Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is now required to access big-box and other large-scale retail stores across Quebec.
Premier François Legault previously announced that Quebecers will have to show their vaccination passport starting today if they wish to enter stores with floor surfaces of 1,500 square metres or more.
The measure comes as Legault continues to focus measures on unvaccinated residents in an effort to curb COVID-19-related hospitalizations, which soared in recent weeks but have declined for the past four days in a row.
Proof-of-vaccination requirements do not apply to stores that primarily sell pharmacy or grocery products.
Quebec expanded its vaccination passport system last week to cannabis and liquor stores.
The province’s COVID-19 update posted on Sunday reported a total of 3,283 hospitalizations — down by 12 from a day earlier — including 273 in intensive care. The province also reported 33 additional deaths and 5,141 additional lab-confirmed cases. Quebec currently limits access to PCR tests, so the true number of cases is believed to be substantially higher than the figure reported by health officials.
Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant is set to announce a plan for unvaccinated Quebecers later this afternoon alongside Daniel Paré, the head of the province’s immunization campaign.
-From The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 7:55 a.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
With lab-based testing capacity deeply strained and increasingly restricted, experts say true case counts are likely far higher than reported. Hospitalization data at the regional level is also evolving, with several provinces saying they will report figures that separate the number of people in hospital because of COVID-19 from those in hospital for another medical issue who also test positive for COVID-19.
For more information on what is happening in your community — including details on outbreaks, testing capacity and local restrictions — click through to the regional coverage below.
You can also read more from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which provides a detailed look at every region — including seven-day average test positivity rates — in its daily epidemiological updates.
In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick health officials on Sunday reported two additional COVID-19-related deaths and 545 additional lab-confirmed cases. The province said a total of 126 people were in hospital, including 10 in intensive care units.
Prince Edward Island saw two additional COVID-19 related deaths over the weekend, bringing the number of deaths recorded on the island to six. The latest data from the province showed nine people in hospital with COVID-19.
Nova Scotia on Sunday said there were 85 people in hospital who were admitted due to COVID-19 and were receiving specialized care. Eleven people were in intensive care units, the province said in a statement, which noted that more than 200 others were in hospital with COVID-19, including those who had contracted the virus after they were admitted to hospital.
The province also reported an additional 503 lab-confirmed cases.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, 19 people were in hospital with COVID-19, health officials said in a tweet on Sunday. The province, which is set to send students back to classrooms later this week, also reported 361 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19.
In Central Canada, Ontario health officials on Sunday reported a total of 3,797 hospitalizations — down 229 from a day earlier. The province’s COVID-19 dashboard also showed a total of 604 people in intensive care units across the province.
The province also reported an additional 56 deaths and 5,833 lab-confirmed cases.
In the Prairie provinces, Saskatchewan on Sunday said 252 people were in hospital, up from 244 a day earlier, the province’s COVID-19 dashboard showed. Of those, 26 patients were in intensive care units across the province. Health officials also reported 1,629 additional lab-confirmed cases.
Manitoba and Alberta are expected to provide updated information covering the weekend later on Monday.
Across the North, Nunavut on Sunday reported 26 additional cases of COVID-19. Health officials in Yukon and the Northwest Territories are expected to provide updated information about the state of the pandemic later Monday.
British Columbia health officials don’t report COVID-19 data over the weekend. An update covering the three-day period since Friday is expected later Monday.
-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 7:55 a.m. ET
What’s happening around the world
As of early Monday morning, more than 351.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 5.5 million.
The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is warning that conditions remain ideal for more coronavirus variants to emerge, saying it’s dangerous to assume Omicron is the last one or that “we are in the endgame.” Tedros also said the acute phase of the pandemic could end this year — if some key targets are met, including WHO’s target to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population of every country by the middle of this year.
“It’s true that we will be living with COVID for the foreseeable future and that we will need to learn to manage it through a sustained and integrated system for acute respiratory diseases” to help prepare for future pandemics, he said. “But learning to live with COVID cannot mean that we give this virus a free ride. It cannot mean that we accept almost 50,000 deaths a week from a preventable and treatable disease.”
In the Asia-Pacific region, Beijing’s city government introduced new measures to contain a recent outbreak of COVID-19, as China’s capital continued to report new local cases of the virus less than two weeks before it hosts the Winter Olympic Games.
India reported over 300,000 new COVID-19 infections for the fourth straight day, even though the caseload over the last 24 hours was slightly lower than a day before, data released by the government on Sunday showed.
In Europe, tens of thousands of people protested in Brussels, Belgium, against COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, some clashing with police who fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse them near the European Commission’s headquarters.
Russia on Monday reported a new record number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the past 24 hours as the Omicron variant of the virus spread across the country, the government coronavirus task force said. Daily new cases jumped to 65,109, from 63,205 a day earlier. The task force also reported 655 deaths.
In Africa, health officials in South Africa on Sunday reported 1,931 new cases of COVID-19 and 114 additional deaths.
Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> mortality cases reported. Today, the NDoH reports 114 deaths and of these, 17 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 94 177 to dat
In the Middle East, health officials in Iran on Monday said 21 people had died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. The country also reported 7,691 additional cases.
In the Americas, Brazil recorded 135,080 new coronavirus cases and 296 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said, as the Omicron variant rampaged across the country
-From Reuters, CBC News and The Associated Press, last updated at 7:50 a.m. ET