From Air Canada —
(Reuters) – Canada will soon require that air travelers test negative for COVID-19 before arrival, federal ministers said on Wednesday, after social media images of maskless tourists prompted a call for stricter measures to curb the virus.
“Canada will quickly implement the requirement for all arriving passengers to have a negative PCR COVID test three days before arriving in Canada,” said Dominic LeBlanc, intergovernmental affairs minister, at a media briefing.
Bill Blair, minister of public safety, later said the new requirement would apply to air passengers, while the federal government is working with provinces on how to supplement strong measures with additional testing at Canada’s land borders. He said the federal government will discuss the measure with the airline industry and share more details soon.
Canada reported a total of 565,506 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, 6,442 more than the day before, as new cases surged across western Canada, Ontario and Quebec.
The pre-boarding testing will not eliminate the requirement for people arriving in the country to quarantine for 14 days, Blair said.
“We strongly advise against all discretionary travel,” said Blair, while noting that Canadian governments cannot stop citizens who choose to travel from returning home. Travelers who break quarantine face up to six months in jail or up to C$750,000 in fines.
On Tuesday, Quebec urged the federal government to require COVID-19 testing for residents returning from year-end vacations.
Canada’s travel restrictions are among the world’s toughest, with non-essential foreigners normally denied entry and citizens returning from abroad mandated to quarantine.
Canadian health authorities have found patients with the more transmissible variant of the coronavirus first found in the United Kingdom and South Africa in four provinces, including Ontario. Most of the patients recently traveled to the United Kingdom, according to media reports, and two had contact with a recent traveler. (Reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Richard Chang)
Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, Has Been Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
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The new comes from a letter he wrote:
French President Emmanuel Macron Says Someone Who Refuses COVID Vaccine Is ‘Not a Citizen’
French president Macron’s desire to ‘piss off’ unvaccinated individuals triggers outrage
Macron spoke candidly during an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, during which he said that he wanted to make life difficult for individuals who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The French “sanitary pass” has prompted a number of protests and stiff opposition while the country nears 75% full vaccination.
“I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this – to the end,” Macron said three months ahead of a presidential election. “I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison, so we need to tell them, from 15 January, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.”
The French Parliament heard Macron’s comments during a debate over his proposed bill to tighten restrictions for unvaccinated individuals, leading to a swift and strong uproar in response.
His opponents have labeled the comments “unworthy” of a president.
“Even if one doesn’t share their choice, they have broken none of our country’s laws,” Marine Le Pen, Macron’s chief opponent in the upcoming election, told reporters late Tuesday. “He is continuing his policy of division, of pitting the French against one another.”
She later tweeted “A president shouldn’t say that…Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
Leftist politician Jean-Luc Melanchon described the remarks as an “astonishing confession,” according to the BBC.
But Macron’s allies have defended the comments, with Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament, arguing on Twitter that unvaccinated individuals have “bothered” the French by “forcing the rest of the population to endure restrictions.”
Debate over Macron’s bill continue into Wednesday as opponents still seek to delay its passage. Some of his supporters claimed to have received death threats because they are backing the legislation, The New York Times reported.
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Boston unveils the ‘Be Together’ initiative, requiring full vaccination for entry to restaurants, gyms, and sports arenas for anyone 12 and older. In March the mandate will phase-in for younger children.