Immigrants and mums on the alert

Will Canada introduce another lockdown?

Should Canadians and immigrants who are planning to come to Canada start bracing up for another lockdown or new travel restrictions, due to the increase in COVID-19 cases? There has not been any move in this direction, but the possibility can no longer be ruled out.

In Ontario, capacity limits were supposed to be lifted in remaining high-risk settings on November 15.  But the Government has delayed this move by at least 28 days, leading many to speculate that more restrictions might be on the way if current trends continue.

Sex clubs and high-risk zones

The places classified as higher-risk settings include:

  • Food or drink establishments with dance facilities such as nightclubs and wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing
  • Strip clubs
  • Sex clubs and bathhouses

The restrictions currently in place limit nightclubs and bathhouses to 25 percent capacity or 250 patrons, whichever is less.

At strip clubs, there is no set capacity limit but establishments must ensure there is physical distancing of at least two meters between groups. No other changes to the reopening plans have been made at this time.

Health officials said that while Ontario’s hospital and intensive care capacity remains stable, certain public health trends, including the effective reproduction number and percent positivity, have increased slightly over the past week.

Ontario’s rolling seven-day average of COVID-19 cases has increased by over 75%. The figure now stands at 502. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said Ontario is pausing the reopening plan “out of an abundance of caution.”[1]

Moore said while he expects cases to keep rising in Ontario, he does not think the province will need to reintroduce restrictions on a provincial level.[2]

“Honestly, I do not see us stepping backwards. If we have to, we’ll pause, but we won’t take a step backwards,” he promised.

As an alternative to another round of lockdowns, other sample measures may be implemented instead both locally and regionally. These include:

  • Reintroduce capacity limits and/or physical distancing requirements (percent and/or hard caps)
  • Add settings where proof of vaccination is required
  • Reduce gathering limits
  • Apply public health and workplace safety measures in specific settings where transmission is occurring
  • Recommend or require work from home, where possible.

Effect on newcomers and mums

Will Canada introduce another lockdown?

Any hint of a lockdown makes new immigrants and mums nervous. Most newcomers to Canada might not be sufficiently experienced to get jobs that they do from home.

For mothers who have children attending schools, any lockdown or tough restrictions will mean a fresh round of joggling between work routine and new home school tutoring. For now, they have nothing to fear. But then anything can still happen.

References

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