Canadian authorities imposed tighter restrictions in parts of Ontario that will be in effect from Saturday, October 3, due to a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in Toronto will have their capacity limited to 75 people, while those in the Peel region and Ottawa will have it limited to 100 people.
Ontario authorities previously tightened limits on private social gatherings, which have been reduced province-wide for at least 28 days from September 19. Premier Doug Ford announced at a news conference that indoor social events can include no more than ten people, down from a previous limit of 50, and outdoor gathering limits would be reduced to 25 from a previous limit of 100. Ford stated that anyone holding an illegal party may face a fine of C$10,000 (7,580 USD), and those caught attending one may be fined up to C$750 (563 USD).
Previously, the federal government announced that the closure of the Canada-US land border would be extended through October 21. The extension has been mutually agreed with the US government due to continued high COVID-19 case numbers in many US states. The border has been closed for five months and the previous extension had been agreed until September 21. All nonessential cross border travel is prohibited, with exceptions for freight drivers, health workers, and other essential travel.
As of Friday, October 2, there have been 164,359 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada with 9430 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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