca jab, which is booked three months after the first, saying the chances of developing blood clots after a second dose were 1.5 in a million.

COVID-19 has claimed 910 lives in Australia, but vaccine hesitancy is on the rise as the death rate slows.

Australia last week lifted its recommended age limit for AstraZeneca from 50 to 60 after a 52-year-old woman died of clots. A 48-year-old woman died in April.

Pfizer is currently the only alternative to AstraZeneca in Australia, although Moderna is expected to be registered soon. The government hopes that every Australian adult who wants a vaccine will have access to one by the end of the year.

6:26 a.m.: Canada is set to detail what quarantine rules citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will soon have to follow when entering the country.

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said last week that “measures” would be announced today that will apply to immunized Canadians, as well as foreign nationals who are permitted entry.

Currently, those without citizenship or resident status can enter the country only if their travel is related to work, school or other essential business, but not for leisure.

As more Canadians get inoculated against COVID-19 and summer weather has people itching to take some long-awaited trips, pressure is building for the Liberal government to begin relaxing some of its border and quarantine rules.

Over the weekend the country hit an important target of having 75 per cent of its eligible population receive one dose and 20 per cent get two, providing the latter group with full protection against COVID-19.

6:26 a.m.: More Ontarians become eligible for an earlier second dose of COVID-19 vaccine this week.

Starting this morning at 8 a.m., those who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9 can book or reschedule their second dose at a shortened interval.

People in Delta variant hot spots who received first shots on or before May 30 can move up their second shots on Wednesday.

Health units covering Toronto, Peel, Halton, Porcupine, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Waterloo and York, Hamilton, Simcoe-Muskoka and Durham are considered hot spots for the more infectious variant.

The province says that starting sometime next week, it plans to allow all adults who received a first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s product to book a second appointment as soon as 28 days after their initial shot.



As of last week, the province allowed people who received a first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to book their second shot earlier.

They must wait at least eight weeks before getting their second dose.

6:25 a.m.: Canada is set to receive more than five million doses of COVID-19 vaccine over the coming week.

Around 2.4 million are expected to come from Pfizer and BioNTech, though that shipment isn’t slated to land until mid-week and has prompted some jurisdictions to temporarily pause walk-in appointments or make use of other vaccines due to the brief delay.

Another 2.8 million will come from Moderna, for a total of 5.2 million shots expected this week.

The federal government says about nine million doses came into the country last week as Canada officially immunized more than 20 per cent of eligible residents with two shots of vaccine.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand has said Canada is on track to receive more than 50 million doses by the end of June, thanks in part to Moderna’s decision to ship about five million shots ahead of schedule.

She said Ottawa is on pace to take delivery of more than 68 million jabs by the end of July.

6:25 a.m.: Three more regions in Quebec are moving into the green, or least restrictive, level of the province’s COVID-19 response plan as of today.

The regions of Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec will join much of the rest of the province in attaining the coveted level that allows for further easing of public health measures.

The zone change will relax restrictions including limits on gatherings in homes, which can host up to 10 people from three different addresses. In yellow zones, only two families are permitted.

The changes come as Quebec continues its downward trajectory of COVID-19 infections, with case numbers generally on the decline since mid-April when daily counts routinely topped 1,500.

Meanwhile, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé is encouraging Quebecers inoculated against COVID-19 to get their proof of vaccination if they haven’t done so already.

In a tweet Sunday, Dubé posted a link to the provincial government’s website where vaccination validation can be obtained.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Monday June 21, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 352,550 new vaccinations administered for a total of 32,171,232 doses given.

Nationwide, 7,083,620 people or 19 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 84,886.136 per 100,000. There were 13,016 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 34,687,930 doses delivered so far.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Monday June 21, 2021. Some provinces and territories do not report daily case numbers.

There are 1,408,835 confirmed cases in Canada.

Canada: 1,408,835 confirmed cases (11,759 active, 1,371,000 resolved, 26,076 deaths).The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 712 new cases reported Sunday. The rate of active cases is 30.94 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 6,500 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is 929.

There were 22 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 145 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 21. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 68.61 per 100,000 people.

There have been 36,111,298 tests completed.