•    
  • Comment
  • Back
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • WhatsApp
    • LinkedIn
  • Settings
Font Size
Comments
Sounds
Sounds
Add a Rock Live Twitter feed to your site
Add a Rock Live Twitter
feed to your site
\t
\n\t\tCOVID-19 CASES IN QUEBEC
\n\t\tInfogram
\n
","contentSnippet":"As Premier Francois Legault gets set to announce new restrictions in Quebec, the province's COVID-19 hospitalization numbers spiked Tuesday, shooting past 900 provincewide. \n\n\tQuebec reported that 69 more people are being treated in hospital since Monday for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number to 959.\n\n\tOf these, 125 people are in the intensive care ward, which is three more than 24 hours ago.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\tComplete coverage at CTVNews.ca/coronavirus\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\tCoronavirus newsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\t\n\t\n\n\n\tThe province added 1,741 new positive COVID-19 cases to its tally Tuesday. The total number of Quebecers who have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic is now 167,276.\n\n\tThe seven-day average for new infections is now 1,791 per day.\n\n\tOf those, 142,894 people have recovered from the disease, 1,549 more than on Monday.\n\n\tThe Quebec Institute of Public Health reported that there are 16,811 active cases in the province.\n\n\tQuebec also reported 39 new deaths. Seven people are reported to have died in the past 24 hours, 30 between Dec. 8 and Dec. 13 and two at an unknown date. \n\n\tThe total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the province is now 7,571.\n\n\tThere were 24,200 tests done Dec. 13 (testing numbers are reported two days later).\n\n\tAnd, in a brand-new statistic, 298 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered yesterday, the first day of Quebec's vaccination campaign.\n\n\tREGIONAL DATA\n\n\tThe highest increase in the number of cases in Quebec were in Montreal with 540 new cases (58,913 total), Monteregie with 285 new cases (23,323 total), Laval with 208 new cases (13,575 total), Quebec City with 155 new cases (14,560 total) and Lanaudiere with 125 new cases (13,054 total).\n\n\tMontreal accounted for the vast majority of the new deaths with the island reporting 17 out of the total 39. That brings Montreal to a total of 3,725 deaths.\n\n\t\n\t\t \n\n!function(e,i,n,s){var t=\"InfogramEmbeds\",d=e.getElementsByTagName(\"script\")[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement(\"script\");o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src=\"https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js\",d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,\"infogram-async\");\t\t\n\t\tCOVID-19 CASES IN QUEBEC\n\t\tInfogram","guid":"1.5231962","isoDate":"2020-12-15T16:29:00.000Z","embed":"

Quebec COVID-19 hospitalizations skyrocket with 69 more people getting treatment

MontrealQuebec reported Tuesday that there are now 959 people in the province's hospitals receiving treatment for COVID-19. There are also 1,741 new cases and 39 new deaths.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281}]}]}},{"Id":1196389623,"Date":"12/15/2020 6:55:48 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:29 PM","Content":"

New coronavirus strain spreading in U.K. has key mutations, scientists say

CoronavirusBritish scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"Testing","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Reuters","title":"New coronavirus strain spreading in U.K. has key mutations, scientists say","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/new-coronavirus-strain-spreading-in-u-k-has-key-mutations-scientists-say-1.5231639","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 08:39:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5230371.1607963497!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Reuters","content":"

\n\tBritish scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.

\n

\n\tThe mutations include changes to the important "spike" protein that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses to infect human cells, a group of scientists tracking the genetics of the virus said, but it is not yet clear whether these are making it more infectious.

\n

\n\t"Efforts are under way to confirm whether or not any of these mutations are contributing to increased transmission," the scientists, from the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, said in a statement

\n
\n\t
\n\t\t\n\t
\n
\n

\n\tThe new variant, which U.K. scientists have named "VUI – 202012/01" includes a genetic mutation in the "spike" protein, which - in theory - could result in COVID-19 spreading more easily between people.

\n

\n\tThe British government on Monday cited a rise in new infections, which it said may be partly linked to the new variant, as it moved its capital city and many other areas into the highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions.

\n

\n\tAs of Dec. 13, 1,108 COVID-19 cases with the new variant had been identified, predominantly in the south and east of England, Public Health England said in a statement.

\n

\n\tBut there is currently no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe COVID-19 infections, the scientists said, or that it would render vaccines less effective.

\n

\n\t"Both questions require further studies performed at pace," the COG-UK scientists said.

\n

\n\tMutations, or genetic changes, arise naturally in all viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, as they replicate and circulate in human populations.

\n

\n\tIn the case of SARS-CoV-2, these mutations are accumulating at a rate of around one to two mutations per month globally, according to the COG-UK genetics specialists.

\n

\n\t"As a result of this on-going process, many thousands of mutations have already arisen in the SARS-CoV-2 genome since the virus emerged in 2019," they said.

\n

\n\tThe majority of the mutations seen so far have had no apparent effect on the virus, and only a minority are likely to change the virus in any significant way - for example, making it more able to infect people, more likely to cause severe illness, or less sensitive to natural or vaccine-induced immune defenses.

\n

\n\tSusan Hopkins, a PHE medical adviser, said it is "not unexpected that the virus should evolve and it's important that we spot any changes quickly to understand the potential risk."

\n

\n\tShe said the new variant "is being detected in a wide geography, especially where there are increased cases being detected."

","contentSnippet":"British scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.\n\n\tThe mutations include changes to the important \"spike\" protein that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses to infect human cells, a group of scientists tracking the genetics of the virus said, but it is not yet clear whether these are making it more infectious.\n\n\t\"Efforts are under way to confirm whether or not any of these mutations are contributing to increased transmission,\" the scientists, from the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, said in a statement. \n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\t\n\t\n\n\n\tThe new variant, which U.K. scientists have named \"VUI – 202012/01\" includes a genetic mutation in the \"spike\" protein, which - in theory - could result in COVID-19 spreading more easily between people.\n\n\tThe British government on Monday cited a rise in new infections, which it said may be partly linked to the new variant, as it moved its capital city and many other areas into the highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions.\n\n\tAs of Dec. 13, 1,108 COVID-19 cases with the new variant had been identified, predominantly in the south and east of England, Public Health England said in a statement.\n\n\tBut there is currently no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe COVID-19 infections, the scientists said, or that it would render vaccines less effective.\n\n\t\"Both questions require further studies performed at pace,\" the COG-UK scientists said.\n\n\tMutations, or genetic changes, arise naturally in all viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, as they replicate and circulate in human populations.\n\n\tIn the case of SARS-CoV-2, these mutations are accumulating at a rate of around one to two mutations per month globally, according to the COG-UK genetics specialists.\n\n\t\"As a result of this on-going process, many thousands of mutations have already arisen in the SARS-CoV-2 genome since the virus emerged in 2019,\" they said.\n\n\tThe majority of the mutations seen so far have had no apparent effect on the virus, and only a minority are likely to change the virus in any significant way - for example, making it more able to infect people, more likely to cause severe illness, or less sensitive to natural or vaccine-induced immune defenses.\n\n\tSusan Hopkins, a PHE medical adviser, said it is \"not unexpected that the virus should evolve and it's important that we spot any changes quickly to understand the potential risk.\"\n\n\tShe said the new variant \"is being detected in a wide geography, especially where there are increased cases being detected.\"","guid":"1.5231639","isoDate":"2020-12-15T13:39:00.000Z","embed":"

New coronavirus strain spreading in U.K. has key mutations, scientists say

CoronavirusBritish scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1.jpg","width":600,"height":338}]}]}},{"Id":1196389999,"Date":"12/15/2020 7:04:21 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 7:04:11 PM","Content":"

Santa and Mrs. Claus mingled with dozens of kids in a Georgia town. Then the couple tested positive for COVID-19

CoronavirusDozens of children spent time with Santa and Mrs. Claus during an annual Christmas tradition in a Georgia town. Now officials in Ludowici, Georgia, must grapple with an unsettling aftermath: the guests of honor tested positive for COVID-19 after the event on December 10.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"CNN","title":"Santa and Mrs. Claus mingled with dozens of kids in a Georgia town. Then the couple tested positive for COVID-19","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/santa-and-mrs-claus-mingled-with-dozens-of-kids-in-a-georgia-town-then-the-couple-tested-positive-for-covid-19-1.5232243","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 13:57:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5103664.1600089284!/httpImage/image.jpeg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpeg"},"dc:creator":"CNN","content":"

\n\tDozens of children spent time with Santa and Mrs. Claus during an annual Christmas tradition in a Georgia town.

\n

\n\tNow officials in Ludowici, Georgia, must grapple with an unsettling aftermath: the guests of honor tested positive for COVID-19 after the event on December 10.

\n

\n\t"It has now been brought to the attention of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as my office, that after the event both 'Santa' and 'Mrs. Claus' were tested for the COVID-19 virus and both received positive test results," Robert Parker, Chairman of Long County Commissioners, said in a news release. "They were not displaying any symptoms at the time of the event."

\n

\n\tAfter participating in the Long County Chamber of Commerce parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus were also at a "well attended" tree lighting and an event where an estimated 50 children took a photo with Santa.

\n\n

\n\tIn the same news release, Parker offered a mixed message, saying that the incident was both a "cause for concern" and that he did "not feel this incident is cause for panic." He said that both of his children were part of the estimated number that had taken their photo with Santa.

\n

\n\t"I have personally known both 'Santa' and 'Mrs. Claus' my entire life and I can assure everyone that they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger," Parker said. "They have both filled these roles for many years, and bringing joy to children during the holidays is one of the most important parts of their lives."

\n

\n\tThe Long City Commissioners have decided not to cancel any other holiday-themed events for the remainder of the season.

\n

\n\tParker says that he speaks for the majority of the commission in saying that they plan to move forward with other holiday traditions in order to bring "some sense of normalcy" to the pandemic.

\n

\n\tCNN has reached out to Parker for comment.

","contentSnippet":"Dozens of children spent time with Santa and Mrs. Claus during an annual Christmas tradition in a Georgia town.\n\n\tNow officials in Ludowici, Georgia, must grapple with an unsettling aftermath: the guests of honor tested positive for COVID-19 after the event on December 10.\n\n\t\"It has now been brought to the attention of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as my office, that after the event both 'Santa' and 'Mrs. Claus' were tested for the COVID-19 virus and both received positive test results,\" Robert Parker, Chairman of Long County Commissioners, said in a news release. \"They were not displaying any symptoms at the time of the event.\"\n\n\tAfter participating in the Long County Chamber of Commerce parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus were also at a \"well attended\" tree lighting and an event where an estimated 50 children took a photo with Santa.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\tIn the same news release, Parker offered a mixed message, saying that the incident was both a \"cause for concern\" and that he did \"not feel this incident is cause for panic.\" He said that both of his children were part of the estimated number that had taken their photo with Santa.\n\n\t\"I have personally known both 'Santa' and 'Mrs. Claus' my entire life and I can assure everyone that they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger,\" Parker said. \"They have both filled these roles for many years, and bringing joy to children during the holidays is one of the most important parts of their lives.\"\n\n\tThe Long City Commissioners have decided not to cancel any other holiday-themed events for the remainder of the season.\n\n\tParker says that he speaks for the majority of the commission in saying that they plan to move forward with other holiday traditions in order to bring \"some sense of normalcy\" to the pandemic.\n\n\tCNN has reached out to Parker for comment.","guid":"1.5232243","isoDate":"2020-12-15T18:57:00Z","embed":"

Santa and Mrs. Claus mingled with dozens of kids in a Georgia town. Then the couple tested positive for COVID-19

CoronavirusDozens of children spent time with Santa and Mrs. Claus during an annual Christmas tradition in a Georgia town. Now officials in Ludowici, Georgia, must grapple with an unsettling aftermath: the guests of honor tested positive for COVID-19 after the event on December 10.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738.jpeg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_500.jpeg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_400.jpeg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_800.jpeg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738.jpeg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_300.jpeg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_1000.jpeg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196393184,"Date":"12/15/2020 8:27:20 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 8:27:12 PM","Content":"

Black, minority women in Canada left behind in COVID-19 job recovery

CTVNewsNine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, women of colour in Canada still face far higher unemployment than white women, official data shows, in part because they tend to work jobs in hard-hit sectors and often care for children or relatives.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Reuters","title":"Black, minority women in Canada left behind in COVID-19 job recovery","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/black-minority-women-in-canada-left-behind-in-covid-19-job-recovery-1.5232390","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 15:21:31 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.4954523.1590460411!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Reuters","content":"

\n\tNine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, women of colour in Canada still face far higher unemployment than white women, official data shows, in part because they tend to work jobs in hard-hit sectors and often care for children or relatives.

\n

\n\tThe unemployment rate for minority women was 10.5% in November, compared with 6.2% for white women, according to Statistics Canada data provided to Reuters. Women of colour also had a slightly higher unemployment rate than their male counterparts, who had a jobless rate of 10.0%.

\n

\n\tCanada has recouped more than 80% of the jobs lost at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, but many minority women have not returned to work.

\n

\n\t"What we're seeing ... is the unequal impact of this pandemic on diverse groups of Canadians," said Lynn Barr-Telford, an assistant chief statistician at Statcan, in an interview before the latest data was released.

\n

\n\t"These inequities pre-date COVID... but they've been further exasperated by COVID," Barr-Telford said.

\n\n

\n\tStatcan added a question on race to its monthly job survey in July. The first survey found South Asian women had among the highest unemployment rates in Canada at 20.4% and Black women at 18.6%.

\n

\n\tFour months later, the unemployment rate for Black women remains one of the highest at 13.4%.

\n

\n\tChinese Canadian women, meanwhile, are the furthest from their pre-pandemic employment levels with a jobless rate of 10.2% in November.

\n

\n\tIndigenous women in Canada also face disproportionate negative impacts on employment from the pandemic, with the unemployment rate for Indigenous women averaging 16.8% from June to August, Statcan said in a separate report released in November.

\n

\n\t"We have diversity within diversity, of course. So not all groups are experiencing the labour market shutdown the same," said Barr-Telford.

\n

\n\tSYSTEMATIC DISADVANTAGES

\n

\n\tWhite women have fared better as "they tend to be in better paid jobs that are less precarious and they have more resources at their disposal," said Wendy Cukier, founder of the Diversity Institute at the Ted Rogers School of Management.

\n

\n\tWomen of colour, meanwhile, face systematic disadvantages from fewer opportunities for career advancement to less access to basic services like high-speed internet and flexible daycare.

\n

\n\tChild care is one of the issues that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has promised to tackle as part of a major stimulus package pledged to come in next spring's budget.

\n

\n\tBut with women in racial minorities bearing the brunt of the pandemic slump, more needs to be done to ensure that stimulus is tailored to their needs, with a focus on career and entrepreneurial supports, say advocates. "We have an opportunity to really rethink what we value," said Cukier.

","contentSnippet":"Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, women of colour in Canada still face far higher unemployment than white women, official data shows, in part because they tend to work jobs in hard-hit sectors and often care for children or relatives.\n\n\tThe unemployment rate for minority women was 10.5% in November, compared with 6.2% for white women, according to Statistics Canada data provided to Reuters. Women of colour also had a slightly higher unemployment rate than their male counterparts, who had a jobless rate of 10.0%.\n\n\tCanada has recouped more than 80% of the jobs lost at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, but many minority women have not returned to work.\n\n\t\"What we're seeing ... is the unequal impact of this pandemic on diverse groups of Canadians,\" said Lynn Barr-Telford, an assistant chief statistician at Statcan, in an interview before the latest data was released.\n\n\t\"These inequities pre-date COVID... but they've been further exasperated by COVID,\" Barr-Telford said.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\tStatcan added a question on race to its monthly job survey in July. The first survey found South Asian women had among the highest unemployment rates in Canada at 20.4% and Black women at 18.6%.\n\n\tFour months later, the unemployment rate for Black women remains one of the highest at 13.4%.\n\n\tChinese Canadian women, meanwhile, are the furthest from their pre-pandemic employment levels with a jobless rate of 10.2% in November.\n\n\tIndigenous women in Canada also face disproportionate negative impacts on employment from the pandemic, with the unemployment rate for Indigenous women averaging 16.8% from June to August, Statcan said in a separate report released in November.\n\n\t\"We have diversity within diversity, of course. So not all groups are experiencing the labour market shutdown the same,\" said Barr-Telford.\n\n\tSYSTEMATIC DISADVANTAGES\n\n\tWhite women have fared better as \"they tend to be in better paid jobs that are less precarious and they have more resources at their disposal,\" said Wendy Cukier, founder of the Diversity Institute at the Ted Rogers School of Management.\n\n\tWomen of colour, meanwhile, face systematic disadvantages from fewer opportunities for career advancement to less access to basic services like high-speed internet and flexible daycare.\n\n\tChild care is one of the issues that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has promised to tackle as part of a major stimulus package pledged to come in next spring's budget.\n\n\tBut with women in racial minorities bearing the brunt of the pandemic slump, more needs to be done to ensure that stimulus is tailored to their needs, with a focus on career and entrepreneurial supports, say advocates. \"We have an opportunity to really rethink what we value,\" said Cukier.","guid":"1.5232390","isoDate":"2020-12-15T20:21:31Z","embed":"

Black, minority women in Canada left behind in COVID-19 job recovery

CTVNewsNine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, women of colour in Canada still face far higher unemployment than white women, official data shows, in part because they tend to work jobs in hard-hit sectors and often care for children or relatives.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196393185,"Date":"12/15/2020 8:27:20 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 8:27:20 PM","Content":"","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":13 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":""},{"Id":1196411592,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:41:56 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:41:56 PM","Content":"
opa
teste
","CreatorId":92784497,"CreatorName":"Caique Santana","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2021/2/25/397dbec3-f37c-417b-bca5-de32dae7cd7d.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"CreationDate":1608126117}, "BucketKey":"1:4d43568f-3c68-47a2-a349-5fd967bdee90"},{"Id":1196411668,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:25 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:11 PM","Content":"

Inside one of Canada's new COVID-19 vaccination clinics

CoronavirusThe arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine brings hope to Canada, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine, a challenge that new vaccination clinics are tackling.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Avis Favaro","title":"Inside one of Canada's new COVID-19 vaccination clinics","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/inside-one-of-canada-s-new-covid-19-vaccination-clinics-1.5233051","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 22:00:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233056.1608087371!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Avis Favaro","content":"

\n\tAt Toronto’s University Health Network, there is now a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, where nearly 300 health-care workers were booked on Tuesday to get their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

\n

\n\tThe clinic services five hospitals and long-term care facilities, including the one that personal support worker Charlie Speechley works at.

\n

\n\t“It’s just been a long haul,” Speechley told CTV News. He said that the vaccine rollout was “exciting,” representing “the beginning of the end.”

\n

\n\t“The end is now in sight,” he said.

\n

\n\tThis week, the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Canada, ready to be doled out to health-care workers and others deemed high-priority.

\n

\n\tThe arrival of the vaccine brings hope, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine.

\n\n\n

\n\tThe vaccination clinic is like a flu clinic on steroids, with extra steps to register and administer the inoculation -- uncharted territory, according to the clinic organizer.

\n

\n\tThere are numerous challenges and questions, Leanna Graham told CTV News.

\n

\n\t“How do they register, how do they screen, how do we upload the information,” Graham said. “The logistics around hiring staff for these clinics -- all the infection control considerations.”

\n

\n\tGraham is the director of Professional Practice & Policy at UHN, and she said this is “the first time we've ever done anything like this.”

\n

\n\t“It's been a tremendous amount of work,” she said, adding that they only put together a team to plan out how the vaccination clinic would function around a week ago.

\n

\n\tDown the hall, the vaccines are prepared. The frozen vials are thawed out for half an hour, diluted with saline, and drawn up in a syringe.

\n

\n\tDoses are registered with an expiration time, since they must be used within six hours of thawing. After that point, they’re no longer effective.

\n

\n\tJin Hyeun Huh, senior director of pharmacy at UHN, told CTV News that it’s a “daunting task.”

\n

\n\t“This is not just this week, it will go on for pretty much the whole year of 2021,” he said.

\n

\n\tThe vaccine rollout has taken a huge amount of co-ordination, he pointed out, “not only within the hospital, but through the Ministry of Public Health Agencies, so the collaboration has been wonderful.

\n

\n\t“Without that, I don't think we would have made it.”

\n

\n\tThe clinic will be vaccinating a few hundred people each day, a number determined by how fast new batches of doses can be prepared and how many people can safely attend the clinic in a day.

\n

\n\tSurveys show one third of Canadians are nervous about getting a shot, but that's not the case here.

\n

\n\t“I'm happy to get it, to be one of the first to get it,” Speechley said. The staff at his long-term care facility were asked if they were willing to take the plunge as some of the first recipients of the vaccine, and he “jumped on that.”

\n

\n\tAt his workplace, staff managed to keep residents safe from the virus, but several workers tested positive. At the beginning of the pandemic, the sense of urgency helped him stay functioning through “many shifts in a row,” but it’s been “tough,” he said.

\n

\n\t“You can see it, […] the fatigue is there.”

\n

\n\tPrashanthi Pidikiti, a physiotherapist at a long-term care facility, was also excited to get the vaccine. She’s doing this in part for herself, but mostly for others.

\n

\n\t“If I can get some protection [for] myself and for the rest of the staff, for my colleagues, and also for the residents, then it would be great,” she said. “So that's why I'm here.”

\n

\n\tWhile some personal support workers are receiving the vaccine, others are also signing up to help deliver it. Robinah Kusiima, who works in long-term care, told CTV News she is now helping to administer the vaccine, because she feels it is critical work.

\n

\n\t“I saw people dying in various nursing homes,” she said. “So I decided since the vaccine has come, let me be a part of it.”

\n

\n\tAfter the jab, recipients are asked to wait for 15 minutes. As they leave, they get sheets confirming their vaccination and showing them where to call if they experience side-effects like severe fever.

\n

\n\tThe most important thing they receive before they leave the clinic? A date for dose number two.

\n

\n\t“We have created a scheduling system that automatically generates a second appointment,” Graham said. “It's 21 days after their first appointment.”

\n

\n\tAfter someone receives their first dose, their second dose is kept in the freezer for safekeeping, rather than using up all of the supply at once and relying on further shipments for the second doses.

\n

\n\t“We were given 3,000 doses, and we took a half of those, 1,500, and we'll administer it over the next number of days and then the second 1,500 are saved in […] one of our deep freezer locations, and that will be administered again to the same recipients in three weeks,” Graham explained.

\n

\n\t“So we have absolutely guaranteed that we have that second dose available for them.”

\n

\n\tIt’s a process that will be repeated many millions of times across the country as Canadians receive the vaccine that may help to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.  

","contentSnippet":"At Toronto’s University Health Network, there is now a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, where nearly 300 health-care workers were booked on Tuesday to get their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.\n\n\tThe clinic services five hospitals and long-term care facilities, including the one that personal support worker Charlie Speechley works at.\n\n\t“It’s just been a long haul,” Speechley told CTV News. He said that the vaccine rollout was “exciting,” representing “the beginning of the end.”\n\n\t“The end is now in sight,” he said.\n\n\tThis week, the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Canada, ready to be doled out to health-care workers and others deemed high-priority.\n\n\tThe arrival of the vaccine brings hope, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\t\n\t\tDay 2: Canada's mass COVID-19 vaccination rollout expands \n\n\n\tThe vaccination clinic is like a flu clinic on steroids, with extra steps to register and administer the inoculation -- uncharted territory, according to the clinic organizer.\n\n\tThere are numerous challenges and questions, Leanna Graham told CTV News.\n\n\t“How do they register, how do they screen, how do we upload the information,” Graham said. “The logistics around hiring staff for these clinics -- all the infection control considerations.”\n\n\tGraham is the director of Professional Practice & Policy at UHN, and she said this is “the first time we've ever done anything like this.”\n\n\t“It's been a tremendous amount of work,” she said, adding that they only put together a team to plan out how the vaccination clinic would function around a week ago.\n\n\tDown the hall, the vaccines are prepared. The frozen vials are thawed out for half an hour, diluted with saline, and drawn up in a syringe.\n\n\tDoses are registered with an expiration time, since they must be used within six hours of thawing. After that point, they’re no longer effective.\n\n\tJin Hyeun Huh, senior director of pharmacy at UHN, told CTV News that it’s a “daunting task.”\n\n\t“This is not just this week, it will go on for pretty much the whole year of 2021,” he said.\n\n\tThe vaccine rollout has taken a huge amount of co-ordination, he pointed out, “not only within the hospital, but through the Ministry of Public Health Agencies, so the collaboration has been wonderful.\n\n\t“Without that, I don't think we would have made it.”\n\n\tThe clinic will be vaccinating a few hundred people each day, a number determined by how fast new batches of doses can be prepared and how many people can safely attend the clinic in a day.\n\n\tSurveys show one third of Canadians are nervous about getting a shot, but that's not the case here.\n\n\t“I'm happy to get it, to be one of the first to get it,” Speechley said. The staff at his long-term care facility were asked if they were willing to take the plunge as some of the first recipients of the vaccine, and he “jumped on that.”\n\n\tAt his workplace, staff managed to keep residents safe from the virus, but several workers tested positive. At the beginning of the pandemic, the sense of urgency helped him stay functioning through “many shifts in a row,” but it’s been “tough,” he said.\n\n\t“You can see it, […] the fatigue is there.”\n\n\tPrashanthi Pidikiti, a physiotherapist at a long-term care facility, was also excited to get the vaccine. She’s doing this in part for herself, but mostly for others.\n\n\t“If I can get some protection [for] myself and for the rest of the staff, for my colleagues, and also for the residents, then it would be great,” she said. “So that's why I'm here.”\n\n\tWhile some personal support workers are receiving the vaccine, others are also signing up to help deliver it. Robinah Kusiima, who works in long-term care, told CTV News she is now helping to administer the vaccine, because she feels it is critical work.\n\n\t“I saw people dying in various nursing homes,” she said. “So I decided since the vaccine has come, let me be a part of it.”\n\n\tAfter the jab, recipients are asked to wait for 15 minutes. As they leave, they get sheets confirming their vaccination and showing them where to call if they experience side-effects like severe fever.\n\n\tThe most important thing they receive before they leave the clinic? A date for dose number two.\n\n\t“We have created a scheduling system that automatically generates a second appointment,” Graham said. “It's 21 days after their first appointment.”\n\n\tAfter someone receives their first dose, their second dose is kept in the freezer for safekeeping, rather than using up all of the supply at once and relying on further shipments for the second doses.\n\n\t“We were given 3,000 doses, and we took a half of those, 1,500, and we'll administer it over the next number of days and then the second 1,500 are saved in […] one of our deep freezer locations, and that will be administered again to the same recipients in three weeks,” Graham explained.\n\n\t“So we have absolutely guaranteed that we have that second dose available for them.”\n\n\tIt’s a process that will be repeated many millions of times across the country as Canadians receive the vaccine that may help to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.  ","guid":"1.5233051","isoDate":"2020-12-16T03:00:00Z","embed":"

Inside one of Canada's new COVID-19 vaccination clinics

CoronavirusThe arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine brings hope to Canada, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine, a challenge that new vaccination clinics are tackling.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411676,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:28 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:13 PM","Content":"

'Build it and they will come': Canada's public transit looks to rebound from COVID-19

CTVNewsThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Canadian Press","title":"'Build it and they will come': Canada's public transit looks to rebound from COVID-19","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/build-it-and-they-will-come-canada-s-public-transit-looks-to-rebound-from-covid-19-1.5233204","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 04:19:19 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.4961506.1590804068!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Canadian Press","content":"

\n\tThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.

\n

\n\tNot long after the global health crisis reached Canada, rates of public transit use across the country dropped by about 85 per cent, according to prof. Matti Siemiatycki of University of Toronto's geography and planning department.

\n

\n\tThe transportation policy expert said there were fears transit agencies in Canada would have to make drastic service cuts. "Public transit networks have been among the most impacted sectors in the economy from the pandemic," he said in a recent interview.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tInstead, provincial and federal funding rescued the country's transit systems from the verge of collapse, he said. In the United States, however, public transit systems are facing the "dreaded transit death spiral," Siemiatycki said, where cuts lead to further declines in ridership, which lead to further cuts and declines.

\n

\n\tWashington, D.C., and Boston have announced major service cuts. In New York City, the local transit authority said in mid-November it may be forced to cut bus and subway service by 40 per cent and lay off more than 9,000 workers.

\n

\n\tIn contrast, Toronto and Montreal are expanding their transit systems. Luc Tremblay, CEO of the Montreal Transit Corp. said in a recent interview Montreal chose to maintain service levels in 2020 at 2019 levels -- despite the fact ridership is about 65 per cent of what it was before COVID-19 hit.

\n

\n\tMontreal, Tremblay said, made that choice so service is available when riders decide to return. "It's the key," he explained. "Build it and they will come."

\n

\n\tOn Dec. 15, as Quebec imposed more COVID-19-related restrictions to stop a surge in infections across the province, the government announced a major expansion to the city's light rail system. Twenty-three new stations will be added to the commuter rail network, with construction set to begin in 2023.

\n

\n\tIn the country's largest city, the Toronto Transit Commission said service during the week of Dec. 4 was at 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. The transit agency said it will maintain the same level of service in 2021. The Ontario government is also moving forward with a $28-billion plan to expand transit in the Toronto area.

\n

\n\tIn British Columbia, transit agencies will receive more than $1 billion in federal and provincial funding to maintain service levels. Federal money also helped Winnipeg's public transit agency fill a gap in its budget after ridership -- and fare revenue -- declined.

\n

\n\tMarco D'Angelo, president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, a trade association that represents the country's public transit agencies, said service across the country is currently about 87 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

\n

\n\t"Systems are not planning to reduce service, but that will likely change unless governments extend financial support," he said in an email.

\n

\n\tSiemiatycki said that while ridership is down, the health crisis has shown the importance of public transit. "Even through the pandemic, transit played a critical role in our economies," he said. "Transit was a lifeline service for people to reach their front-line place of employment."

\n

\n\tDaniel Bergeron with Montreal's public transit authority said he expects the pandemic-induced decline in ridership to have an almost $1-billon impact on the agency's budget between 2020 and 2022. He said government subsidies will help cover most of the shortfall, but added that expenses will need to be cut and improvements put off in order to continue to offer service at 2019 levels.

\n

\n\tWhen the pandemic is over, people will move around differently, he said, adding that he expects service to increase outside traditional peak periods. People working from home will be more likely to take trips during the day instead of at rush hour, he said.

\n

\n\t"In the short term, there's uncertainty," he said. "But in 10, 20 years, it will be a new normal but still normal. We may have a bit more working from home, but it's not open to everybody."

\n

\n\tPeople will still have to go to work in shops, restaurants and manufacturing facilities, and he thinks people will still want to go out to restaurants and go shopping downtown.

\n

\n\t"Good quality of life is not living near a highway," Bergeron said. "Nice neighbourhoods usually come with good public transport services."

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.

\n

\n\tThis story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

","contentSnippet":"The COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.\n\n\tNot long after the global health crisis reached Canada, rates of public transit use across the country dropped by about 85 per cent, according to prof. Matti Siemiatycki of University of Toronto's geography and planning department.\n\n\tThe transportation policy expert said there were fears transit agencies in Canada would have to make drastic service cuts. \"Public transit networks have been among the most impacted sectors in the economy from the pandemic,\" he said in a recent interview.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tInstead, provincial and federal funding rescued the country's transit systems from the verge of collapse, he said. In the United States, however, public transit systems are facing the \"dreaded transit death spiral,\" Siemiatycki said, where cuts lead to further declines in ridership, which lead to further cuts and declines.\n\n\tWashington, D.C., and Boston have announced major service cuts. In New York City, the local transit authority said in mid-November it may be forced to cut bus and subway service by 40 per cent and lay off more than 9,000 workers.\n\n\tIn contrast, Toronto and Montreal are expanding their transit systems. Luc Tremblay, CEO of the Montreal Transit Corp. said in a recent interview Montreal chose to maintain service levels in 2020 at 2019 levels -- despite the fact ridership is about 65 per cent of what it was before COVID-19 hit.\n\n\tMontreal, Tremblay said, made that choice so service is available when riders decide to return. \"It's the key,\" he explained. \"Build it and they will come.\"\n\n\tOn Dec. 15, as Quebec imposed more COVID-19-related restrictions to stop a surge in infections across the province, the government announced a major expansion to the city's light rail system. Twenty-three new stations will be added to the commuter rail network, with construction set to begin in 2023.\n\n\tIn the country's largest city, the Toronto Transit Commission said service during the week of Dec. 4 was at 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. The transit agency said it will maintain the same level of service in 2021. The Ontario government is also moving forward with a $28-billion plan to expand transit in the Toronto area.\n\n\tIn British Columbia, transit agencies will receive more than $1 billion in federal and provincial funding to maintain service levels. Federal money also helped Winnipeg's public transit agency fill a gap in its budget after ridership -- and fare revenue -- declined.\n\n\tMarco D'Angelo, president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, a trade association that represents the country's public transit agencies, said service across the country is currently about 87 per cent of pre-COVID levels.\n\n\t\"Systems are not planning to reduce service, but that will likely change unless governments extend financial support,\" he said in an email.\n\n\tSiemiatycki said that while ridership is down, the health crisis has shown the importance of public transit. \"Even through the pandemic, transit played a critical role in our economies,\" he said. \"Transit was a lifeline service for people to reach their front-line place of employment.\"\n\n\tDaniel Bergeron with Montreal's public transit authority said he expects the pandemic-induced decline in ridership to have an almost $1-billon impact on the agency's budget between 2020 and 2022. He said government subsidies will help cover most of the shortfall, but added that expenses will need to be cut and improvements put off in order to continue to offer service at 2019 levels.\n\n\tWhen the pandemic is over, people will move around differently, he said, adding that he expects service to increase outside traditional peak periods. People working from home will be more likely to take trips during the day instead of at rush hour, he said.\n\n\t\"In the short term, there's uncertainty,\" he said. \"But in 10, 20 years, it will be a new normal but still normal. We may have a bit more working from home, but it's not open to everybody.\"\n\n\tPeople will still have to go to work in shops, restaurants and manufacturing facilities, and he thinks people will still want to go out to restaurants and go shopping downtown.\n\n\t\"Good quality of life is not living near a highway,\" Bergeron said. \"Nice neighbourhoods usually come with good public transport services.\"\n\n\t------\n\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.\n\n\tThis story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.","guid":"1.5233204","isoDate":"2020-12-16T09:19:19Z","embed":"

'Build it and they will come': Canada's public transit looks to rebound from COVID-19

CTVNewsThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411677,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:28 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:14 PM","Content":"

Jacinda Ardern: Flattening curve wasn't enough for New Zealand

CTVNewsThe goal of flattening the curve in New Zealand was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press, saying the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"Jacinda Ardern: Flattening curve wasn't enough for New Zealand","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/jacinda-ardern-flattening-curve-wasn-t-enough-for-new-zealand-1.5233152","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:05:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233166.1608094749!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tNew Zealand this year pulled off a moonshot that remains the envy of most other nations: It eliminated the coronavirus.

\n

\n\tBut the goal was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. She said the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.

\n

\n\tAnd there have been plenty of bumps along the way. When a handful of unexplained cases began cropping up in August, Ardern found herself defending wildly exaggerated claims from U.S. President Donald Trump, who told crowds at rallies there was a massive resurgence and "It's over for New Zealand. Everything's gone."

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\t"Was angry the word?" Ardern said, reflecting on Trump's comments. She said while the new cases were deeply concerning, "to be described in that way was a misrepresentation of New Zealand's position."

\n

\n\tThe White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

\n

\n\tNew Zealand's response to the virus has been among the most successful, together with actions taken by China, Taiwan and Thailand early on in the pandemic. The country of 5 million has counted just 25 deaths and managed to stamp out the spread of COVID-19, allowing people to return to workplaces, schools and packed sports stadiums without restrictions.

\n

\n\tWhen the virus began hitting Europe early in the year, Ardern said, the only two options countries were considering were herd immunity or flattening the curve. She opted for the latter.

\n

\n\t"Originally, that's where we started, because there just simply wasn't really much of a view that elimination was possible," she said.

\n

\n\tBut her thinking quickly changed.

\n

\n\t"I remember my chief science adviser bringing me a graph that showed me what flattening the curve would look like for New Zealand. And where our hospital and health capacity was. And the curve wasn't sitting under that line. So we knew that flattening the curve wasn't sufficient for us."

\n

\n\tArdern said she didn't worry that elimination might prove impossible, because even if New Zealand didn't get there, the approach still would have saved lives.

\n

\n\t"The alternative is to set a lesser goal, and then still misfire," she said.

\n

\n\tBorder closures and a strict lockdown in March got rid of the disease, and New Zealand went 102 days without any community spread. But then came the August outbreak in Auckland, which remains unexplained but likely originated abroad.

\n

\n\t"We thought we were through the worst of it. And so it was a real psychological blow for people. And I felt that, too. So it was very, very tough," Ardern said.

\n

\n\tShe said they'd modeled different outbreak scenarios but the one that eventuated "was about the worst that you could even possibly imagine."

\n

\n\tThat's because the outbreak had spread across multiple groups in densely populated areas, she said, and some who caught it had been attending large church gatherings. But after a second lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand again stamped out the disease.

\n

\n\tArdern said she felt confident about her responses despite sometimes feeling a touch of imposter syndrome in her role as leader.

\n

\n\t"You just have to get on with it. There's a job to be done," she said. "Any self-doubt I ever have, just as a human being, doesn't mean that always translates into doubt around what needs to be done."

\n

\n\tTwo months after the second outbreak, Ardern faced an election campaign. She won a second term in an landslide, with her liberal Labour Party winning a majority of all votes, something that last happened in New Zealand's multiparty system in 1951.

\n

\n\tAfter watching President-elect Joe Biden win the U.S. election soon after, Ardern said she's hopeful of improving the relationship between the two nations.

\n

\n\tShe said her job is to build good relationships with every leader.

\n

\n\t"But there's no question that when some of your ideas and values are similar, that's an easier job to do," she said. "And so that's the basis, I think, on which we'll be building the relationship with the new president."

\n

\n\tArdern said she's not afraid of sometimes taking a stance against a more aggressive China despite New Zealand's reliance on Beijing as its largest trading partner.

\n

\n\t"My personal view is that we're at a point where we can raise issues," Ardern said. "We're fairly predictable in the fact that we do. And I think that's an important part of our independent foreign policy."

\n

\n\tFor the world to begin to return to normal, Ardern said, there needs to be comprehensive work around ensuring that everybody can get vaccinated against COVID-19 and putting in place a vaccine certification process that would allow people to travel.

\n

\n\tShe does worry the economic impact of the virus is increasing wealth disparity, and that New Zealanders have defied earlier predictions by sending house prices to new all-time highs.

\n

\n\tShe said there is a psychology behind New Zealand's financial obsession with housing that needs to be examined, otherwise "we won't figure out how to move people back into other parts of the economy."

\n

\n\tArdern said she plans to take some time off over the Southern Hemisphere summer to spend with her fiance, Clarke Gayford, and their 2-year-old daughter, Neve.

\n

\n\t"I'm doing nothing," she said with a laugh. "I will be by the sea, though. It'll be great."

","contentSnippet":"New Zealand this year pulled off a moonshot that remains the envy of most other nations: It eliminated the coronavirus.\n\n\tBut the goal was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. She said the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.\n\n\tAnd there have been plenty of bumps along the way. When a handful of unexplained cases began cropping up in August, Ardern found herself defending wildly exaggerated claims from U.S. President Donald Trump, who told crowds at rallies there was a massive resurgence and \"It's over for New Zealand. Everything's gone.\"\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\t\"Was angry the word?\" Ardern said, reflecting on Trump's comments. She said while the new cases were deeply concerning, \"to be described in that way was a misrepresentation of New Zealand's position.\"\n\n\tThe White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.\n\n\tNew Zealand's response to the virus has been among the most successful, together with actions taken by China, Taiwan and Thailand early on in the pandemic. The country of 5 million has counted just 25 deaths and managed to stamp out the spread of COVID-19, allowing people to return to workplaces, schools and packed sports stadiums without restrictions.\n\n\tWhen the virus began hitting Europe early in the year, Ardern said, the only two options countries were considering were herd immunity or flattening the curve. She opted for the latter.\n\n\t\"Originally, that's where we started, because there just simply wasn't really much of a view that elimination was possible,\" she said.\n\n\tBut her thinking quickly changed.\n\n\t\"I remember my chief science adviser bringing me a graph that showed me what flattening the curve would look like for New Zealand. And where our hospital and health capacity was. And the curve wasn't sitting under that line. So we knew that flattening the curve wasn't sufficient for us.\"\n\n\tArdern said she didn't worry that elimination might prove impossible, because even if New Zealand didn't get there, the approach still would have saved lives.\n\n\t\"The alternative is to set a lesser goal, and then still misfire,\" she said.\n\n\tBorder closures and a strict lockdown in March got rid of the disease, and New Zealand went 102 days without any community spread. But then came the August outbreak in Auckland, which remains unexplained but likely originated abroad.\n\n\t\"We thought we were through the worst of it. And so it was a real psychological blow for people. And I felt that, too. So it was very, very tough,\" Ardern said.\n\n\tShe said they'd modeled different outbreak scenarios but the one that eventuated \"was about the worst that you could even possibly imagine.\"\n\n\tThat's because the outbreak had spread across multiple groups in densely populated areas, she said, and some who caught it had been attending large church gatherings. But after a second lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand again stamped out the disease.\n\n\tArdern said she felt confident about her responses despite sometimes feeling a touch of imposter syndrome in her role as leader.\n\n\t\"You just have to get on with it. There's a job to be done,\" she said. \"Any self-doubt I ever have, just as a human being, doesn't mean that always translates into doubt around what needs to be done.\"\n\n\tTwo months after the second outbreak, Ardern faced an election campaign. She won a second term in an landslide, with her liberal Labour Party winning a majority of all votes, something that last happened in New Zealand's multiparty system in 1951.\n\n\tAfter watching President-elect Joe Biden win the U.S. election soon after, Ardern said she's hopeful of improving the relationship between the two nations.\n\n\tShe said her job is to build good relationships with every leader.\n\n\t\"But there's no question that when some of your ideas and values are similar, that's an easier job to do,\" she said. \"And so that's the basis, I think, on which we'll be building the relationship with the new president.\"\n\n\tArdern said she's not afraid of sometimes taking a stance against a more aggressive China despite New Zealand's reliance on Beijing as its largest trading partner.\n\n\t\"My personal view is that we're at a point where we can raise issues,\" Ardern said. \"We're fairly predictable in the fact that we do. And I think that's an important part of our independent foreign policy.\"\n\n\tFor the world to begin to return to normal, Ardern said, there needs to be comprehensive work around ensuring that everybody can get vaccinated against COVID-19 and putting in place a vaccine certification process that would allow people to travel.\n\n\tShe does worry the economic impact of the virus is increasing wealth disparity, and that New Zealanders have defied earlier predictions by sending house prices to new all-time highs.\n\n\tShe said there is a psychology behind New Zealand's financial obsession with housing that needs to be examined, otherwise \"we won't figure out how to move people back into other parts of the economy.\"\n\n\tArdern said she plans to take some time off over the Southern Hemisphere summer to spend with her fiance, Clarke Gayford, and their 2-year-old daughter, Neve.\n\n\t\"I'm doing nothing,\" she said with a laugh. \"I will be by the sea, though. It'll be great.\"","guid":"1.5233152","isoDate":"2020-12-16T05:05:00Z","embed":"

Jacinda Ardern: Flattening curve wasn't enough for New Zealand

CTVNewsThe goal of flattening the curve in New Zealand was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press, saying the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411681,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:28 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:15 PM","Content":"

Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House

America VotesAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/america-votes/biden-s-challenge-creating-a-covid-19-free-white-house-1.5233182","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:58:36 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5113325.1600699157!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tThree blocks from the White House, office space for more than 500 Biden transition staffers sits mostly idle. The government is shipping out laptops so staffers can work from home. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, surrounded by just a handful of aides in Delaware, is using Zoom to oversee his plans to assume power.

\n

\n\tBut Biden soon will be entering a no-Zoom zone at the White House -- just one sign of the challenges his new administration will face when it moves to Washington in the midst of a pandemic.

\n

\n\tAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tWhite House computers don't allow the popular video conference software Zoom or rival systems like Google Meet and Slack. Government-issue cellphones only gained texting capabilities a few years ago. And many employees will need to be present at the White House to access classified information.

\n

\n\tBiden's team has limited experience with staffing a physical office during the pandemic. His campaign went all-virtual in mid-March, clearing out its Philadelphia headquarters and sending staff back to their families in Washington, New York and beyond. His transition team plotted out his path to power entirely online.

\n

\n\tThe closest Biden's team has come to experimenting with in-person work was election night, when a small selection of masked and socially distanced aides in Wilmington, Delaware, monitored returns in hotel conference rooms, a far cry from running a White House 24/7.

\n

\n\tEven now, the most prominent use of the 100,000-plus square feet (9,290 square meters) of office space reserved for the transition is for Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris to receive the highly classified President's Daily Brief.

\n

\n\tTelework is possible for some White House staff, and improvements in both secure and unclassified videoconferencing have been made over the last two decades. But the lack of in-person co-ordination could pose an additional challenge to the new government facing a multitude of crises.

\n

\n\tFurther complicating matters, the Biden team must devise health and safety protocols from scratch. The Trump administration was, at best, a cautionary tale in how not to run a workplace during a pandemic.

\n

\n\tDespite relying on an aggressive testing regimen that is not available in other workplaces, the West Wing under President Donald Trump has been the locus of at least two significant outbreaks of COVID-19 since Trump himself came down with the virus five weeks before Election Day.

\n

\n\tIn addition to the first family, the dozens in Trump world who have tested positive include the White House chief of staff, the vice-president's chief of staff, the White House press secretary and the president's campaign manager. Still more aides have had to isolate after potential exposure. The full scale of the infections is not publicly known.

\n

\n\tThe problems stemmed in large part from the Trump White House flouting its own guidelines for COVID-19 safety, including holding large events, allowing frequent travel and above all not requiring face masks. The Biden team believes that some of the greatest risk can be mitigated simply by adhering to scientific advice: holding safer events, requiring face coverings and continuing regular testing.

\n

\n\tWhite House veterans say the task of making the West Wing a safe workspace is attainable but will require intense discipline, among both White House staff and the hundreds of government employees from other federal agencies who support it.

\n

\n\tDetailed planning is still underway, but some early considerations are to curtail the number of staffers who have unfettered access to the West Wing, encourage remote work where possible and even have staffers use secure teleconferencing between individual offices to minimize use of shared spaces.

\n

\n\tBiden's team may get a blueprint of sorts for its use of COVID-19 vaccines from the Trump White House, which is beginning to roll out inoculations for some critical government staffers, including military aides to the president, Secret Service agents and Situation Room watch officers.

\n

\n\tBiden himself appears likely to receive at least a first dose of the vaccine before taking office, relying on the advice of the nation's top U.S. infectious-disease expert. Dr. Anthony Fauci called for Biden and Harris to swiftly receive the vaccine.

\n

\n\t"For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can," Fauci said on ABC News on Tuesday. "You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January."

\n

\n\tMoving the Bidens into the White House -- a stressful process even in normal times -- will be more complicated this year.

\n

\n\tThere will be a top-to-bottom cleaning of the West Wing in the hours after Trump vacates the premises and before Biden's team moves in. Public health experts say it's crucial that extra steps be taken to mitigate the spread of the disease during that changeover.

\n

\n\tOne former official said the White House ventilation system, hardened against chemical and biological threats, poses less of a concern than in typical buildings, but the Biden team is not taking any risks.

\n

\n\t"The two things to think about are cleaning off all surfaces, especially high-touch places like door knobs ... and transmission via aerosols and the possibility of aerosols lingering in the air between the two transitions if someone there is currently sick," said Dr. Abraar Karan, a global health specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "Having full air exchange, filtration and open ventilation will be important between the cleaning and the moving in of the new presidential family."

\n

\n\tTypically, the entire move is completed in about five or six hours, said Kate Andersen Brower, author of "The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House." For security reasons, moving day is carried out by White House household staff -- an undertaking that enlists everyone from building engineers to kitchen staff.

\n

\n\t"In the past, there's literally one moving truck in the South Lawn entrance and one in the north entrance," she said. "It's very much an all-hands-on-deck situation."

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tMadhani reported from Wilmington, Del.

","contentSnippet":"Three blocks from the White House, office space for more than 500 Biden transition staffers sits mostly idle. The government is shipping out laptops so staffers can work from home. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, surrounded by just a handful of aides in Delaware, is using Zoom to oversee his plans to assume power.\n\n\tBut Biden soon will be entering a no-Zoom zone at the White House -- just one sign of the challenges his new administration will face when it moves to Washington in the midst of a pandemic.\n\n\tAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tWhite House computers don't allow the popular video conference software Zoom or rival systems like Google Meet and Slack. Government-issue cellphones only gained texting capabilities a few years ago. And many employees will need to be present at the White House to access classified information.\n\n\tBiden's team has limited experience with staffing a physical office during the pandemic. His campaign went all-virtual in mid-March, clearing out its Philadelphia headquarters and sending staff back to their families in Washington, New York and beyond. His transition team plotted out his path to power entirely online.\n\n\tThe closest Biden's team has come to experimenting with in-person work was election night, when a small selection of masked and socially distanced aides in Wilmington, Delaware, monitored returns in hotel conference rooms, a far cry from running a White House 24/7.\n\n\tEven now, the most prominent use of the 100,000-plus square feet (9,290 square meters) of office space reserved for the transition is for Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris to receive the highly classified President's Daily Brief.\n\n\tTelework is possible for some White House staff, and improvements in both secure and unclassified videoconferencing have been made over the last two decades. But the lack of in-person co-ordination could pose an additional challenge to the new government facing a multitude of crises.\n\n\tFurther complicating matters, the Biden team must devise health and safety protocols from scratch. The Trump administration was, at best, a cautionary tale in how not to run a workplace during a pandemic.\n\n\tDespite relying on an aggressive testing regimen that is not available in other workplaces, the West Wing under President Donald Trump has been the locus of at least two significant outbreaks of COVID-19 since Trump himself came down with the virus five weeks before Election Day.\n\n\tIn addition to the first family, the dozens in Trump world who have tested positive include the White House chief of staff, the vice-president's chief of staff, the White House press secretary and the president's campaign manager. Still more aides have had to isolate after potential exposure. The full scale of the infections is not publicly known.\n\n\tThe problems stemmed in large part from the Trump White House flouting its own guidelines for COVID-19 safety, including holding large events, allowing frequent travel and above all not requiring face masks. The Biden team believes that some of the greatest risk can be mitigated simply by adhering to scientific advice: holding safer events, requiring face coverings and continuing regular testing.\n\n\tWhite House veterans say the task of making the West Wing a safe workspace is attainable but will require intense discipline, among both White House staff and the hundreds of government employees from other federal agencies who support it.\n\n\tDetailed planning is still underway, but some early considerations are to curtail the number of staffers who have unfettered access to the West Wing, encourage remote work where possible and even have staffers use secure teleconferencing between individual offices to minimize use of shared spaces.\n\n\tBiden's team may get a blueprint of sorts for its use of COVID-19 vaccines from the Trump White House, which is beginning to roll out inoculations for some critical government staffers, including military aides to the president, Secret Service agents and Situation Room watch officers.\n\n\tBiden himself appears likely to receive at least a first dose of the vaccine before taking office, relying on the advice of the nation's top U.S. infectious-disease expert. Dr. Anthony Fauci called for Biden and Harris to swiftly receive the vaccine.\n\n\t\"For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can,\" Fauci said on ABC News on Tuesday. \"You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January.\"\n\n\tMoving the Bidens into the White House -- a stressful process even in normal times -- will be more complicated this year.\n\n\tThere will be a top-to-bottom cleaning of the West Wing in the hours after Trump vacates the premises and before Biden's team moves in. Public health experts say it's crucial that extra steps be taken to mitigate the spread of the disease during that changeover.\n\n\tOne former official said the White House ventilation system, hardened against chemical and biological threats, poses less of a concern than in typical buildings, but the Biden team is not taking any risks.\n\n\t\"The two things to think about are cleaning off all surfaces, especially high-touch places like door knobs ... and transmission via aerosols and the possibility of aerosols lingering in the air between the two transitions if someone there is currently sick,\" said Dr. Abraar Karan, a global health specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. \"Having full air exchange, filtration and open ventilation will be important between the cleaning and the moving in of the new presidential family.\"\n\n\tTypically, the entire move is completed in about five or six hours, said Kate Andersen Brower, author of \"The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House.\" For security reasons, moving day is carried out by White House household staff -- an undertaking that enlists everyone from building engineers to kitchen staff.\n\n\t\"In the past, there's literally one moving truck in the South Lawn entrance and one in the north entrance,\" she said. \"It's very much an all-hands-on-deck situation.\"\n\n\t------\n\n\tMadhani reported from Wilmington, Del.","guid":"1.5233182","isoDate":"2020-12-16T05:58:36Z","embed":"

Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House

America VotesAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411682,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:29 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:16 PM","Content":"

Tom Cruise rants at 'Mission: Impossible' crew in London over COVID-19 safety

CTVNewsTom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new "Mission: Impossible" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Reuters","title":"Tom Cruise rants at 'Mission: Impossible' crew in London over COVID-19 safety","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/tom-cruise-rants-at-mission-impossible-crew-in-london-over-covid-19-safety-1.5233252","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 07:30:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233268.1608121806!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Reuters","content":"

\n\tTom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new "Mission: Impossible" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.

\n

\n\tIn expletive-filled remarks captured on audio tape obtained by The Sun, the star and producer of the action film yelled at the crew about lapses of social distancing and other rules that allow movies to be made during the coronavirus pandemic.

\n

\n\tA source close to the production said the tape was authentic. Cruise's representative declined to comment.

\n

\n\t"I’m on the phone with every f**king studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies," Cruise told the crew on the set.

\n

\n\t"Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired," he added, according to the tape.

\n

\n\tThe Sun did not say when the incident took place, but the filmmakers arrived in London in early December.

\n

\n\tThe seventh "Mission: Impossible" was one of the first movies to shut down production because of the coronavirus when it abandoned filming in Venice, Italy, in February.

\n

\n\tProduction resumed in September, with filming in Italy, Norway and London. Cruise in July personally appealed to Norway's prime minister to shoot parts of the film in Norway under modified quarantine rules.

\n

\n\tThe Paramount Pictures film is scheduled to be released in November 2021.

\n

\n\tCruise told the crew Hollywood was relying on movies like "Mission: Impossible" to keep the beleaguered industry going.

\n

\n\t"We want the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing," he said, according to the audio tape.

\n

\n\t"Mission: Impossible" is one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, with 2018's "Mission: Impossible-Fallout" taking more than $791 million at the worldwide box office.

","contentSnippet":"Tom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new \"Mission: Impossible\" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.\n\n\tIn expletive-filled remarks captured on audio tape obtained by The Sun, the star and producer of the action film yelled at the crew about lapses of social distancing and other rules that allow movies to be made during the coronavirus pandemic.\n\n\tA source close to the production said the tape was authentic. Cruise's representative declined to comment.\n\n\t\"I’m on the phone with every f**king studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies,\" Cruise told the crew on the set.\n\n\t\"Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired,\" he added, according to the tape.\n\n\tThe Sun did not say when the incident took place, but the filmmakers arrived in London in early December.\n\n\tThe seventh \"Mission: Impossible\" was one of the first movies to shut down production because of the coronavirus when it abandoned filming in Venice, Italy, in February.\n\n\tProduction resumed in September, with filming in Italy, Norway and London. Cruise in July personally appealed to Norway's prime minister to shoot parts of the film in Norway under modified quarantine rules.\n\n\tThe Paramount Pictures film is scheduled to be released in November 2021.\n\n\tCruise told the crew Hollywood was relying on movies like \"Mission: Impossible\" to keep the beleaguered industry going.\n\n\t\"We want the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing,\" he said, according to the audio tape.\n\n\t\"Mission: Impossible\" is one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, with 2018's \"Mission: Impossible-Fallout\" taking more than $791 million at the worldwide box office.","guid":"1.5233252","isoDate":"2020-12-16T12:30:00Z","embed":"

Tom Cruise rants at 'Mission: Impossible' crew in London over COVID-19 safety

CTVNewsTom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new \"Mission: Impossible\" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98.jpg","width":600,"height":338}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411685,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:29 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:17 PM","Content":"

Family festivities or solo celebrations: Here's how Europe is handling a COVID-19 Christmas

CTVNewsEurope is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"CNN","title":"Family festivities or solo celebrations: Here's how Europe is handling a COVID-19 Christmas","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/family-festivities-or-solo-celebrations-here-s-how-europe-is-handling-a-covid-19-christmas-1.5233245","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 06:59:57 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233248.1608119859!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"CNN","content":"

\n\tEurope is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.

\n

\n\tCountries across the continent are taking varied approaches, even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some nations.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tHere's what European nations are planning this festive season.

\n

\n\tAUSTRIA

\n

\n\tAustria is opening ski resorts with limited capacity from Christmas Eve, for locals only. The country's chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on December 2 that skiing could resume from December 24, for the festive period -- but only for people living close to the slopes.

\n

\n\tKurz said skiing, at least for the day, would be possible "for a large part of our population." But he added that lift capacity would be limited and hotels and accommodation providers would remain shut until January 7.

\n

\n\tRestaurants, cafes, bars and clubs will also remain closed until January 7, according to Kurz, allowing for the possibility that if infection rates drop, the government may loosen restrictions.

\n

\n\tBut the limited relaxation of rules for locals has been accompanied by new quarantine requirements for travellers, which were unveiled by the government at the beginning of December.

\n

\n\t''Tourist travel is currently de facto not possible in Austria, in light of the measures against the coronavirus," the government statement said.

\n

\n\tThe new rules mean that until January 10, all arrivals in Austria from a country with more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the previous two weeks will have to quarantine for 10 days.

\n

\n\tThis period can be shortened if visitors test negative after five days in isolation.

\n

\n\t[As of December 3]

\n

\n\tBELGIUM

\n

\n\tBelgium has allowed non-essential shops to reopen from December 1. Museums and swimming pools are also allowed to open, in accordance with their industry protocols.

\n

\n\tBut the country will continue to require people to comply with social distancing protocols over the festive break.

\n

\n\t"During the Christmas period, social contact rules will continue to apply," Belgium's Consultative Committee said in a statement on November 30.

\n

\n\tPeople living alone will be allowed to be with two other people, maximum, "on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, to protect their psychosocial well-being," the committee said. "For meetings outside, the rule of four continues to apply."

\n

\n\tA general ban on large gatherings remains in place, as does a curfew between midnight and 5 a.m.

\n

\n\tTravellers will also be required to quarantine.

\n

\n\t"Persons who have spent more than 48 hours abroad and who will remain in Belgium for more than 48 hours will be subject to stricter controls," the committee said on November 30.

\n

\n\tThese measures will apply until 15 January 2021.

\n

\n\t"At the beginning of January, the situation will be reassessed, based on the medical indicators, to see whether and for which industries a transition to the management phase ... is possible," the committee said.

\n

\n\t[As of November 30]

\n

\n\tBULGARIA

\n

\n\tAll cultural and entertainment events have been suspended across Bulgaria since November 27.

\n

\n\tAn exception has been made for theatrs, where seats can be occupied up to 30% of their total capacity and protective face masks are mandatory.

\n

\n\tRestaurants in the country have also closed their doors to diners, though deliveries and meals for homes and offices are allowed.

\n

\n\tVisits to all shopping centers -- except for essential stores such as grocery stores and pharmacies -- are banned.

\n

\n\tA decision on whether to relax certain restrictions was set to be made on December 17 or December 18.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\t 

\n

\n\tCROATIA

\n

\n\tCroatia is still considering the measures for its Christmas period, but health minister Vili Beros said on December 12 that "he did not believe a strict lockdown would be imposed."

\n

\n\tBeros noted that though a possible travel ban between countries was being discussed, it was unlikely to be introduced, according to Croatia's Public News Agency HIRA.

\n

\n\tMeanwhile the minister of the interior Davor Bozinovic, who is the head of the national COVID-19 response team, has called on Croatians to avoid visiting friends and relatives over the holiday period.

\n

\n\tAll secondary schools in Croatia have switched to online classes.

\n

\n\tAfter a spike in cases, Croatia announced new restrictions, which include "locking down cafes and restaurants, and a ban on wedding parties, fairs and most sports events."

\n

\n\tThese restrictions will be in place from November 28 to December 21.

\n

\n\t[As of December 12]

\n

\n\tCYPRUS

\n

\n\tIn Cyprus, the hospitality sector -- bars, restaurants and cafes -- will be shut until the end of the year. The stricter measures were announced by Cypriot health minister Constantinos Ioannou during the first week of December.

\n

\n\tHigh school students have also switched from in-person classes to online ones.

\n

\n\tCyprus is also banning church attendance over Christmas. A 9 p.m. curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in houses remain in place.

\n

\n\tRetail and department stores can, however, remain open -- under strict rules.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tCZECH REPUBLIC

\n

\n\tThe lower house of the Czech parliament has extended the country's state of emergency to December 23 -- one day before Christmas Eve, which is traditionally the main day of celebrations in the Czech Republic.

\n

\n\tThe Czech Republic has seen a surge in cases in recent months.

\n

\n\tIts state of emergency was originally scheduled to end on December 12.

\n

\n\tThe government had sought an extension until January 11, arguing it was a necessary step to control the spread of the coronavirus.

\n

\n\t[As of December 9]

\n

\n\tDENMARK

\n

\n\tIn Denmark, social distancing recommendations and a ban on gatherings apply through December -- including on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tOfficials have recommended that people keep to a maximum of 10 people in private homes and a maximum of 10 social contacts during the Christmas period and on New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tPeople in Denmark are allowed to see their closest family members on Christmas Eve. These family members will not be included in the 10 social contacts.

\n

\n\tAt the same time, the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will be adjusted to allow for Christmas Eve celebrations in certain parts of society. Communal eating for up to 50 people at social care institutions is allowed. This is also allowed in nursing homes and for homeless, vulnerable or lonely people.

\n

\n\tReligious communities are also allowed to host services conforming with health and safety requirements.

\n

\n\tBut as part of the country's national measures, restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m.

\n

\n\tAll national restrictions in Denmark have been extended until February 28, 2021.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tESTONIA

\n

\n\tEstonia has recommended canceling "all joint events," including Christmas parties, as part of new coronavirus measures that took effect from November 12, according to a government statement on November 10.

\n

\n\t"Celebrating Christmas with family is, of course, allowed," the statement added, noting that the cancellation recommendations apply to all events attended by people who do not come into daily contact.

\n

\n\tThe Estonian measures also include the mandatory wearing of face coverings in all public places, and a recommendation for all employees to work remotely, if possible.

\n

\n\tSince November 16, the operating hours of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues in Estonia have been reduced. All such venues must close at midnight and can have a maximum of 10 people per group.

\n

\n\t[As of November 10]

\n

\n\tFINLAND

\n

\n\tFinland's restrictions are set at a regional level, as opposed to a national one.

\n

\n\tThe number of participants at public events can be limited to 10 people and if necessary, events can prohibited altogether.

\n

\n\tRestrictions for restaurants and cafes are separated into three levels, depending on the region, and remain in force until February 28, 2021.

\n

\n\tRegions regarded as "stable" in terms of coronavirus transmission must stop serving alcoholic beverages by midnight.

\n

\n\tLapland faces harder restrictions than much of the country. Businesses there must stop serving alcoholic beverages by 10 p.m. and those that primarily serve alcohol must close by 11 p.m., while other food and beverage service businesses may remain open until midnight at the latest.

\n

\n\tPubs, bars and nightclubs in Lapland are only permitted half the normal number of customers in their premises at a time.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tFRANCE

\n

\n\tThe French government on December 3 recommended that Christmas and New Year's Eve gatherings be limited to a maximum of six adults -- with no limit on children -- due to the pandemic.

\n

\n\tAn easing of coronavirus restrictions in France scheduled for December 15 was delayed in light of new infection figures, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on December 3.

\n

\n\tCultural venues including theatres, museums, and cinemas had been due to reopen on December 15, but they will remain closed for three additional weeks, Castex said.

\n

\n\tFrance's curfew -- initially set from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- was extended from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Castex added.

\n

\n\tAn exception to the curfew will be made on Christmas Eve, but not on New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tHowever, French citizens will no longer need administrative certificates to leave their homes, as of December 15, Castex said. Citizens will also be allowed to travel to other regions.

\n

\n\tRestaurants and cafés are scheduled to reopen on January 20, 2021.

\n

\n\t[As of December 10]

\n

\n\tGERMANY

\n

\n\tAs of December 16, all non-essential shops, services and schools across Germany will close until January 10, 2021.

\n

\n\tChristmas Day gatherings in the country will be reduced from 10 people to only five from two different households.

\n

\n\tThe restrictions come as Germany grapples with a surge in cases.

\n

\n\tGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said on December 13 that "the philosophy is to stay at home."

\n

\n\tChristmas church services will be subject to prior registration, and no singing will be allowed.

\n

\n\tAlcohol will also be banned from all public spaces, and the annual New Years' Eve fireworks display will be canceled.

\n

\n\tGerman finance minister Olaf Scholz has pledged economic help for all businesses affected by the lockdown.

\n

\n\tSome states are also implementing additional measures -- Bavaria, for example, will have a 9 p.m. curfew.

\n

\n\tMerkel has said she wants to implement a full lockdown for as long as two weeks after Christmas, to bring down infection numbers.

\n

\n\tBerlin mayor Michael Müller has said the German capital is set to implement "significant restrictions" in the run up to Christmas, to curb the spread of cases.

\n

\n\tIn Berlin, the senate has closed schools and shops until January 10, 2021, and school vacations which are due to start on December 21 will be extended until January 10, with students having the option of attending online classes from January 4.

\n

\n\tMüller added that retail shops could close as early as December 20, or at the very latest December 23.

\n

\n\t[As of December 13]

\n

\n\tGREECE

\n

\n\tGreece is extending most of its COVID-19 restrictions through the Christmas holiday period, government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced earlier this month.

\n

\n\tSchools, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, skiing centers and courts will remain shut until January 7, 2021.

\n

\n\tA night-time curfew and a ban on movement between regions will also remain in place until then.

\n

\n\tPetsas said that anyone entering Greece from abroad between December 18 and January 7 will have to quarantine for three days as a precaution, in addition to an already compulsory negative PCR test.

\n

\n\tRetail stores will operate under the "click-away" method, which allows customers to collect goods from shop entrance.

\n

\n\tShopping inside most stores is not allowed. Seasonal shops, bookstores and hair salons will, however, be open throughout the Christmas period.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tIRELAND

\n

\n\tThe Irish government announced an easing of restrictions in November, following a six-week national lockdown.

\n

\n\tFrom December 1, once-shuttered businesses such as hairdressers and non-essential retail outlets were allowed to reopen their doors. And December 3 saw the return of indoor dining in restaurants and gastropubs across the country.

\n

\n\tFrom December 18 to January 6, travel between counties will be permitted once more, in order to facilitate Christmas celebrations.

\n

\n\tDuring this period a household may mix with two other households.

\n

\n\tBut despite the relaxed restrictions, fears of streets thronged with Christmas shoppers have prompted the Irish government to recommend the use of face masks in "crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation."

\n

\n\t[As of November 28]

\n

\n\tITALY

\n

\n\tItaly has banned movement between regions during the Christmas holidays, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

\n

\n\tFrom December 21 to January 6, 2021, people will only be allowed to move from one region to another for work, health reasons and emergencies, according to a decree which came into force on December 3.

\n

\n\tDuring this period, people will not be permitted to travel to their vacation homes.

\n

\n\tOn Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, movement between municipalities will be banned, with exceptions for work, health reasons and emergencies. People will also be allowed to return to their place of residence.

\n

\n\tAnother new decree, to introduce further restrictions for the Christmas holidays, is currently being discussed by the government and regional administrations; it is expected to enter into force on Friday, December 18.

\n

\n\tAmong the measures being discussed are: A national curfew starting at 10 p.m., and restaurants being required to close at 6 p.m. in regions with higher infection rates.

\n

\n\tItaly has also asked that Christmas Eve masses end by around around 8:30 p.m. "so that worshippers can return home before the 10 p.m. curfew," said Sandra Zampa, undersecretary at the health ministry.

\n

\n\t[As of December 3]

\n

\n\tLATVIA

\n

\n\tLatvia declared an emergency situation from November 9, 2020, until January 11, 2021.

\n

\n\tPublic events in the country are canceled and prohibited.

\n

\n\tAnd until January 11, the operation of all cultural sites, including Christmas markets, is banned.

\n

\n\tHowever, museums remain open to visitors.

\n

\n\tPrivate events are also banned, except those within a single household.

\n

\n\tEconomic services related to entertainment and well-being -- such as bars and nightclubs -- are also banned from opening; restaurants are only allowed to provide take-away meals.

\n

\n\tOn weekends and public holidays only pharmacies, service stations and shops selling foodstuffs (except for alcohol) are allowed to operate.

\n

\n\tPeople in Latvia are permitted to visit those who live alone and need care.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tLITHUANIA

\n

\n\tThe Lithuanian government will decide on the country's Christmas rules in the next few days, a health ministry spokesperson said on December 14.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tLUXEMBOURG

\n

\n\tThe maximum number of visitors people can welcome into their homes in Luxembourg is two.

\n

\n\tThe country has also banned people from going out in public between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

\n

\n\tEstablishments serving food and drinks are closed to the public and any gathering exceeding 100 people is banned.

\n

\n\tWith the exception of museums, art centers, libraries and national archives, cultural institutions are closed to the public.

\n

\n\tPlaces of worship are allowed to remain open, but visitors must respect social distancing rules and wear masks.

\n

\n\tThese measures came into effect on November 26 and will remain in place until January 15.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tNETHERLANDS

\n

\n\tThe Dutch government is dramatically escalating its lockdown to address rising coronavirus infections, according to national broadcaster NOS.

\n

\n\tThe government has mandated the closure of all non-essential stores, schools, hairdressers, museums, and theatres from December 15 until January 19, 2021, NOS reported, citing government sources.

\n

\n\tRestaurants are closed for everything but take out.

\n

\n\tMeanwhile, household visits are limited to a maximum of three guests, regardless of whether they take place indoors or outdoors. Children up to 12 are exempt from that cap.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tPOLAND

\n

\n\tCultural institutions in Poland -- including theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries and cultural centers -- have been closed since November 7.

\n

\n\tThe number of people allowed to attend church services is limited to a maximum of one person per 15 square meters.

\n

\n\tFor events taking place outside, participants must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from one another, and cover their nose and mouth.

\n

\n\tAs of November 28, shopping centers and retail parks have been allowed to open, under a strict sanitary regime.

\n

\n\tRestaurants can prepare and serve food, but only for take-away and delivery.

\n

\n\tThe country has also established shopping time slots for older people -- only those over 60 are allowed into shops, pharmacies and post offices between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday to Friday. These shopping hours will not apply on Christmas Eve.

\n

\n\tPublic gatherings in Poland are limited to five people; participants must cover their nose and mouth, and maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.

\n

\n\tSince November, parties and meetings at home have been limited to a maximum of five people. This limit does not include the host and anyone else who lives in the house.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tPORTUGAL

\n

\n\tOn December 5, Portugal extended its state of emergency and coronavirus restrictions until December 23, but it did announce the relaxation of some rules for Christmas.

\n

\n\tBetween December 23 and 26, the country's internal travel ban will be lifted and the mandatory curfews of 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends will be extended.

\n

\n\tRestaurants may also stay open later; until 3.30 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. at lunchtime, and 1 a.m. instead of 10 p.m. at night.

\n

\n\tHowever, Portugal's Prime Minister António Costa has said that the plan to ease restrictions over the holidays will be reviewed on December 18, and will only go forward "if the current downward trend in cases" continues.

\n

\n\tPortugal's internal travel ban will be reinstated over New Year, meaning public parties will be forbidden and public gatherings will be limited to six people, the government has said.

\n

\n\t[As of December 5]

\n

\n\tROMANIA

\n

\n\tRomania announced additional coronavirus restrictions that will remain in place for 30 days beginning December 14; they include a ban on parties, and a night time curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m.

\n

\n\tSLOVAKIA

\n

\n\tSlovakia will close all schools and non-essential shops for at least three weeks, from December 21 until January 10, 2021.

\n

\n\tGatherings in the country are currently limited to six people, and cafes and restaurants are only providing takeaway services.

\n

\n\tNew restrictions are due to be announced this week.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tSPAIN

\n

\n\tSpain will ban movement between its regions from December 23 until January 6, 2021, health minister Salvador Illa announced on December 2.

\n

\n\tIlla announced that family gatherings -- with a maximum of 10 people -- will be allowed on December 24 and 25, as well as December 31 and January 1.

\n

\n\tA national curfew will start at 1:30 a.m. on these dates.

\n

\n\tAll regions will limit events and activities in order to avoid crowds during the festive period, Illa added.

\n

\n\tReligious ceremonies are permitted to take place indoors, providing that capacity limits are observed; singing is not recommended.

\n

\n\t[As of December 2]

\n

\n\tSWEDEN

\n

\n\tSweden's current limit of eight people for indoor gatherings will remain in place throughout Christmas and New Year.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tSWITZERLAND

\n

\n\tSwitzerland's federal council has announced a series of coronavirus measures ahead of Christmas, in an attempt to curb rising COVID-19 infection numbers.

\n

\n\tThey include the closure of bars and restaurants from 7 p.m.; sporting and cultural activities are limited to five people; markets and museums are to close on Sundays and public holidays.

\n

\n\tUp to five people from two households can gather for private events, but that number will increase to 10 for celebrations from December 24 to 26, and on New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tSwiss ski resorts have been permitted to open for domestic tourism, but strict coronavirus measures are in place in ski resorts.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tUNITED KINGDOM

\n

\n\tThe U.K. has agreed to ease social contact restrictions during the festive period from December 23 to 27; people will be allowed to travel freely between the four U.K. nations to spend time with friends and family in an exclusive "Christmas bubble."

\n

\n\tAlthough the rules are broadly similar across the U.K., each nation can enforce its own set of guidelines.

\n

\n\tIn England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a "Christmas bubble" can be composed of people from no more than three households.

\n

\n\tTravel across the border to the Republic of Ireland has already been the subject of much debate.

\n

\n\tThe current advice from the Northern Ireland Executive instructs those travelling outside the region for Christmas to do so between December 22 and 28.

\n

\n\tScotland will also allow up to three households to form a bubble during this time, but it plans to restrict the number of people in any bubble to eight. There are no separate arrangements for New Year, when existing tiered restrictions will apply.

\n

\n\tHouseholds in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are currently banned from mixing indoors in private homes.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tContributors: Mia Alberti, Sharon Braithwaite, Niamh Kennedy, Katya Krebs, Amy Cassidy, Sara Gill, Antonia Mortensen and Chris Liakos

","contentSnippet":"Europe is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.\n\n\tCountries across the continent are taking varied approaches, even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some nations.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tHere's what European nations are planning this festive season.\n\n\tAUSTRIA\n\n\tAustria is opening ski resorts with limited capacity from Christmas Eve, for locals only. The country's chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on December 2 that skiing could resume from December 24, for the festive period -- but only for people living close to the slopes.\n\n\tKurz said skiing, at least for the day, would be possible \"for a large part of our population.\" But he added that lift capacity would be limited and hotels and accommodation providers would remain shut until January 7.\n\n\tRestaurants, cafes, bars and clubs will also remain closed until January 7, according to Kurz, allowing for the possibility that if infection rates drop, the government may loosen restrictions.\n\n\tBut the limited relaxation of rules for locals has been accompanied by new quarantine requirements for travellers, which were unveiled by the government at the beginning of December.\n\n\t''Tourist travel is currently de facto not possible in Austria, in light of the measures against the coronavirus,\" the government statement said.\n\n\tThe new rules mean that until January 10, all arrivals in Austria from a country with more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the previous two weeks will have to quarantine for 10 days.\n\n\tThis period can be shortened if visitors test negative after five days in isolation.\n\n\t[As of December 3]\n\n\tBELGIUM\n\n\tBelgium has allowed non-essential shops to reopen from December 1. Museums and swimming pools are also allowed to open, in accordance with their industry protocols.\n\n\tBut the country will continue to require people to comply with social distancing protocols over the festive break.\n\n\t\"During the Christmas period, social contact rules will continue to apply,\" Belgium's Consultative Committee said in a statement on November 30.\n\n\tPeople living alone will be allowed to be with two other people, maximum, \"on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, to protect their psychosocial well-being,\" the committee said. \"For meetings outside, the rule of four continues to apply.\"\n\n\tA general ban on large gatherings remains in place, as does a curfew between midnight and 5 a.m.\n\n\tTravellers will also be required to quarantine.\n\n\t\"Persons who have spent more than 48 hours abroad and who will remain in Belgium for more than 48 hours will be subject to stricter controls,\" the committee said on November 30.\n\n\tThese measures will apply until 15 January 2021.\n\n\t\"At the beginning of January, the situation will be reassessed, based on the medical indicators, to see whether and for which industries a transition to the management phase ... is possible,\" the committee said.\n\n\t[As of November 30]\n\n\tBULGARIA\n\n\tAll cultural and entertainment events have been suspended across Bulgaria since November 27.\n\n\tAn exception has been made for theatrs, where seats can be occupied up to 30% of their total capacity and protective face masks are mandatory.\n\n\tRestaurants in the country have also closed their doors to diners, though deliveries and meals for homes and offices are allowed.\n\n\tVisits to all shopping centers -- except for essential stores such as grocery stores and pharmacies -- are banned.\n\n\tA decision on whether to relax certain restrictions was set to be made on December 17 or December 18.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\t \n\n\tCROATIA\n\n\tCroatia is still considering the measures for its Christmas period, but health minister Vili Beros said on December 12 that \"he did not believe a strict lockdown would be imposed.\"\n\n\tBeros noted that though a possible travel ban between countries was being discussed, it was unlikely to be introduced, according to Croatia's Public News Agency HIRA.\n\n\tMeanwhile the minister of the interior Davor Bozinovic, who is the head of the national COVID-19 response team, has called on Croatians to avoid visiting friends and relatives over the holiday period.\n\n\tAll secondary schools in Croatia have switched to online classes.\n\n\tAfter a spike in cases, Croatia announced new restrictions, which include \"locking down cafes and restaurants, and a ban on wedding parties, fairs and most sports events.\"\n\n\tThese restrictions will be in place from November 28 to December 21.\n\n\t[As of December 12]\n\n\tCYPRUS\n\n\tIn Cyprus, the hospitality sector -- bars, restaurants and cafes -- will be shut until the end of the year. The stricter measures were announced by Cypriot health minister Constantinos Ioannou during the first week of December.\n\n\tHigh school students have also switched from in-person classes to online ones.\n\n\tCyprus is also banning church attendance over Christmas. A 9 p.m. curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in houses remain in place.\n\n\tRetail and department stores can, however, remain open -- under strict rules.\n\n\t[As of December 14] \n\n\tCZECH REPUBLIC\n\n\tThe lower house of the Czech parliament has extended the country's state of emergency to December 23 -- one day before Christmas Eve, which is traditionally the main day of celebrations in the Czech Republic.\n\n\tThe Czech Republic has seen a surge in cases in recent months.\n\n\tIts state of emergency was originally scheduled to end on December 12.\n\n\tThe government had sought an extension until January 11, arguing it was a necessary step to control the spread of the coronavirus.\n\n\t[As of December 9]\n\n\tDENMARK\n\n\tIn Denmark, social distancing recommendations and a ban on gatherings apply through December -- including on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.\n\n\tOfficials have recommended that people keep to a maximum of 10 people in private homes and a maximum of 10 social contacts during the Christmas period and on New Year's Eve.\n\n\tPeople in Denmark are allowed to see their closest family members on Christmas Eve. These family members will not be included in the 10 social contacts.\n\n\tAt the same time, the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will be adjusted to allow for Christmas Eve celebrations in certain parts of society. Communal eating for up to 50 people at social care institutions is allowed. This is also allowed in nursing homes and for homeless, vulnerable or lonely people.\n\n\tReligious communities are also allowed to host services conforming with health and safety requirements.\n\n\tBut as part of the country's national measures, restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m.\n\n\tAll national restrictions in Denmark have been extended until February 28, 2021.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tESTONIA\n\n\tEstonia has recommended canceling \"all joint events,\" including Christmas parties, as part of new coronavirus measures that took effect from November 12, according to a government statement on November 10.\n\n\t\"Celebrating Christmas with family is, of course, allowed,\" the statement added, noting that the cancellation recommendations apply to all events attended by people who do not come into daily contact.\n\n\tThe Estonian measures also include the mandatory wearing of face coverings in all public places, and a recommendation for all employees to work remotely, if possible.\n\n\tSince November 16, the operating hours of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues in Estonia have been reduced. All such venues must close at midnight and can have a maximum of 10 people per group.\n\n\t[As of November 10]\n\n\tFINLAND\n\n\tFinland's restrictions are set at a regional level, as opposed to a national one.\n\n\tThe number of participants at public events can be limited to 10 people and if necessary, events can prohibited altogether.\n\n\tRestrictions for restaurants and cafes are separated into three levels, depending on the region, and remain in force until February 28, 2021.\n\n\tRegions regarded as \"stable\" in terms of coronavirus transmission must stop serving alcoholic beverages by midnight.\n\n\tLapland faces harder restrictions than much of the country. Businesses there must stop serving alcoholic beverages by 10 p.m. and those that primarily serve alcohol must close by 11 p.m., while other food and beverage service businesses may remain open until midnight at the latest.\n\n\tPubs, bars and nightclubs in Lapland are only permitted half the normal number of customers in their premises at a time.\n\n\t[As of December 14] \n\n\tFRANCE\n\n\tThe French government on December 3 recommended that Christmas and New Year's Eve gatherings be limited to a maximum of six adults -- with no limit on children -- due to the pandemic.\n\n\tAn easing of coronavirus restrictions in France scheduled for December 15 was delayed in light of new infection figures, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on December 3.\n\n\tCultural venues including theatres, museums, and cinemas had been due to reopen on December 15, but they will remain closed for three additional weeks, Castex said.\n\n\tFrance's curfew -- initially set from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- was extended from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Castex added.\n\n\tAn exception to the curfew will be made on Christmas Eve, but not on New Year's Eve.\n\n\tHowever, French citizens will no longer need administrative certificates to leave their homes, as of December 15, Castex said. Citizens will also be allowed to travel to other regions.\n\n\tRestaurants and cafés are scheduled to reopen on January 20, 2021.\n\n\t[As of December 10]\n\n\tGERMANY\n\n\tAs of December 16, all non-essential shops, services and schools across Germany will close until January 10, 2021.\n\n\tChristmas Day gatherings in the country will be reduced from 10 people to only five from two different households.\n\n\tThe restrictions come as Germany grapples with a surge in cases.\n\n\tGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said on December 13 that \"the philosophy is to stay at home.\"\n\n\tChristmas church services will be subject to prior registration, and no singing will be allowed.\n\n\tAlcohol will also be banned from all public spaces, and the annual New Years' Eve fireworks display will be canceled.\n\n\tGerman finance minister Olaf Scholz has pledged economic help for all businesses affected by the lockdown.\n\n\tSome states are also implementing additional measures -- Bavaria, for example, will have a 9 p.m. curfew.\n\n\tMerkel has said she wants to implement a full lockdown for as long as two weeks after Christmas, to bring down infection numbers.\n\n\tBerlin mayor Michael Müller has said the German capital is set to implement \"significant restrictions\" in the run up to Christmas, to curb the spread of cases.\n\n\tIn Berlin, the senate has closed schools and shops until January 10, 2021, and school vacations which are due to start on December 21 will be extended until January 10, with students having the option of attending online classes from January 4.\n\n\tMüller added that retail shops could close as early as December 20, or at the very latest December 23.\n\n\t[As of December 13]\n\n\tGREECE\n\n\tGreece is extending most of its COVID-19 restrictions through the Christmas holiday period, government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced earlier this month.\n\n\tSchools, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, skiing centers and courts will remain shut until January 7, 2021.\n\n\tA night-time curfew and a ban on movement between regions will also remain in place until then.\n\n\tPetsas said that anyone entering Greece from abroad between December 18 and January 7 will have to quarantine for three days as a precaution, in addition to an already compulsory negative PCR test.\n\n\tRetail stores will operate under the \"click-away\" method, which allows customers to collect goods from shop entrance.\n\n\tShopping inside most stores is not allowed. Seasonal shops, bookstores and hair salons will, however, be open throughout the Christmas period.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tIRELAND\n\n\tThe Irish government announced an easing of restrictions in November, following a six-week national lockdown.\n\n\tFrom December 1, once-shuttered businesses such as hairdressers and non-essential retail outlets were allowed to reopen their doors. And December 3 saw the return of indoor dining in restaurants and gastropubs across the country.\n\n\tFrom December 18 to January 6, travel between counties will be permitted once more, in order to facilitate Christmas celebrations.\n\n\tDuring this period a household may mix with two other households.\n\n\tBut despite the relaxed restrictions, fears of streets thronged with Christmas shoppers have prompted the Irish government to recommend the use of face masks in \"crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation.\"\n\n\t[As of November 28]\n\n\tITALY\n\n\tItaly has banned movement between regions during the Christmas holidays, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.\n\n\tFrom December 21 to January 6, 2021, people will only be allowed to move from one region to another for work, health reasons and emergencies, according to a decree which came into force on December 3.\n\n\tDuring this period, people will not be permitted to travel to their vacation homes.\n\n\tOn Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, movement between municipalities will be banned, with exceptions for work, health reasons and emergencies. People will also be allowed to return to their place of residence.\n\n\tAnother new decree, to introduce further restrictions for the Christmas holidays, is currently being discussed by the government and regional administrations; it is expected to enter into force on Friday, December 18.\n\n\tAmong the measures being discussed are: A national curfew starting at 10 p.m., and restaurants being required to close at 6 p.m. in regions with higher infection rates.\n\n\tItaly has also asked that Christmas Eve masses end by around around 8:30 p.m. \"so that worshippers can return home before the 10 p.m. curfew,\" said Sandra Zampa, undersecretary at the health ministry.\n\n\t[As of December 3]\n\n\tLATVIA\n\n\tLatvia declared an emergency situation from November 9, 2020, until January 11, 2021.\n\n\tPublic events in the country are canceled and prohibited.\n\n\tAnd until January 11, the operation of all cultural sites, including Christmas markets, is banned.\n\n\tHowever, museums remain open to visitors.\n\n\tPrivate events are also banned, except those within a single household.\n\n\tEconomic services related to entertainment and well-being -- such as bars and nightclubs -- are also banned from opening; restaurants are only allowed to provide take-away meals.\n\n\tOn weekends and public holidays only pharmacies, service stations and shops selling foodstuffs (except for alcohol) are allowed to operate.\n\n\tPeople in Latvia are permitted to visit those who live alone and need care.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tLITHUANIA\n\n\tThe Lithuanian government will decide on the country's Christmas rules in the next few days, a health ministry spokesperson said on December 14.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tLUXEMBOURG\n\n\tThe maximum number of visitors people can welcome into their homes in Luxembourg is two.\n\n\tThe country has also banned people from going out in public between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.\n\n\tEstablishments serving food and drinks are closed to the public and any gathering exceeding 100 people is banned.\n\n\tWith the exception of museums, art centers, libraries and national archives, cultural institutions are closed to the public.\n\n\tPlaces of worship are allowed to remain open, but visitors must respect social distancing rules and wear masks.\n\n\tThese measures came into effect on November 26 and will remain in place until January 15.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tNETHERLANDS\n\n\tThe Dutch government is dramatically escalating its lockdown to address rising coronavirus infections, according to national broadcaster NOS.\n\n\tThe government has mandated the closure of all non-essential stores, schools, hairdressers, museums, and theatres from December 15 until January 19, 2021, NOS reported, citing government sources.\n\n\tRestaurants are closed for everything but take out.\n\n\tMeanwhile, household visits are limited to a maximum of three guests, regardless of whether they take place indoors or outdoors. Children up to 12 are exempt from that cap.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tPOLAND\n\n\tCultural institutions in Poland -- including theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries and cultural centers -- have been closed since November 7.\n\n\tThe number of people allowed to attend church services is limited to a maximum of one person per 15 square meters.\n\n\tFor events taking place outside, participants must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from one another, and cover their nose and mouth.\n\n\tAs of November 28, shopping centers and retail parks have been allowed to open, under a strict sanitary regime.\n\n\tRestaurants can prepare and serve food, but only for take-away and delivery.\n\n\tThe country has also established shopping time slots for older people -- only those over 60 are allowed into shops, pharmacies and post offices between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday to Friday. These shopping hours will not apply on Christmas Eve.\n\n\tPublic gatherings in Poland are limited to five people; participants must cover their nose and mouth, and maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.\n\n\tSince November, parties and meetings at home have been limited to a maximum of five people. This limit does not include the host and anyone else who lives in the house.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tPORTUGAL\n\n\tOn December 5, Portugal extended its state of emergency and coronavirus restrictions until December 23, but it did announce the relaxation of some rules for Christmas.\n\n\tBetween December 23 and 26, the country's internal travel ban will be lifted and the mandatory curfews of 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends will be extended.\n\n\tRestaurants may also stay open later; until 3.30 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. at lunchtime, and 1 a.m. instead of 10 p.m. at night.\n\n\tHowever, Portugal's Prime Minister António Costa has said that the plan to ease restrictions over the holidays will be reviewed on December 18, and will only go forward \"if the current downward trend in cases\" continues.\n\n\tPortugal's internal travel ban will be reinstated over New Year, meaning public parties will be forbidden and public gatherings will be limited to six people, the government has said.\n\n\t[As of December 5]\n\n\tROMANIA\n\n\tRomania announced additional coronavirus restrictions that will remain in place for 30 days beginning December 14; they include a ban on parties, and a night time curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. \n\n\tSLOVAKIA\n\n\tSlovakia will close all schools and non-essential shops for at least three weeks, from December 21 until January 10, 2021.\n\n\tGatherings in the country are currently limited to six people, and cafes and restaurants are only providing takeaway services.\n\n\tNew restrictions are due to be announced this week.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tSPAIN\n\n\tSpain will ban movement between its regions from December 23 until January 6, 2021, health minister Salvador Illa announced on December 2.\n\n\tIlla announced that family gatherings -- with a maximum of 10 people -- will be allowed on December 24 and 25, as well as December 31 and January 1.\n\n\tA national curfew will start at 1:30 a.m. on these dates.\n\n\tAll regions will limit events and activities in order to avoid crowds during the festive period, Illa added.\n\n\tReligious ceremonies are permitted to take place indoors, providing that capacity limits are observed; singing is not recommended.\n\n\t[As of December 2] \n\n\tSWEDEN\n\n\tSweden's current limit of eight people for indoor gatherings will remain in place throughout Christmas and New Year.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tSWITZERLAND\n\n\tSwitzerland's federal council has announced a series of coronavirus measures ahead of Christmas, in an attempt to curb rising COVID-19 infection numbers.\n\n\tThey include the closure of bars and restaurants from 7 p.m.; sporting and cultural activities are limited to five people; markets and museums are to close on Sundays and public holidays.\n\n\tUp to five people from two households can gather for private events, but that number will increase to 10 for celebrations from December 24 to 26, and on New Year's Eve.\n\n\tSwiss ski resorts have been permitted to open for domestic tourism, but strict coronavirus measures are in place in ski resorts.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tUNITED KINGDOM\n\n\tThe U.K. has agreed to ease social contact restrictions during the festive period from December 23 to 27; people will be allowed to travel freely between the four U.K. nations to spend time with friends and family in an exclusive \"Christmas bubble.\"\n\n\tAlthough the rules are broadly similar across the U.K., each nation can enforce its own set of guidelines.\n\n\tIn England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a \"Christmas bubble\" can be composed of people from no more than three households.\n\n\tTravel across the border to the Republic of Ireland has already been the subject of much debate.\n\n\tThe current advice from the Northern Ireland Executive instructs those travelling outside the region for Christmas to do so between December 22 and 28.\n\n\tScotland will also allow up to three households to form a bubble during this time, but it plans to restrict the number of people in any bubble to eight. There are no separate arrangements for New Year, when existing tiered restrictions will apply.\n\n\tHouseholds in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are currently banned from mixing indoors in private homes.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tContributors: Mia Alberti, Sharon Braithwaite, Niamh Kennedy, Katya Krebs, Amy Cassidy, Sara Gill, Antonia Mortensen and Chris Liakos","guid":"1.5233245","isoDate":"2020-12-16T11:59:57Z","embed":"

Family festivities or solo celebrations: Here's how Europe is handling a COVID-19 Christmas

CTVNewsEurope is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/5646fb39-c070-4e58-b7d9-850005832047.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/5646fb39-c070-4e58-b7d9-850005832047_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/5646fb39-c070-4e58-b7d9-850005832047_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/5646fb39-c070-4e58-b7d9-850005832047_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/5646fb39-c070-4e58-b7d9-850005832047.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/5646fb39-c070-4e58-b7d9-850005832047_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/5646fb39-c070-4e58-b7d9-850005832047_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411687,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:30 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:18 PM","Content":"

U.K. still plans to ease restrictions on holiday gatherings

CTVNewsBritain's easing of restrictions for family gatherings over Christmas looks like it's still on despite a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections that's raised fears of another wave of cases and deaths in the new year.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"U.K. still plans to ease restrictions on holiday gatherings","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-k-still-plans-to-ease-restrictions-on-holiday-gatherings-1.5233222","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 06:12:28 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233223.1608117061!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tBritain's easing of restrictions for family gatherings over Christmas looks like it's still on despite a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections that's raised fears of another wave of cases and deaths in the new year.

\n

\n\tBritain's communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, said further discussions will take place on Wednesday between leaders from the four nations of the U.K. about the planned relaxation. However, he gave no indication that a change would be announced, beyond urging people to think harder about their holiday plans.

\n

\n\t"It could be counterproductive to produce overly restrictive rules rather than providing very clear and sober guidance and ask people to think carefully and come to their informed judgment," he told BBC radio.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tCriticism of the planned five-day easing of restrictions, which would allow three households to form a holiday bubble, have ratcheted higher in recent days. With new infections rising in many places, concerns are growing that the relaxation will only escalate infections and deaths and put too much pressure on the already-stressed National Health Service.

\n

\n\tMichael Gove, a senior member of Britain's Conservative government, which sets public health policy for England, has met with leaders from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the U.K.'s Christmas plans, and the group will meet again Wednesday. They agreed last month to allow a maximum of three households to mix between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27, regardless of what local restrictions are in place.

\n

\n\tOn Wednesday, London and nearby areas entered the highest level of local restrictions in England -- Tier 3 -- in which pubs and restaurants had to close again apart from takeout, and more curbs were placed on different households meeting up. Other areas in England, including the cities of Manchester and Birmingham, are finding out later Wednesday whether they will be moved down to Tier 2 restrictions.

\n

\n\tJenrick said the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine developed by America's Pfizer and the German company BioNTech had changed the narrative since the Christmas bubble decision was made. The U.K. on Dec. 8 became the first country in the world to use the vaccine, which has a high efficacy rate of around 95%.

\n

\n\t"It's given hope that early in the new year, if not before, those people can be vaccinated. So why not wait a few weeks or months to get family together when you can do so safely in 2021?" he said.

\n

\n\tBritain's new vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said Wednesday that 137,897 people had received a vaccination shot since inoculations began. All those people must return in three weeks for a follow-up shot.

\n

\n\t"A really good start to the vaccination program," he said in a tweet.

\n

\n\tThe government, which is providing the vaccine free of charge mainly at hospitals so far, is first targeting nursing home workers and elderly people over 80. Nursing home residents are now being vaccinated as well after issues relating to the transportation of the vaccine, which needs to be kept at super-cold temperatures, were addressed.

\n

\n\tDespite the update, questions remain over how many people can be inoculated on any given day, and what proportion of people being offered the vaccine are agreeing to get a shot.

\n

\n\tTo date, 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are known to be in the U.K. and 5 million more are expected to arrive this year, half of the original expectation.

\n

\n\tOther vaccines from American biotechnology firm Moderna and one developed by the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca are currently being assessed by British regulators.

","contentSnippet":"Britain's easing of restrictions for family gatherings over Christmas looks like it's still on despite a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections that's raised fears of another wave of cases and deaths in the new year.\n\n\tBritain's communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, said further discussions will take place on Wednesday between leaders from the four nations of the U.K. about the planned relaxation. However, he gave no indication that a change would be announced, beyond urging people to think harder about their holiday plans.\n\n\t\"It could be counterproductive to produce overly restrictive rules rather than providing very clear and sober guidance and ask people to think carefully and come to their informed judgment,\" he told BBC radio.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tCriticism of the planned five-day easing of restrictions, which would allow three households to form a holiday bubble, have ratcheted higher in recent days. With new infections rising in many places, concerns are growing that the relaxation will only escalate infections and deaths and put too much pressure on the already-stressed National Health Service.\n\n\tMichael Gove, a senior member of Britain's Conservative government, which sets public health policy for England, has met with leaders from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the U.K.'s Christmas plans, and the group will meet again Wednesday. They agreed last month to allow a maximum of three households to mix between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27, regardless of what local restrictions are in place.\n\n\tOn Wednesday, London and nearby areas entered the highest level of local restrictions in England -- Tier 3 -- in which pubs and restaurants had to close again apart from takeout, and more curbs were placed on different households meeting up. Other areas in England, including the cities of Manchester and Birmingham, are finding out later Wednesday whether they will be moved down to Tier 2 restrictions.\n\n\tJenrick said the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine developed by America's Pfizer and the German company BioNTech had changed the narrative since the Christmas bubble decision was made. The U.K. on Dec. 8 became the first country in the world to use the vaccine, which has a high efficacy rate of around 95%.\n\n\t\"It's given hope that early in the new year, if not before, those people can be vaccinated. So why not wait a few weeks or months to get family together when you can do so safely in 2021?\" he said.\n\n\tBritain's new vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said Wednesday that 137,897 people had received a vaccination shot since inoculations began. All those people must return in three weeks for a follow-up shot.\n\n\t\"A really good start to the vaccination program,\" he said in a tweet.\n\n\tThe government, which is providing the vaccine free of charge mainly at hospitals so far, is first targeting nursing home workers and elderly people over 80. Nursing home residents are now being vaccinated as well after issues relating to the transportation of the vaccine, which needs to be kept at super-cold temperatures, were addressed.\n\n\tDespite the update, questions remain over how many people can be inoculated on any given day, and what proportion of people being offered the vaccine are agreeing to get a shot.\n\n\tTo date, 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are known to be in the U.K. and 5 million more are expected to arrive this year, half of the original expectation.\n\n\tOther vaccines from American biotechnology firm Moderna and one developed by the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca are currently being assessed by British regulators.","guid":"1.5233222","isoDate":"2020-12-16T11:12:28Z","embed":"

U.K. still plans to ease restrictions on holiday gatherings

CTVNewsBritain's easing of restrictions for family gatherings over Christmas looks like it's still on despite a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections that's raised fears of another wave of cases and deaths in the new year.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/f26ef224-2402-4ed7-9af9-05b58e8a3ea5.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/f26ef224-2402-4ed7-9af9-05b58e8a3ea5_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/f26ef224-2402-4ed7-9af9-05b58e8a3ea5_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/f26ef224-2402-4ed7-9af9-05b58e8a3ea5_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/f26ef224-2402-4ed7-9af9-05b58e8a3ea5.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/f26ef224-2402-4ed7-9af9-05b58e8a3ea5_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/f26ef224-2402-4ed7-9af9-05b58e8a3ea5_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411689,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:30 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:19 PM","Content":"

Lovesick Scot jailed for breaching virus rules on jet-ski odyssey

CoronavirusA lovesick Scottish man who bought a jet-ski so he could evade lockdown measures to visit his girlfriend in the Isle of Man has been jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions, reports said.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"AFP","title":"Lovesick Scot jailed for breaching virus rules on jet-ski odyssey","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/lovesick-scot-jailed-for-breaching-virus-rules-on-jet-ski-odyssey-1.5233282","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 07:48:27 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233284.1608122869!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"AFP","content":"

\n\tA lovesick Scottish man who bought a jet-ski so he could evade lockdown measures to visit his girlfriend in the Isle of Man has been jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions, reports said.

\n

\n\tDale McLaughlan from Ayrshire in southern Scotland met his girlfriend while working as a roofer on the island in the Irish Sea in September, the BBC reported Tuesday.

\n

\n\tCoronavirus restrictions on the tax haven -- famous for the annual Tourist Trophy motorcycle race -- mean non-residents currently require special permission to land on the island.

\n\n

\n\tBut after returning to Scotland when his contract ended, McLaughlan was denied permission to re-enter the island, the BBC said.

\n

\n\tUndeterred, the 28-year-old bought a jet-ski and set off last Friday to make the 40-kilometre (25-mile) sea-crossing by stealth.

\n

\n\tHe had never ridden a jet-ski before and expected the journey to take around 40 minutes, prosecutors told a court in Douglas, the island's main town, according to the BBC.

\n

\n\tBut the journey across the choppy waters -- which have an average December temperature of around eight degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) according to Ireland's meteorological service -- took over four hours.

\n

\n\tHe then had to walk 24 kilometres (15 miles) to his girlfriend's home.

\n

\n\tOn Sunday he was arrested by police after they found out he had arrived illegally and visited nightclubs with his girlfriend.

\n

\n\tDeputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan had made a "deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate" the border restrictions, and jailed him for four weeks, the BBC said.

\n

\n\tMcLaughlan's defence lawyer said he had suffered from depression at not being able to see his partner.

","contentSnippet":"A lovesick Scottish man who bought a jet-ski so he could evade lockdown measures to visit his girlfriend in the Isle of Man has been jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions, reports said.\n\n\tDale McLaughlan from Ayrshire in southern Scotland met his girlfriend while working as a roofer on the island in the Irish Sea in September, the BBC reported Tuesday.\n\n\tCoronavirus restrictions on the tax haven -- famous for the annual Tourist Trophy motorcycle race -- mean non-residents currently require special permission to land on the island.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\tBut after returning to Scotland when his contract ended, McLaughlan was denied permission to re-enter the island, the BBC said.\n\n\tUndeterred, the 28-year-old bought a jet-ski and set off last Friday to make the 40-kilometre (25-mile) sea-crossing by stealth.\n\n\tHe had never ridden a jet-ski before and expected the journey to take around 40 minutes, prosecutors told a court in Douglas, the island's main town, according to the BBC.\n\n\tBut the journey across the choppy waters -- which have an average December temperature of around eight degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) according to Ireland's meteorological service -- took over four hours.\n\n\tHe then had to walk 24 kilometres (15 miles) to his girlfriend's home.\n\n\tOn Sunday he was arrested by police after they found out he had arrived illegally and visited nightclubs with his girlfriend.\n\n\tDeputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan had made a \"deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate\" the border restrictions, and jailed him for four weeks, the BBC said.\n\n\tMcLaughlan's defence lawyer said he had suffered from depression at not being able to see his partner.","guid":"1.5233282","isoDate":"2020-12-16T12:48:27Z","embed":"

Lovesick Scot jailed for breaching virus rules on jet-ski odyssey

CoronavirusA lovesick Scottish man who bought a jet-ski so he could evade lockdown measures to visit his girlfriend in the Isle of Man has been jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions, reports said.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/cca19bfd-4585-4a2d-b4ad-b9813a808a89.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/cca19bfd-4585-4a2d-b4ad-b9813a808a89_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/cca19bfd-4585-4a2d-b4ad-b9813a808a89_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/cca19bfd-4585-4a2d-b4ad-b9813a808a89.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/cca19bfd-4585-4a2d-b4ad-b9813a808a89_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/cca19bfd-4585-4a2d-b4ad-b9813a808a89_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/cca19bfd-4585-4a2d-b4ad-b9813a808a89_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411693,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:32 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:20 PM","Content":"

Manitoba, three Atlantic provinces to start COVID-19 vaccinations

CTVNewsManitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are planning to administer their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Canadian Press","title":"Manitoba, three Atlantic provinces to start COVID-19 vaccinations","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/manitoba-three-atlantic-provinces-to-start-covid-19-vaccinations-1.5233207","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 04:33:59 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5230512.1607973823!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Canadian Press","content":"

\n\tMore provinces are planning to administer their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today.

\n

\n\tManitoba says high-priority health workers will be getting the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.

\n

\n\tNova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are also gearing up to start immunizations.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tSaskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia began giving shots Tuesday, after the first ones in Canada were given in Ontario and Quebec on Monday.

\n

\n\tPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said Canada is to get up to 168,000 doses of Moderna's vaccine by the end of December, ahead of schedule.

\n

\n\tIt has not yet been approved by Health Canada, but Trudeau said deliveries could begin within 48 hours of getting the green light.

\n

\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.

","contentSnippet":"More provinces are planning to administer their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today.\n\n\tManitoba says high-priority health workers will be getting the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.\n\n\tNova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are also gearing up to start immunizations.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tSaskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia began giving shots Tuesday, after the first ones in Canada were given in Ontario and Quebec on Monday.\n\n\tPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said Canada is to get up to 168,000 doses of Moderna's vaccine by the end of December, ahead of schedule.\n\n\tIt has not yet been approved by Health Canada, but Trudeau said deliveries could begin within 48 hours of getting the green light.\n\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.","guid":"1.5233207","isoDate":"2020-12-16T09:33:59Z","embed":"

Manitoba, three Atlantic provinces to start COVID-19 vaccinations

CTVNewsManitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are planning to administer their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/e736547c-68ad-4db9-a277-4e4c5c5dff1b.jpg","width":600,"height":337,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/e736547c-68ad-4db9-a277-4e4c5c5dff1b.jpg","width":600,"height":337},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/e736547c-68ad-4db9-a277-4e4c5c5dff1b_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/e736547c-68ad-4db9-a277-4e4c5c5dff1b_800.jpg","width":620,"height":348},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/e736547c-68ad-4db9-a277-4e4c5c5dff1b_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":348},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/e736547c-68ad-4db9-a277-4e4c5c5dff1b_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/e736547c-68ad-4db9-a277-4e4c5c5dff1b_300.jpg","width":300,"height":168}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411694,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:32 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:22 PM","Content":"

Pattie Lovett-Reid: What you need to know about CERB as the year ends

CTVNewsGovernment programs and bailouts were the financial lifeline to families in need this year; however, if you don't plan for it properly it could become the anchor that sinks you in 2021, CTV News' Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid writes in her column for CTVNews.ca.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Patricia Lovett-Reid","title":"Pattie Lovett-Reid: What you need to know about CERB as the year ends","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/pattie-lovett-reid-what-you-need-to-know-about-cerb-as-the-year-ends-1.5231747","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 06:00:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5031140.1595257720!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Patricia Lovett-Reid","content":"

\n\tFor many Canadians this year has been a challenge. Families have been hit hard by the pandemic, and for many, health concerns linger. Financially it has been tough as jobs were lost and lockdowns persist. Government programs and bailouts were the financial lifeline to families in need; however, if you don't plan for it properly it could become the anchor that sinks you in 2021. 

\n

\n\tIn fact, a recent survey out by Scotiabank it highlights almost one in five Canadians have received CERB to assist them financially while two-thirds are concerned about the effect the benefit will have on their tax return especially those between the ages of 18-34 (72%) and 35- 54 (71%). This is concerning as time is running out for year-end tax planning.

\n

\n\tLet’s look back: If you were unable to work your regularly scheduled hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, due to a job loss, quarantine, or even forced to care for family members in 2020 you were eligible for the CERB benefit for up to 28 weeks at $500 per week to a maximum of $14,000. The CERB was available until September 26, and yet you could still apply retroactively until, December 2. 

\n

\n\tIt was telegraphed loudly at the time by CRA that no tax was deducted at the source. As a result. the government will be issuing you a T4A reporting slip for the total amount of CERB you received. In turn, it must be then reported as income when filing your 2020 taxes. The actual amount you owe will depend on your 2020 marginal tax rate. 

\n

\n\tWhen the CERB wound down in September it was replaced with three separate programs:

\n
    \n\t
  1. \n\t\tCanada Recovery Benefit (CRB): If you are self-employed and not eligible for EI you can receive a taxable benefit of $500.00 per week for up to 26 weeks. The government will withhold 10% in taxes on any payments, but beware it may not be enough to cover off your tax liability. As well, there is a threshold limit of $38,000 excluding CRB, meaning if you earned more then $38,000 you may be required to pay back the government at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar of CRB received over this amount.
  2. \n\t
  3. \n\t\tCanada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB): If you become ill or have to self- isolate due to COVID-19 and don't get paid sick leave, this benefit will pay you $500 per week, for up to 2 weeks and is available from September 27, 2020 to September 25 2021. Similar to the CRB, the amount paid to you is taxable and subject to a 10% withholding tax.
  4. \n\t
  5. \n\t\tCanada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB): This plan is available for those having to care for a family member due to COVID-19. It amounts to $500 per week and runs in duration similar to the CRSB. This benefit, like the others, is a taxable benefit and subject to withholding tax of 10%.
  6. \n
\n

\n\tMy fear is that the benefits offered by the government a necessary lifeline for families has been taken at face value and the tax consequences ignored. I get it. Families needed the money to make ends meet. All the money they could get their hands on and the tax consequences were not the priority. However, fast forward to today, and the reality is these benefits are considered to be income and will be taxed accordingly at your marginal rate for the 2020 taxation year. 

\n

\n\tThe new programs now have 10% withholding tax embedded in them, yet for some that still may not be enough money held back for taxes, depending on how much income has been earned and your corresponding marginal tax rate. 

\n

\n\tFor others who benefited from the CERB it is all on you to tuck some money aside for payment back to the government come April.

\n

\n\tYou don't need to make a tough year tougher on yourself financially, so a little year-end tax planning estimation will cost you time today but could save you money come April when you file your 2020 taxes.

\n

\n\tCall to action:

\n
    \n\t
  1. \n\t\tEstimate your 2020 income from all sources, including the government. 
  2. \n\t
  3. \n\t\tLook for ways to reduce your 2020 income by making a contribution to your RRSP, a charitable donation, pooling medical and dental expenses and search out all avenues to lower your 2020 tax bill.
  4. \n\t
  5. \n\t\tReduce any discretionary costs and tuck aside unused money for the tax liability that is coming your way.
  6. \n\t
  7. \n\t\tFor some, the withholding tax of 10% will be sufficient; however, for many it won't be. Determine today what you will owe and plan accordingly. 
  8. \n
","contentSnippet":"For many Canadians this year has been a challenge. Families have been hit hard by the pandemic, and for many, health concerns linger. Financially it has been tough as jobs were lost and lockdowns persist. Government programs and bailouts were the financial lifeline to families in need; however, if you don't plan for it properly it could become the anchor that sinks you in 2021. \n\n\tIn fact, a recent survey out by Scotiabank it highlights almost one in five Canadians have received CERB to assist them financially while two-thirds are concerned about the effect the benefit will have on their tax return especially those between the ages of 18-34 (72%) and 35- 54 (71%). This is concerning as time is running out for year-end tax planning.\n\n\tLet’s look back: If you were unable to work your regularly scheduled hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, due to a job loss, quarantine, or even forced to care for family members in 2020 you were eligible for the CERB benefit for up to 28 weeks at $500 per week to a maximum of $14,000. The CERB was available until September 26, and yet you could still apply retroactively until, December 2. \n\n\tIt was telegraphed loudly at the time by CRA that no tax was deducted at the source. As a result. the government will be issuing you a T4A reporting slip for the total amount of CERB you received. In turn, it must be then reported as income when filing your 2020 taxes. The actual amount you owe will depend on your 2020 marginal tax rate. \n\n\tWhen the CERB wound down in September it was replaced with three separate programs:\n\n\t\n\t\tCanada Recovery Benefit (CRB): If you are self-employed and not eligible for EI you can receive a taxable benefit of $500.00 per week for up to 26 weeks. The government will withhold 10% in taxes on any payments, but beware it may not be enough to cover off your tax liability. As well, there is a threshold limit of $38,000 excluding CRB, meaning if you earned more then $38,000 you may be required to pay back the government at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar of CRB received over this amount.\n\t\n\t\tCanada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB): If you become ill or have to self- isolate due to COVID-19 and don't get paid sick leave, this benefit will pay you $500 per week, for up to 2 weeks and is available from September 27, 2020 to September 25 2021. Similar to the CRB, the amount paid to you is taxable and subject to a 10% withholding tax.\n\t\n\t\tCanada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB): This plan is available for those having to care for a family member due to COVID-19. It amounts to $500 per week and runs in duration similar to the CRSB. This benefit, like the others, is a taxable benefit and subject to withholding tax of 10%.\n\n\n\tMy fear is that the benefits offered by the government a necessary lifeline for families has been taken at face value and the tax consequences ignored. I get it. Families needed the money to make ends meet. All the money they could get their hands on and the tax consequences were not the priority. However, fast forward to today, and the reality is these benefits are considered to be income and will be taxed accordingly at your marginal rate for the 2020 taxation year. \n\n\tThe new programs now have 10% withholding tax embedded in them, yet for some that still may not be enough money held back for taxes, depending on how much income has been earned and your corresponding marginal tax rate. \n\n\tFor others who benefited from the CERB it is all on you to tuck some money aside for payment back to the government come April.\n\n\tYou don't need to make a tough year tougher on yourself financially, so a little year-end tax planning estimation will cost you time today but could save you money come April when you file your 2020 taxes.\n\n\tCall to action:\n\n\t\n\t\tEstimate your 2020 income from all sources, including the government. \n\t\n\t\tLook for ways to reduce your 2020 income by making a contribution to your RRSP, a charitable donation, pooling medical and dental expenses and search out all avenues to lower your 2020 tax bill.\n\t\n\t\tReduce any discretionary costs and tuck aside unused money for the tax liability that is coming your way.\n\t\n\t\tFor some, the withholding tax of 10% will be sufficient; however, for many it won't be. Determine today what you will owe and plan accordingly. ","guid":"1.5231747","isoDate":"2020-12-16T11:00:00Z","embed":"

Pattie Lovett-Reid: What you need to know about CERB as the year ends

CTVNewsGovernment programs and bailouts were the financial lifeline to families in need this year; however, if you don't plan for it properly it could become the anchor that sinks you in 2021, CTV News' Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid writes in her column for CTVNews.ca.\n\n
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7e096483-e39d-42f9-adfb-951a57f843df.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7e096483-e39d-42f9-adfb-951a57f843df_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7e096483-e39d-42f9-adfb-951a57f843df_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7e096483-e39d-42f9-adfb-951a57f843df_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7e096483-e39d-42f9-adfb-951a57f843df_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7e096483-e39d-42f9-adfb-951a57f843df_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7e096483-e39d-42f9-adfb-951a57f843df.jpg","width":600,"height":338}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411695,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:33 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:23 PM","Content":"

CRA quietly updated website for CERB eligibility weeks after applications opened

CoronavirusThe CRA updated its website more than two weeks after Canadians started applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to include a critical detail that was left out when applications opened.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Graham Slaughter","title":"CRA quietly updated website for CERB eligibility weeks after applications opened","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/cra-quietly-updated-website-for-cerb-eligibility-weeks-after-applications-opened-1.5232713","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 19:00:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5149311.1602930478!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Graham Slaughter","content":"

\n\tThe CRA quietly updated its website more than two weeks after Canadians started applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to include a critical detail that was left out when applications opened in early April.

\n

\n\tSome CERB recipients say the omission is part of a larger series of mistakes and mixed messages from the CRA and the federal government in the early rollout of the benefit, and they’re now on the hook to repay every dollar.

\n

\n\tSome self-employed Canadians have received letters asking them to repay up to $14,000 by Dec. 31 because they never qualified for the CERB. In many of these cases, recipients made more than $5,000 gross income in 2019 but less than $5,000 net income, which is calculated after expenses.

\n\n

\n\tTo apply for CERB, an individual needed to have made at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months before they applied, according to the CRA website.

\n

\n\tNet income was never mentioned on CERB applications or the CRA’s online page describing who is eligible, although it does appear on a separate "questions and answers" page.

\n

\n\tBut that wording wasn’t always there. When applications for the CERB opened on April 6, there was no mention of net income anywhere on the Q&A page, according to online archives of the page.

\n

\n\tSometime between April 21 and April 25, the CRA added a section related to self-employed Canadians specifying that “owners who rely on business income should consider their net pre-tax income (gross income less expenses).”

\n

\n\tThere remains no mention of net income on the CERB’s “who is eligible” page online. The word “net” also doesn’t appear anywhere on legislation passed in the House of Commons in March to create the benefit.

\n

\n\tLast week, the CRA told CTVNews.ca that eligibility for the CERB was always based on net income, not gross, and that “there has been no change to this position during the lifecycle of the CERB.”

\n

\n\tConfusing messages have also come directly from the Liberal government. In the early days of the pandemic, then-finance minister Bill Morneau used the word “revenue” when describing the eligibility criteria for an individual’s income. Revenue accounts for gross income before deductions, not net income.

\n

\n\t“Every Canadian that finds themselves in the situation where they’ve earned revenue in the past 12 months of $5,000 or more and they don’t have any income as a result of COVID-19, they can get this benefit,” Morneau said during a press conference on March 25.

\n

\n\tNancy Reid is among those Canadians frustrated by the early communications from the government. She started a dog training and boarding business out of her home in New Brunswick seven years ago. Due to her CPP disability pension, she’s limited by the amount of extra income she can make, to about $6,000 per year before deductions.

\n

\n\tShe applied for the CERB as soon as it was available.

\n

\n\t“Because of the pandemic, my age and underlying health conditions, it became far too risky for me to be in regular contact with people,” she told CTVNews.ca on Tuesday.

\n

\n\tBut before applying, Reid said she studied the CERB application and online material for any mention of net income. She couldn’t find anything.

\n

\n\t“I consider myself financially literate and so, yes, I do know the difference. However, gross and net were not mentioned anywhere on the application process,” she said.

\n

\n\t“I read and re-read it several times, dove deep into the other linked information pages and press releases, checked my tax statement from 2019, and it seemed clear I was eligible.”

\n

\n\tSo she was shocked when she received a repayment letter last week. She’s already spent her CERB funds and is now considering selling her home to afford the repayment — something that she says would spell the end of her home business.

\n

\n\t“I kind of feel like I was conned and the government should suck up their obvious mistake. That money is gone — into groceries, heating bills, medicine ... gone.”

\n

\n\tShe’s reached out to her local MP, Jenica Atwin with the Green Party, asking for help. Ideally, she’d like to see the government forgive CERB recipients in her predicament.

\n

\n\t“I would like the government to admit it wasn't clear on the application website,” she said. "That it was being sneaky and dishonest to go in and add the ‘net’ part to the web information long after CERB first came out.”

\n

\n\tALLEGATIONS OF CONFUSION AMONG CRA AGENTS

\n

\n\tConcerns have also been raised about messaging from CRA agents. Nils Damborg from Nanaimo, B.C., is retired and relies on sales from craft fairs to supplement his pension. He sells furniture and cutting boards and brings in about $18,000 gross income per year, but that drops down to $3,000 net income after expenses — mostly materials and booth rentals at fairs.

\n

\n\tHe and his wife both applied for CERB and together received about $20,000. But they were wary to spend it.

\n

\n\t“We just put the money in the bank and said we better not use this, because I have a feeling things are going to change,” Damborg said.

\n

\n\tLast month, Damborg decided to retroactively apply for CERB to cover some months earlier in the year due to cancelled craft fairs. He called the CRA to check if this was OK, and if he qualified for CERB in the first place based on his gross income.

\n

\n\tDamborg said the agent pulled up four years of his tax returns and double-checked the rules with a supervisor.

\n

\n\t“He asked some questions and said, ‘No, you definitely qualify,’” he said.

\n

\n\tThen, after he received a letter requesting repayment, Damborg called the CRA a second time. This time he was given the opposite message: he didn’t qualify for CERB, despite the previous confirmation.

\n

\n\tDamborg said he’s glad he didn’t spend the CERB money, but it’s frustrating that he was given the runaround by the CRA. Both times he called, the agents didn’t seem to understand the problem and had to double-check with supervisors, who came back with conflicting guidance.

\n

\n\t“They both didn’t know that the net is problem,” he said.

\n

\n\tResponding to allegations of confusing information from CRA agents, CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said the agency “takes every effort to ensure its call agent staff and its resources provide the right information that Canadians depend on, and continues to take efforts to do so.”

\n

\n\tBiram added that the CERB was rolled out quickly in order to provide immediate relief for Canadians in the early days of the pandemic.

\n

\n\t“The CRA’s focus remains supporting Canadians through this crisis,” he said.

\n

\n\tGREENS CALL FOR 'COMPASSIONATE PLAN'

\n

\n\tThe CRA has said that it is giving more time and flexibility to CERB recipients to repay what they owe. However, if the CERB money isn’t returned by Dec. 31, these recipients will be sent tax slips for these payments.

\n

\n\tAnyone who received CERB but didn’t qualify based on their net income will be expected to repay the funds, the CRA said.

\n

\n\tAsked about CERB eligibility in question period last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the goal in the early days of the pandemic was to quickly establish financial aid for Canadians as the economy ground to a halt. Now, he said, efforts are being made to verify those payments “on the back end.”

\n

\n\t"The rules did not change, but we indicated to Canadians that we will work with them if people made good-faith mistakes," he said.

\n

\n\tGreen Party Leader Annamie Paul has urged the Liberal government to put a temporary pause on repayments until 2021 and called on the CRA to propose “a much more compassionate plan.” At a press conference last week, Paul said it was always understood that some Canadians might apply for CERB in good faith but not be eligible.

\n

\n\t“And so to send them a notice in December just as we’re entering the holiday season and while we’re in a second wave demanding payment within a month to people who may end up having payments of up to $14,000 is simply not in the spirit of this moment.”

\n

\n\tThe CRA confirmed Monday that it has sent 441,000 “educational” letters to Canadians who may need to repay the benefit. Not all of those recipients are affected by the net income issue but could be subject to repayment for other reasons.

","contentSnippet":"The CRA quietly updated its website more than two weeks after Canadians started applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to include a critical detail that was left out when applications opened in early April.\n\n\tSome CERB recipients say the omission is part of a larger series of mistakes and mixed messages from the CRA and the federal government in the early rollout of the benefit, and they’re now on the hook to repay every dollar.\n\n\tSome self-employed Canadians have received letters asking them to repay up to $14,000 by Dec. 31 because they never qualified for the CERB. In many of these cases, recipients made more than $5,000 gross income in 2019 but less than $5,000 net income, which is calculated after expenses.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\tTo apply for CERB, an individual needed to have made at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months before they applied, according to the CRA website.\n\n\tNet income was never mentioned on CERB applications or the CRA’s online page describing who is eligible, although it does appear on a separate \"questions and answers\" page.\n\n\tBut that wording wasn’t always there. When applications for the CERB opened on April 6, there was no mention of net income anywhere on the Q&A page, according to online archives of the page.\n\n\tSometime between April 21 and April 25, the CRA added a section related to self-employed Canadians specifying that “owners who rely on business income should consider their net pre-tax income (gross income less expenses).”\n\n\tThere remains no mention of net income on the CERB’s “who is eligible” page online. The word “net” also doesn’t appear anywhere on legislation passed in the House of Commons in March to create the benefit.\n\n\tLast week, the CRA told CTVNews.ca that eligibility for the CERB was always based on net income, not gross, and that “there has been no change to this position during the lifecycle of the CERB.”\n\n\tConfusing messages have also come directly from the Liberal government. In the early days of the pandemic, then-finance minister Bill Morneau used the word “revenue” when describing the eligibility criteria for an individual’s income. Revenue accounts for gross income before deductions, not net income.\n\n\t“Every Canadian that finds themselves in the situation where they’ve earned revenue in the past 12 months of $5,000 or more and they don’t have any income as a result of COVID-19, they can get this benefit,” Morneau said during a press conference on March 25.\n\n\tNancy Reid is among those Canadians frustrated by the early communications from the government. She started a dog training and boarding business out of her home in New Brunswick seven years ago. Due to her CPP disability pension, she’s limited by the amount of extra income she can make, to about $6,000 per year before deductions.\n\n\tShe applied for the CERB as soon as it was available.\n\n\t“Because of the pandemic, my age and underlying health conditions, it became far too risky for me to be in regular contact with people,” she told CTVNews.ca on Tuesday.\n\n\tBut before applying, Reid said she studied the CERB application and online material for any mention of net income. She couldn’t find anything.\n\n\t“I consider myself financially literate and so, yes, I do know the difference. However, gross and net were not mentioned anywhere on the application process,” she said.\n\n\t“I read and re-read it several times, dove deep into the other linked information pages and press releases, checked my tax statement from 2019, and it seemed clear I was eligible.”\n\n\tSo she was shocked when she received a repayment letter last week. She’s already spent her CERB funds and is now considering selling her home to afford the repayment — something that she says would spell the end of her home business.\n\n\t“I kind of feel like I was conned and the government should suck up their obvious mistake. That money is gone — into groceries, heating bills, medicine ... gone.”\n\n\tShe’s reached out to her local MP, Jenica Atwin with the Green Party, asking for help. Ideally, she’d like to see the government forgive CERB recipients in her predicament.\n\n\t“I would like the government to admit it wasn't clear on the application website,” she said. \"That it was being sneaky and dishonest to go in and add the ‘net’ part to the web information long after CERB first came out.”\n\n\tALLEGATIONS OF CONFUSION AMONG CRA AGENTS\n\n\tConcerns have also been raised about messaging from CRA agents. Nils Damborg from Nanaimo, B.C., is retired and relies on sales from craft fairs to supplement his pension. He sells furniture and cutting boards and brings in about $18,000 gross income per year, but that drops down to $3,000 net income after expenses — mostly materials and booth rentals at fairs.\n\n\tHe and his wife both applied for CERB and together received about $20,000. But they were wary to spend it.\n\n\t“We just put the money in the bank and said we better not use this, because I have a feeling things are going to change,” Damborg said.\n\n\tLast month, Damborg decided to retroactively apply for CERB to cover some months earlier in the year due to cancelled craft fairs. He called the CRA to check if this was OK, and if he qualified for CERB in the first place based on his gross income.\n\n\tDamborg said the agent pulled up four years of his tax returns and double-checked the rules with a supervisor.\n\n\t“He asked some questions and said, ‘No, you definitely qualify,’” he said.\n\n\tThen, after he received a letter requesting repayment, Damborg called the CRA a second time. This time he was given the opposite message: he didn’t qualify for CERB, despite the previous confirmation.\n\n\tDamborg said he’s glad he didn’t spend the CERB money, but it’s frustrating that he was given the runaround by the CRA. Both times he called, the agents didn’t seem to understand the problem and had to double-check with supervisors, who came back with conflicting guidance.\n\n\t“They both didn’t know that the net is problem,” he said.\n\n\tResponding to allegations of confusing information from CRA agents, CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said the agency “takes every effort to ensure its call agent staff and its resources provide the right information that Canadians depend on, and continues to take efforts to do so.”\n\n\tBiram added that the CERB was rolled out quickly in order to provide immediate relief for Canadians in the early days of the pandemic.\n\n\t“The CRA’s focus remains supporting Canadians through this crisis,” he said.\n\n\tGREENS CALL FOR 'COMPASSIONATE PLAN'\n\n\tThe CRA has said that it is giving more time and flexibility to CERB recipients to repay what they owe. However, if the CERB money isn’t returned by Dec. 31, these recipients will be sent tax slips for these payments.\n\n\tAnyone who received CERB but didn’t qualify based on their net income will be expected to repay the funds, the CRA said.\n\n\tAsked about CERB eligibility in question period last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the goal in the early days of the pandemic was to quickly establish financial aid for Canadians as the economy ground to a halt. Now, he said, efforts are being made to verify those payments “on the back end.”\n\n\t\"The rules did not change, but we indicated to Canadians that we will work with them if people made good-faith mistakes,\" he said.\n\n\tGreen Party Leader Annamie Paul has urged the Liberal government to put a temporary pause on repayments until 2021 and called on the CRA to propose “a much more compassionate plan.” At a press conference last week, Paul said it was always understood that some Canadians might apply for CERB in good faith but not be eligible.\n\n\t“And so to send them a notice in December just as we’re entering the holiday season and while we’re in a second wave demanding payment within a month to people who may end up having payments of up to $14,000 is simply not in the spirit of this moment.”\n\n\tThe CRA confirmed Monday that it has sent 441,000 “educational” letters to Canadians who may need to repay the benefit. Not all of those recipients are affected by the net income issue but could be subject to repayment for other reasons.","guid":"1.5232713","isoDate":"2020-12-16T00:00:00Z","embed":"

CRA quietly updated website for CERB eligibility weeks after applications opened

CoronavirusThe CRA updated its website more than two weeks after Canadians started applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to include a critical detail that was left out when applications opened.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a91395c4-dfa1-41f3-8bd0-ec8326fda469.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a91395c4-dfa1-41f3-8bd0-ec8326fda469_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a91395c4-dfa1-41f3-8bd0-ec8326fda469_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a91395c4-dfa1-41f3-8bd0-ec8326fda469.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a91395c4-dfa1-41f3-8bd0-ec8326fda469_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a91395c4-dfa1-41f3-8bd0-ec8326fda469_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a91395c4-dfa1-41f3-8bd0-ec8326fda469_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411678,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:28 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:28 PM","Content":"","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":13 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":""},{"Id":1196411688,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:30 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:30 PM","Content":"","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":13 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":""},{"Id":1196411696,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:32 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:32 PM","Content":"","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":13 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":""},{"Id":1196411816,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:21 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:12 PM","Content":"

Inside one of Canada's new COVID-19 vaccination clinics

CoronavirusThe arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine brings hope to Canada, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine, a challenge that new vaccination clinics are tackling.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Avis Favaro","title":"Inside one of Canada's new COVID-19 vaccination clinics","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/inside-one-of-canada-s-new-covid-19-vaccination-clinics-1.5233051","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 22:00:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233056.1608087371!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Avis Favaro","content":"

\n\tAt Toronto’s University Health Network, there is now a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, where nearly 300 health-care workers were booked on Tuesday to get their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

\n

\n\tThe clinic services five hospitals and long-term care facilities, including the one that personal support worker Charlie Speechley works at.

\n

\n\t“It’s just been a long haul,” Speechley told CTV News. He said that the vaccine rollout was “exciting,” representing “the beginning of the end.”

\n

\n\t“The end is now in sight,” he said.

\n

\n\tThis week, the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Canada, ready to be doled out to health-care workers and others deemed high-priority.

\n

\n\tThe arrival of the vaccine brings hope, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine.

\n\n\n

\n\tThe vaccination clinic is like a flu clinic on steroids, with extra steps to register and administer the inoculation -- uncharted territory, according to the clinic organizer.

\n

\n\tThere are numerous challenges and questions, Leanna Graham told CTV News.

\n

\n\t“How do they register, how do they screen, how do we upload the information,” Graham said. “The logistics around hiring staff for these clinics -- all the infection control considerations.”

\n

\n\tGraham is the director of Professional Practice & Policy at UHN, and she said this is “the first time we've ever done anything like this.”

\n

\n\t“It's been a tremendous amount of work,” she said, adding that they only put together a team to plan out how the vaccination clinic would function around a week ago.

\n

\n\tDown the hall, the vaccines are prepared. The frozen vials are thawed out for half an hour, diluted with saline, and drawn up in a syringe.

\n

\n\tDoses are registered with an expiration time, since they must be used within six hours of thawing. After that point, they’re no longer effective.

\n

\n\tJin Hyeun Huh, senior director of pharmacy at UHN, told CTV News that it’s a “daunting task.”

\n

\n\t“This is not just this week, it will go on for pretty much the whole year of 2021,” he said.

\n

\n\tThe vaccine rollout has taken a huge amount of co-ordination, he pointed out, “not only within the hospital, but through the Ministry of Public Health Agencies, so the collaboration has been wonderful.

\n

\n\t“Without that, I don't think we would have made it.”

\n

\n\tThe clinic will be vaccinating a few hundred people each day, a number determined by how fast new batches of doses can be prepared and how many people can safely attend the clinic in a day.

\n

\n\tSurveys show one third of Canadians are nervous about getting a shot, but that's not the case here.

\n

\n\t“I'm happy to get it, to be one of the first to get it,” Speechley said. The staff at his long-term care facility were asked if they were willing to take the plunge as some of the first recipients of the vaccine, and he “jumped on that.”

\n

\n\tAt his workplace, staff managed to keep residents safe from the virus, but several workers tested positive. At the beginning of the pandemic, the sense of urgency helped him stay functioning through “many shifts in a row,” but it’s been “tough,” he said.

\n

\n\t“You can see it, […] the fatigue is there.”

\n

\n\tPrashanthi Pidikiti, a physiotherapist at a long-term care facility, was also excited to get the vaccine. She’s doing this in part for herself, but mostly for others.

\n

\n\t“If I can get some protection [for] myself and for the rest of the staff, for my colleagues, and also for the residents, then it would be great,” she said. “So that's why I'm here.”

\n

\n\tWhile some personal support workers are receiving the vaccine, others are also signing up to help deliver it. Robinah Kusiima, who works in long-term care, told CTV News she is now helping to administer the vaccine, because she feels it is critical work.

\n

\n\t“I saw people dying in various nursing homes,” she said. “So I decided since the vaccine has come, let me be a part of it.”

\n

\n\tAfter the jab, recipients are asked to wait for 15 minutes. As they leave, they get sheets confirming their vaccination and showing them where to call if they experience side-effects like severe fever.

\n

\n\tThe most important thing they receive before they leave the clinic? A date for dose number two.

\n

\n\t“We have created a scheduling system that automatically generates a second appointment,” Graham said. “It's 21 days after their first appointment.”

\n

\n\tAfter someone receives their first dose, their second dose is kept in the freezer for safekeeping, rather than using up all of the supply at once and relying on further shipments for the second doses.

\n

\n\t“We were given 3,000 doses, and we took a half of those, 1,500, and we'll administer it over the next number of days and then the second 1,500 are saved in […] one of our deep freezer locations, and that will be administered again to the same recipients in three weeks,” Graham explained.

\n

\n\t“So we have absolutely guaranteed that we have that second dose available for them.”

\n

\n\tIt’s a process that will be repeated many millions of times across the country as Canadians receive the vaccine that may help to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.  

","contentSnippet":"At Toronto’s University Health Network, there is now a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, where nearly 300 health-care workers were booked on Tuesday to get their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.\n\n\tThe clinic services five hospitals and long-term care facilities, including the one that personal support worker Charlie Speechley works at.\n\n\t“It’s just been a long haul,” Speechley told CTV News. He said that the vaccine rollout was “exciting,” representing “the beginning of the end.”\n\n\t“The end is now in sight,” he said.\n\n\tThis week, the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Canada, ready to be doled out to health-care workers and others deemed high-priority.\n\n\tThe arrival of the vaccine brings hope, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\t\n\t\tDay 2: Canada's mass COVID-19 vaccination rollout expands \n\n\n\tThe vaccination clinic is like a flu clinic on steroids, with extra steps to register and administer the inoculation -- uncharted territory, according to the clinic organizer.\n\n\tThere are numerous challenges and questions, Leanna Graham told CTV News.\n\n\t“How do they register, how do they screen, how do we upload the information,” Graham said. “The logistics around hiring staff for these clinics -- all the infection control considerations.”\n\n\tGraham is the director of Professional Practice & Policy at UHN, and she said this is “the first time we've ever done anything like this.”\n\n\t“It's been a tremendous amount of work,” she said, adding that they only put together a team to plan out how the vaccination clinic would function around a week ago.\n\n\tDown the hall, the vaccines are prepared. The frozen vials are thawed out for half an hour, diluted with saline, and drawn up in a syringe.\n\n\tDoses are registered with an expiration time, since they must be used within six hours of thawing. After that point, they’re no longer effective.\n\n\tJin Hyeun Huh, senior director of pharmacy at UHN, told CTV News that it’s a “daunting task.”\n\n\t“This is not just this week, it will go on for pretty much the whole year of 2021,” he said.\n\n\tThe vaccine rollout has taken a huge amount of co-ordination, he pointed out, “not only within the hospital, but through the Ministry of Public Health Agencies, so the collaboration has been wonderful.\n\n\t“Without that, I don't think we would have made it.”\n\n\tThe clinic will be vaccinating a few hundred people each day, a number determined by how fast new batches of doses can be prepared and how many people can safely attend the clinic in a day.\n\n\tSurveys show one third of Canadians are nervous about getting a shot, but that's not the case here.\n\n\t“I'm happy to get it, to be one of the first to get it,” Speechley said. The staff at his long-term care facility were asked if they were willing to take the plunge as some of the first recipients of the vaccine, and he “jumped on that.”\n\n\tAt his workplace, staff managed to keep residents safe from the virus, but several workers tested positive. At the beginning of the pandemic, the sense of urgency helped him stay functioning through “many shifts in a row,” but it’s been “tough,” he said.\n\n\t“You can see it, […] the fatigue is there.”\n\n\tPrashanthi Pidikiti, a physiotherapist at a long-term care facility, was also excited to get the vaccine. She’s doing this in part for herself, but mostly for others.\n\n\t“If I can get some protection [for] myself and for the rest of the staff, for my colleagues, and also for the residents, then it would be great,” she said. “So that's why I'm here.”\n\n\tWhile some personal support workers are receiving the vaccine, others are also signing up to help deliver it. Robinah Kusiima, who works in long-term care, told CTV News she is now helping to administer the vaccine, because she feels it is critical work.\n\n\t“I saw people dying in various nursing homes,” she said. “So I decided since the vaccine has come, let me be a part of it.”\n\n\tAfter the jab, recipients are asked to wait for 15 minutes. As they leave, they get sheets confirming their vaccination and showing them where to call if they experience side-effects like severe fever.\n\n\tThe most important thing they receive before they leave the clinic? A date for dose number two.\n\n\t“We have created a scheduling system that automatically generates a second appointment,” Graham said. “It's 21 days after their first appointment.”\n\n\tAfter someone receives their first dose, their second dose is kept in the freezer for safekeeping, rather than using up all of the supply at once and relying on further shipments for the second doses.\n\n\t“We were given 3,000 doses, and we took a half of those, 1,500, and we'll administer it over the next number of days and then the second 1,500 are saved in […] one of our deep freezer locations, and that will be administered again to the same recipients in three weeks,” Graham explained.\n\n\t“So we have absolutely guaranteed that we have that second dose available for them.”\n\n\tIt’s a process that will be repeated many millions of times across the country as Canadians receive the vaccine that may help to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.  ","guid":"1.5233051","isoDate":"2020-12-16T03:00:00Z","embed":"

Inside one of Canada's new COVID-19 vaccination clinics

CoronavirusThe arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine brings hope to Canada, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine, a challenge that new vaccination clinics are tackling.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/dfe0a8c8-ca5e-4137-b643-bf036d1987cf.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/dfe0a8c8-ca5e-4137-b643-bf036d1987cf_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/dfe0a8c8-ca5e-4137-b643-bf036d1987cf_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/dfe0a8c8-ca5e-4137-b643-bf036d1987cf.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/dfe0a8c8-ca5e-4137-b643-bf036d1987cf_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/dfe0a8c8-ca5e-4137-b643-bf036d1987cf_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/dfe0a8c8-ca5e-4137-b643-bf036d1987cf_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411818,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:24 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:12 PM","Content":"

'Build it and they will come': Canada's public transit looks to rebound from COVID-19

CTVNewsThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Canadian Press","title":"'Build it and they will come': Canada's public transit looks to rebound from COVID-19","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/build-it-and-they-will-come-canada-s-public-transit-looks-to-rebound-from-covid-19-1.5233204","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 04:19:19 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.4961506.1590804068!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Canadian Press","content":"

\n\tThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.

\n

\n\tNot long after the global health crisis reached Canada, rates of public transit use across the country dropped by about 85 per cent, according to prof. Matti Siemiatycki of University of Toronto's geography and planning department.

\n

\n\tThe transportation policy expert said there were fears transit agencies in Canada would have to make drastic service cuts. "Public transit networks have been among the most impacted sectors in the economy from the pandemic," he said in a recent interview.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tInstead, provincial and federal funding rescued the country's transit systems from the verge of collapse, he said. In the United States, however, public transit systems are facing the "dreaded transit death spiral," Siemiatycki said, where cuts lead to further declines in ridership, which lead to further cuts and declines.

\n

\n\tWashington, D.C., and Boston have announced major service cuts. In New York City, the local transit authority said in mid-November it may be forced to cut bus and subway service by 40 per cent and lay off more than 9,000 workers.

\n

\n\tIn contrast, Toronto and Montreal are expanding their transit systems. Luc Tremblay, CEO of the Montreal Transit Corp. said in a recent interview Montreal chose to maintain service levels in 2020 at 2019 levels -- despite the fact ridership is about 65 per cent of what it was before COVID-19 hit.

\n

\n\tMontreal, Tremblay said, made that choice so service is available when riders decide to return. "It's the key," he explained. "Build it and they will come."

\n

\n\tOn Dec. 15, as Quebec imposed more COVID-19-related restrictions to stop a surge in infections across the province, the government announced a major expansion to the city's light rail system. Twenty-three new stations will be added to the commuter rail network, with construction set to begin in 2023.

\n

\n\tIn the country's largest city, the Toronto Transit Commission said service during the week of Dec. 4 was at 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. The transit agency said it will maintain the same level of service in 2021. The Ontario government is also moving forward with a $28-billion plan to expand transit in the Toronto area.

\n

\n\tIn British Columbia, transit agencies will receive more than $1 billion in federal and provincial funding to maintain service levels. Federal money also helped Winnipeg's public transit agency fill a gap in its budget after ridership -- and fare revenue -- declined.

\n

\n\tMarco D'Angelo, president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, a trade association that represents the country's public transit agencies, said service across the country is currently about 87 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

\n

\n\t"Systems are not planning to reduce service, but that will likely change unless governments extend financial support," he said in an email.

\n

\n\tSiemiatycki said that while ridership is down, the health crisis has shown the importance of public transit. "Even through the pandemic, transit played a critical role in our economies," he said. "Transit was a lifeline service for people to reach their front-line place of employment."

\n

\n\tDaniel Bergeron with Montreal's public transit authority said he expects the pandemic-induced decline in ridership to have an almost $1-billon impact on the agency's budget between 2020 and 2022. He said government subsidies will help cover most of the shortfall, but added that expenses will need to be cut and improvements put off in order to continue to offer service at 2019 levels.

\n

\n\tWhen the pandemic is over, people will move around differently, he said, adding that he expects service to increase outside traditional peak periods. People working from home will be more likely to take trips during the day instead of at rush hour, he said.

\n

\n\t"In the short term, there's uncertainty," he said. "But in 10, 20 years, it will be a new normal but still normal. We may have a bit more working from home, but it's not open to everybody."

\n

\n\tPeople will still have to go to work in shops, restaurants and manufacturing facilities, and he thinks people will still want to go out to restaurants and go shopping downtown.

\n

\n\t"Good quality of life is not living near a highway," Bergeron said. "Nice neighbourhoods usually come with good public transport services."

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.

\n

\n\tThis story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

","contentSnippet":"The COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.\n\n\tNot long after the global health crisis reached Canada, rates of public transit use across the country dropped by about 85 per cent, according to prof. Matti Siemiatycki of University of Toronto's geography and planning department.\n\n\tThe transportation policy expert said there were fears transit agencies in Canada would have to make drastic service cuts. \"Public transit networks have been among the most impacted sectors in the economy from the pandemic,\" he said in a recent interview.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tInstead, provincial and federal funding rescued the country's transit systems from the verge of collapse, he said. In the United States, however, public transit systems are facing the \"dreaded transit death spiral,\" Siemiatycki said, where cuts lead to further declines in ridership, which lead to further cuts and declines.\n\n\tWashington, D.C., and Boston have announced major service cuts. In New York City, the local transit authority said in mid-November it may be forced to cut bus and subway service by 40 per cent and lay off more than 9,000 workers.\n\n\tIn contrast, Toronto and Montreal are expanding their transit systems. Luc Tremblay, CEO of the Montreal Transit Corp. said in a recent interview Montreal chose to maintain service levels in 2020 at 2019 levels -- despite the fact ridership is about 65 per cent of what it was before COVID-19 hit.\n\n\tMontreal, Tremblay said, made that choice so service is available when riders decide to return. \"It's the key,\" he explained. \"Build it and they will come.\"\n\n\tOn Dec. 15, as Quebec imposed more COVID-19-related restrictions to stop a surge in infections across the province, the government announced a major expansion to the city's light rail system. Twenty-three new stations will be added to the commuter rail network, with construction set to begin in 2023.\n\n\tIn the country's largest city, the Toronto Transit Commission said service during the week of Dec. 4 was at 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. The transit agency said it will maintain the same level of service in 2021. The Ontario government is also moving forward with a $28-billion plan to expand transit in the Toronto area.\n\n\tIn British Columbia, transit agencies will receive more than $1 billion in federal and provincial funding to maintain service levels. Federal money also helped Winnipeg's public transit agency fill a gap in its budget after ridership -- and fare revenue -- declined.\n\n\tMarco D'Angelo, president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, a trade association that represents the country's public transit agencies, said service across the country is currently about 87 per cent of pre-COVID levels.\n\n\t\"Systems are not planning to reduce service, but that will likely change unless governments extend financial support,\" he said in an email.\n\n\tSiemiatycki said that while ridership is down, the health crisis has shown the importance of public transit. \"Even through the pandemic, transit played a critical role in our economies,\" he said. \"Transit was a lifeline service for people to reach their front-line place of employment.\"\n\n\tDaniel Bergeron with Montreal's public transit authority said he expects the pandemic-induced decline in ridership to have an almost $1-billon impact on the agency's budget between 2020 and 2022. He said government subsidies will help cover most of the shortfall, but added that expenses will need to be cut and improvements put off in order to continue to offer service at 2019 levels.\n\n\tWhen the pandemic is over, people will move around differently, he said, adding that he expects service to increase outside traditional peak periods. People working from home will be more likely to take trips during the day instead of at rush hour, he said.\n\n\t\"In the short term, there's uncertainty,\" he said. \"But in 10, 20 years, it will be a new normal but still normal. We may have a bit more working from home, but it's not open to everybody.\"\n\n\tPeople will still have to go to work in shops, restaurants and manufacturing facilities, and he thinks people will still want to go out to restaurants and go shopping downtown.\n\n\t\"Good quality of life is not living near a highway,\" Bergeron said. \"Nice neighbourhoods usually come with good public transport services.\"\n\n\t------\n\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.\n\n\tThis story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.","guid":"1.5233204","isoDate":"2020-12-16T09:19:19Z","embed":"

'Build it and they will come': Canada's public transit looks to rebound from COVID-19

CTVNewsThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/837d829a-a812-45e2-9545-069e75cdf45e.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/837d829a-a812-45e2-9545-069e75cdf45e_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/837d829a-a812-45e2-9545-069e75cdf45e_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/837d829a-a812-45e2-9545-069e75cdf45e_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/837d829a-a812-45e2-9545-069e75cdf45e.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/837d829a-a812-45e2-9545-069e75cdf45e_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/837d829a-a812-45e2-9545-069e75cdf45e_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411823,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:25 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:13 PM","Content":"

Jacinda Ardern: Flattening curve wasn't enough for New Zealand

CTVNewsThe goal of flattening the curve in New Zealand was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press, saying the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"Jacinda Ardern: Flattening curve wasn't enough for New Zealand","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/jacinda-ardern-flattening-curve-wasn-t-enough-for-new-zealand-1.5233152","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:05:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233166.1608094749!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tNew Zealand this year pulled off a moonshot that remains the envy of most other nations: It eliminated the coronavirus.

\n

\n\tBut the goal was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. She said the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.

\n

\n\tAnd there have been plenty of bumps along the way. When a handful of unexplained cases began cropping up in August, Ardern found herself defending wildly exaggerated claims from U.S. President Donald Trump, who told crowds at rallies there was a massive resurgence and "It's over for New Zealand. Everything's gone."

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\t"Was angry the word?" Ardern said, reflecting on Trump's comments. She said while the new cases were deeply concerning, "to be described in that way was a misrepresentation of New Zealand's position."

\n

\n\tThe White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

\n

\n\tNew Zealand's response to the virus has been among the most successful, together with actions taken by China, Taiwan and Thailand early on in the pandemic. The country of 5 million has counted just 25 deaths and managed to stamp out the spread of COVID-19, allowing people to return to workplaces, schools and packed sports stadiums without restrictions.

\n

\n\tWhen the virus began hitting Europe early in the year, Ardern said, the only two options countries were considering were herd immunity or flattening the curve. She opted for the latter.

\n

\n\t"Originally, that's where we started, because there just simply wasn't really much of a view that elimination was possible," she said.

\n

\n\tBut her thinking quickly changed.

\n

\n\t"I remember my chief science adviser bringing me a graph that showed me what flattening the curve would look like for New Zealand. And where our hospital and health capacity was. And the curve wasn't sitting under that line. So we knew that flattening the curve wasn't sufficient for us."

\n

\n\tArdern said she didn't worry that elimination might prove impossible, because even if New Zealand didn't get there, the approach still would have saved lives.

\n

\n\t"The alternative is to set a lesser goal, and then still misfire," she said.

\n

\n\tBorder closures and a strict lockdown in March got rid of the disease, and New Zealand went 102 days without any community spread. But then came the August outbreak in Auckland, which remains unexplained but likely originated abroad.

\n

\n\t"We thought we were through the worst of it. And so it was a real psychological blow for people. And I felt that, too. So it was very, very tough," Ardern said.

\n

\n\tShe said they'd modeled different outbreak scenarios but the one that eventuated "was about the worst that you could even possibly imagine."

\n

\n\tThat's because the outbreak had spread across multiple groups in densely populated areas, she said, and some who caught it had been attending large church gatherings. But after a second lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand again stamped out the disease.

\n

\n\tArdern said she felt confident about her responses despite sometimes feeling a touch of imposter syndrome in her role as leader.

\n

\n\t"You just have to get on with it. There's a job to be done," she said. "Any self-doubt I ever have, just as a human being, doesn't mean that always translates into doubt around what needs to be done."

\n

\n\tTwo months after the second outbreak, Ardern faced an election campaign. She won a second term in an landslide, with her liberal Labour Party winning a majority of all votes, something that last happened in New Zealand's multiparty system in 1951.

\n

\n\tAfter watching President-elect Joe Biden win the U.S. election soon after, Ardern said she's hopeful of improving the relationship between the two nations.

\n

\n\tShe said her job is to build good relationships with every leader.

\n

\n\t"But there's no question that when some of your ideas and values are similar, that's an easier job to do," she said. "And so that's the basis, I think, on which we'll be building the relationship with the new president."

\n

\n\tArdern said she's not afraid of sometimes taking a stance against a more aggressive China despite New Zealand's reliance on Beijing as its largest trading partner.

\n

\n\t"My personal view is that we're at a point where we can raise issues," Ardern said. "We're fairly predictable in the fact that we do. And I think that's an important part of our independent foreign policy."

\n

\n\tFor the world to begin to return to normal, Ardern said, there needs to be comprehensive work around ensuring that everybody can get vaccinated against COVID-19 and putting in place a vaccine certification process that would allow people to travel.

\n

\n\tShe does worry the economic impact of the virus is increasing wealth disparity, and that New Zealanders have defied earlier predictions by sending house prices to new all-time highs.

\n

\n\tShe said there is a psychology behind New Zealand's financial obsession with housing that needs to be examined, otherwise "we won't figure out how to move people back into other parts of the economy."

\n

\n\tArdern said she plans to take some time off over the Southern Hemisphere summer to spend with her fiance, Clarke Gayford, and their 2-year-old daughter, Neve.

\n

\n\t"I'm doing nothing," she said with a laugh. "I will be by the sea, though. It'll be great."

","contentSnippet":"New Zealand this year pulled off a moonshot that remains the envy of most other nations: It eliminated the coronavirus.\n\n\tBut the goal was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. She said the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.\n\n\tAnd there have been plenty of bumps along the way. When a handful of unexplained cases began cropping up in August, Ardern found herself defending wildly exaggerated claims from U.S. President Donald Trump, who told crowds at rallies there was a massive resurgence and \"It's over for New Zealand. Everything's gone.\"\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\t\"Was angry the word?\" Ardern said, reflecting on Trump's comments. She said while the new cases were deeply concerning, \"to be described in that way was a misrepresentation of New Zealand's position.\"\n\n\tThe White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.\n\n\tNew Zealand's response to the virus has been among the most successful, together with actions taken by China, Taiwan and Thailand early on in the pandemic. The country of 5 million has counted just 25 deaths and managed to stamp out the spread of COVID-19, allowing people to return to workplaces, schools and packed sports stadiums without restrictions.\n\n\tWhen the virus began hitting Europe early in the year, Ardern said, the only two options countries were considering were herd immunity or flattening the curve. She opted for the latter.\n\n\t\"Originally, that's where we started, because there just simply wasn't really much of a view that elimination was possible,\" she said.\n\n\tBut her thinking quickly changed.\n\n\t\"I remember my chief science adviser bringing me a graph that showed me what flattening the curve would look like for New Zealand. And where our hospital and health capacity was. And the curve wasn't sitting under that line. So we knew that flattening the curve wasn't sufficient for us.\"\n\n\tArdern said she didn't worry that elimination might prove impossible, because even if New Zealand didn't get there, the approach still would have saved lives.\n\n\t\"The alternative is to set a lesser goal, and then still misfire,\" she said.\n\n\tBorder closures and a strict lockdown in March got rid of the disease, and New Zealand went 102 days without any community spread. But then came the August outbreak in Auckland, which remains unexplained but likely originated abroad.\n\n\t\"We thought we were through the worst of it. And so it was a real psychological blow for people. And I felt that, too. So it was very, very tough,\" Ardern said.\n\n\tShe said they'd modeled different outbreak scenarios but the one that eventuated \"was about the worst that you could even possibly imagine.\"\n\n\tThat's because the outbreak had spread across multiple groups in densely populated areas, she said, and some who caught it had been attending large church gatherings. But after a second lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand again stamped out the disease.\n\n\tArdern said she felt confident about her responses despite sometimes feeling a touch of imposter syndrome in her role as leader.\n\n\t\"You just have to get on with it. There's a job to be done,\" she said. \"Any self-doubt I ever have, just as a human being, doesn't mean that always translates into doubt around what needs to be done.\"\n\n\tTwo months after the second outbreak, Ardern faced an election campaign. She won a second term in an landslide, with her liberal Labour Party winning a majority of all votes, something that last happened in New Zealand's multiparty system in 1951.\n\n\tAfter watching President-elect Joe Biden win the U.S. election soon after, Ardern said she's hopeful of improving the relationship between the two nations.\n\n\tShe said her job is to build good relationships with every leader.\n\n\t\"But there's no question that when some of your ideas and values are similar, that's an easier job to do,\" she said. \"And so that's the basis, I think, on which we'll be building the relationship with the new president.\"\n\n\tArdern said she's not afraid of sometimes taking a stance against a more aggressive China despite New Zealand's reliance on Beijing as its largest trading partner.\n\n\t\"My personal view is that we're at a point where we can raise issues,\" Ardern said. \"We're fairly predictable in the fact that we do. And I think that's an important part of our independent foreign policy.\"\n\n\tFor the world to begin to return to normal, Ardern said, there needs to be comprehensive work around ensuring that everybody can get vaccinated against COVID-19 and putting in place a vaccine certification process that would allow people to travel.\n\n\tShe does worry the economic impact of the virus is increasing wealth disparity, and that New Zealanders have defied earlier predictions by sending house prices to new all-time highs.\n\n\tShe said there is a psychology behind New Zealand's financial obsession with housing that needs to be examined, otherwise \"we won't figure out how to move people back into other parts of the economy.\"\n\n\tArdern said she plans to take some time off over the Southern Hemisphere summer to spend with her fiance, Clarke Gayford, and their 2-year-old daughter, Neve.\n\n\t\"I'm doing nothing,\" she said with a laugh. \"I will be by the sea, though. It'll be great.\"","guid":"1.5233152","isoDate":"2020-12-16T05:05:00Z","embed":"

Jacinda Ardern: Flattening curve wasn't enough for New Zealand

CTVNewsThe goal of flattening the curve in New Zealand was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press, saying the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/db0cac81-0f0e-4c77-a53f-54043f509651.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/db0cac81-0f0e-4c77-a53f-54043f509651_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/db0cac81-0f0e-4c77-a53f-54043f509651_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/db0cac81-0f0e-4c77-a53f-54043f509651_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/db0cac81-0f0e-4c77-a53f-54043f509651_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/db0cac81-0f0e-4c77-a53f-54043f509651.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/db0cac81-0f0e-4c77-a53f-54043f509651_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411825,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:26 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:15 PM","Content":"

Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House

America VotesAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/america-votes/biden-s-challenge-creating-a-covid-19-free-white-house-1.5233182","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:58:36 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5113325.1600699157!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tThree blocks from the White House, office space for more than 500 Biden transition staffers sits mostly idle. The government is shipping out laptops so staffers can work from home. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, surrounded by just a handful of aides in Delaware, is using Zoom to oversee his plans to assume power.

\n

\n\tBut Biden soon will be entering a no-Zoom zone at the White House -- just one sign of the challenges his new administration will face when it moves to Washington in the midst of a pandemic.

\n

\n\tAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tWhite House computers don't allow the popular video conference software Zoom or rival systems like Google Meet and Slack. Government-issue cellphones only gained texting capabilities a few years ago. And many employees will need to be present at the White House to access classified information.

\n

\n\tBiden's team has limited experience with staffing a physical office during the pandemic. His campaign went all-virtual in mid-March, clearing out its Philadelphia headquarters and sending staff back to their families in Washington, New York and beyond. His transition team plotted out his path to power entirely online.

\n

\n\tThe closest Biden's team has come to experimenting with in-person work was election night, when a small selection of masked and socially distanced aides in Wilmington, Delaware, monitored returns in hotel conference rooms, a far cry from running a White House 24/7.

\n

\n\tEven now, the most prominent use of the 100,000-plus square feet (9,290 square meters) of office space reserved for the transition is for Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris to receive the highly classified President's Daily Brief.

\n

\n\tTelework is possible for some White House staff, and improvements in both secure and unclassified videoconferencing have been made over the last two decades. But the lack of in-person co-ordination could pose an additional challenge to the new government facing a multitude of crises.

\n

\n\tFurther complicating matters, the Biden team must devise health and safety protocols from scratch. The Trump administration was, at best, a cautionary tale in how not to run a workplace during a pandemic.

\n

\n\tDespite relying on an aggressive testing regimen that is not available in other workplaces, the West Wing under President Donald Trump has been the locus of at least two significant outbreaks of COVID-19 since Trump himself came down with the virus five weeks before Election Day.

\n

\n\tIn addition to the first family, the dozens in Trump world who have tested positive include the White House chief of staff, the vice-president's chief of staff, the White House press secretary and the president's campaign manager. Still more aides have had to isolate after potential exposure. The full scale of the infections is not publicly known.

\n

\n\tThe problems stemmed in large part from the Trump White House flouting its own guidelines for COVID-19 safety, including holding large events, allowing frequent travel and above all not requiring face masks. The Biden team believes that some of the greatest risk can be mitigated simply by adhering to scientific advice: holding safer events, requiring face coverings and continuing regular testing.

\n

\n\tWhite House veterans say the task of making the West Wing a safe workspace is attainable but will require intense discipline, among both White House staff and the hundreds of government employees from other federal agencies who support it.

\n

\n\tDetailed planning is still underway, but some early considerations are to curtail the number of staffers who have unfettered access to the West Wing, encourage remote work where possible and even have staffers use secure teleconferencing between individual offices to minimize use of shared spaces.

\n

\n\tBiden's team may get a blueprint of sorts for its use of COVID-19 vaccines from the Trump White House, which is beginning to roll out inoculations for some critical government staffers, including military aides to the president, Secret Service agents and Situation Room watch officers.

\n

\n\tBiden himself appears likely to receive at least a first dose of the vaccine before taking office, relying on the advice of the nation's top U.S. infectious-disease expert. Dr. Anthony Fauci called for Biden and Harris to swiftly receive the vaccine.

\n

\n\t"For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can," Fauci said on ABC News on Tuesday. "You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January."

\n

\n\tMoving the Bidens into the White House -- a stressful process even in normal times -- will be more complicated this year.

\n

\n\tThere will be a top-to-bottom cleaning of the West Wing in the hours after Trump vacates the premises and before Biden's team moves in. Public health experts say it's crucial that extra steps be taken to mitigate the spread of the disease during that changeover.

\n

\n\tOne former official said the White House ventilation system, hardened against chemical and biological threats, poses less of a concern than in typical buildings, but the Biden team is not taking any risks.

\n

\n\t"The two things to think about are cleaning off all surfaces, especially high-touch places like door knobs ... and transmission via aerosols and the possibility of aerosols lingering in the air between the two transitions if someone there is currently sick," said Dr. Abraar Karan, a global health specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "Having full air exchange, filtration and open ventilation will be important between the cleaning and the moving in of the new presidential family."

\n

\n\tTypically, the entire move is completed in about five or six hours, said Kate Andersen Brower, author of "The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House." For security reasons, moving day is carried out by White House household staff -- an undertaking that enlists everyone from building engineers to kitchen staff.

\n

\n\t"In the past, there's literally one moving truck in the South Lawn entrance and one in the north entrance," she said. "It's very much an all-hands-on-deck situation."

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tMadhani reported from Wilmington, Del.

","contentSnippet":"Three blocks from the White House, office space for more than 500 Biden transition staffers sits mostly idle. The government is shipping out laptops so staffers can work from home. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, surrounded by just a handful of aides in Delaware, is using Zoom to oversee his plans to assume power.\n\n\tBut Biden soon will be entering a no-Zoom zone at the White House -- just one sign of the challenges his new administration will face when it moves to Washington in the midst of a pandemic.\n\n\tAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tWhite House computers don't allow the popular video conference software Zoom or rival systems like Google Meet and Slack. Government-issue cellphones only gained texting capabilities a few years ago. And many employees will need to be present at the White House to access classified information.\n\n\tBiden's team has limited experience with staffing a physical office during the pandemic. His campaign went all-virtual in mid-March, clearing out its Philadelphia headquarters and sending staff back to their families in Washington, New York and beyond. His transition team plotted out his path to power entirely online.\n\n\tThe closest Biden's team has come to experimenting with in-person work was election night, when a small selection of masked and socially distanced aides in Wilmington, Delaware, monitored returns in hotel conference rooms, a far cry from running a White House 24/7.\n\n\tEven now, the most prominent use of the 100,000-plus square feet (9,290 square meters) of office space reserved for the transition is for Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris to receive the highly classified President's Daily Brief.\n\n\tTelework is possible for some White House staff, and improvements in both secure and unclassified videoconferencing have been made over the last two decades. But the lack of in-person co-ordination could pose an additional challenge to the new government facing a multitude of crises.\n\n\tFurther complicating matters, the Biden team must devise health and safety protocols from scratch. The Trump administration was, at best, a cautionary tale in how not to run a workplace during a pandemic.\n\n\tDespite relying on an aggressive testing regimen that is not available in other workplaces, the West Wing under President Donald Trump has been the locus of at least two significant outbreaks of COVID-19 since Trump himself came down with the virus five weeks before Election Day.\n\n\tIn addition to the first family, the dozens in Trump world who have tested positive include the White House chief of staff, the vice-president's chief of staff, the White House press secretary and the president's campaign manager. Still more aides have had to isolate after potential exposure. The full scale of the infections is not publicly known.\n\n\tThe problems stemmed in large part from the Trump White House flouting its own guidelines for COVID-19 safety, including holding large events, allowing frequent travel and above all not requiring face masks. The Biden team believes that some of the greatest risk can be mitigated simply by adhering to scientific advice: holding safer events, requiring face coverings and continuing regular testing.\n\n\tWhite House veterans say the task of making the West Wing a safe workspace is attainable but will require intense discipline, among both White House staff and the hundreds of government employees from other federal agencies who support it.\n\n\tDetailed planning is still underway, but some early considerations are to curtail the number of staffers who have unfettered access to the West Wing, encourage remote work where possible and even have staffers use secure teleconferencing between individual offices to minimize use of shared spaces.\n\n\tBiden's team may get a blueprint of sorts for its use of COVID-19 vaccines from the Trump White House, which is beginning to roll out inoculations for some critical government staffers, including military aides to the president, Secret Service agents and Situation Room watch officers.\n\n\tBiden himself appears likely to receive at least a first dose of the vaccine before taking office, relying on the advice of the nation's top U.S. infectious-disease expert. Dr. Anthony Fauci called for Biden and Harris to swiftly receive the vaccine.\n\n\t\"For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can,\" Fauci said on ABC News on Tuesday. \"You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January.\"\n\n\tMoving the Bidens into the White House -- a stressful process even in normal times -- will be more complicated this year.\n\n\tThere will be a top-to-bottom cleaning of the West Wing in the hours after Trump vacates the premises and before Biden's team moves in. Public health experts say it's crucial that extra steps be taken to mitigate the spread of the disease during that changeover.\n\n\tOne former official said the White House ventilation system, hardened against chemical and biological threats, poses less of a concern than in typical buildings, but the Biden team is not taking any risks.\n\n\t\"The two things to think about are cleaning off all surfaces, especially high-touch places like door knobs ... and transmission via aerosols and the possibility of aerosols lingering in the air between the two transitions if someone there is currently sick,\" said Dr. Abraar Karan, a global health specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. \"Having full air exchange, filtration and open ventilation will be important between the cleaning and the moving in of the new presidential family.\"\n\n\tTypically, the entire move is completed in about five or six hours, said Kate Andersen Brower, author of \"The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House.\" For security reasons, moving day is carried out by White House household staff -- an undertaking that enlists everyone from building engineers to kitchen staff.\n\n\t\"In the past, there's literally one moving truck in the South Lawn entrance and one in the north entrance,\" she said. \"It's very much an all-hands-on-deck situation.\"\n\n\t------\n\n\tMadhani reported from Wilmington, Del.","guid":"1.5233182","isoDate":"2020-12-16T05:58:36Z","embed":"

Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House

America VotesAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/4404eed8-1581-4d9b-855b-a4007faa8924.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/4404eed8-1581-4d9b-855b-a4007faa8924_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/4404eed8-1581-4d9b-855b-a4007faa8924_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/4404eed8-1581-4d9b-855b-a4007faa8924_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/4404eed8-1581-4d9b-855b-a4007faa8924.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/4404eed8-1581-4d9b-855b-a4007faa8924_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/4404eed8-1581-4d9b-855b-a4007faa8924_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411827,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:27 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:16 PM","Content":"

Tom Cruise rants at 'Mission: Impossible' crew in London over COVID-19 safety

CTVNewsTom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new "Mission: Impossible" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Reuters","title":"Tom Cruise rants at 'Mission: Impossible' crew in London over COVID-19 safety","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/tom-cruise-rants-at-mission-impossible-crew-in-london-over-covid-19-safety-1.5233252","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 07:30:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233268.1608121806!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Reuters","content":"

\n\tTom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new "Mission: Impossible" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.

\n

\n\tIn expletive-filled remarks captured on audio tape obtained by The Sun, the star and producer of the action film yelled at the crew about lapses of social distancing and other rules that allow movies to be made during the coronavirus pandemic.

\n

\n\tA source close to the production said the tape was authentic. Cruise's representative declined to comment.

\n

\n\t"I’m on the phone with every f**king studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies," Cruise told the crew on the set.

\n

\n\t"Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired," he added, according to the tape.

\n

\n\tThe Sun did not say when the incident took place, but the filmmakers arrived in London in early December.

\n

\n\tThe seventh "Mission: Impossible" was one of the first movies to shut down production because of the coronavirus when it abandoned filming in Venice, Italy, in February.

\n

\n\tProduction resumed in September, with filming in Italy, Norway and London. Cruise in July personally appealed to Norway's prime minister to shoot parts of the film in Norway under modified quarantine rules.

\n

\n\tThe Paramount Pictures film is scheduled to be released in November 2021.

\n

\n\tCruise told the crew Hollywood was relying on movies like "Mission: Impossible" to keep the beleaguered industry going.

\n

\n\t"We want the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing," he said, according to the audio tape.

\n

\n\t"Mission: Impossible" is one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, with 2018's "Mission: Impossible-Fallout" taking more than $791 million at the worldwide box office.

","contentSnippet":"Tom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new \"Mission: Impossible\" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.\n\n\tIn expletive-filled remarks captured on audio tape obtained by The Sun, the star and producer of the action film yelled at the crew about lapses of social distancing and other rules that allow movies to be made during the coronavirus pandemic.\n\n\tA source close to the production said the tape was authentic. Cruise's representative declined to comment.\n\n\t\"I’m on the phone with every f**king studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies,\" Cruise told the crew on the set.\n\n\t\"Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired,\" he added, according to the tape.\n\n\tThe Sun did not say when the incident took place, but the filmmakers arrived in London in early December.\n\n\tThe seventh \"Mission: Impossible\" was one of the first movies to shut down production because of the coronavirus when it abandoned filming in Venice, Italy, in February.\n\n\tProduction resumed in September, with filming in Italy, Norway and London. Cruise in July personally appealed to Norway's prime minister to shoot parts of the film in Norway under modified quarantine rules.\n\n\tThe Paramount Pictures film is scheduled to be released in November 2021.\n\n\tCruise told the crew Hollywood was relying on movies like \"Mission: Impossible\" to keep the beleaguered industry going.\n\n\t\"We want the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing,\" he said, according to the audio tape.\n\n\t\"Mission: Impossible\" is one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, with 2018's \"Mission: Impossible-Fallout\" taking more than $791 million at the worldwide box office.","guid":"1.5233252","isoDate":"2020-12-16T12:30:00Z","embed":"

Tom Cruise rants at 'Mission: Impossible' crew in London over COVID-19 safety

CTVNewsTom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new \"Mission: Impossible\" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a631086b-b4db-40a1-b359-2704e91a6910.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a631086b-b4db-40a1-b359-2704e91a6910_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a631086b-b4db-40a1-b359-2704e91a6910_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a631086b-b4db-40a1-b359-2704e91a6910_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a631086b-b4db-40a1-b359-2704e91a6910_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a631086b-b4db-40a1-b359-2704e91a6910.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a631086b-b4db-40a1-b359-2704e91a6910_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411833,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:29 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:17 PM","Content":"

Family festivities or solo celebrations: Here's how Europe is handling a COVID-19 Christmas

CTVNewsEurope is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"CNN","title":"Family festivities or solo celebrations: Here's how Europe is handling a COVID-19 Christmas","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/family-festivities-or-solo-celebrations-here-s-how-europe-is-handling-a-covid-19-christmas-1.5233245","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 06:59:57 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233248.1608119859!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"CNN","content":"

\n\tEurope is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.

\n

\n\tCountries across the continent are taking varied approaches, even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some nations.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tHere's what European nations are planning this festive season.

\n

\n\tAUSTRIA

\n

\n\tAustria is opening ski resorts with limited capacity from Christmas Eve, for locals only. The country's chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on December 2 that skiing could resume from December 24, for the festive period -- but only for people living close to the slopes.

\n

\n\tKurz said skiing, at least for the day, would be possible "for a large part of our population." But he added that lift capacity would be limited and hotels and accommodation providers would remain shut until January 7.

\n

\n\tRestaurants, cafes, bars and clubs will also remain closed until January 7, according to Kurz, allowing for the possibility that if infection rates drop, the government may loosen restrictions.

\n

\n\tBut the limited relaxation of rules for locals has been accompanied by new quarantine requirements for travellers, which were unveiled by the government at the beginning of December.

\n

\n\t''Tourist travel is currently de facto not possible in Austria, in light of the measures against the coronavirus," the government statement said.

\n

\n\tThe new rules mean that until January 10, all arrivals in Austria from a country with more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the previous two weeks will have to quarantine for 10 days.

\n

\n\tThis period can be shortened if visitors test negative after five days in isolation.

\n

\n\t[As of December 3]

\n

\n\tBELGIUM

\n

\n\tBelgium has allowed non-essential shops to reopen from December 1. Museums and swimming pools are also allowed to open, in accordance with their industry protocols.

\n

\n\tBut the country will continue to require people to comply with social distancing protocols over the festive break.

\n

\n\t"During the Christmas period, social contact rules will continue to apply," Belgium's Consultative Committee said in a statement on November 30.

\n

\n\tPeople living alone will be allowed to be with two other people, maximum, "on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, to protect their psychosocial well-being," the committee said. "For meetings outside, the rule of four continues to apply."

\n

\n\tA general ban on large gatherings remains in place, as does a curfew between midnight and 5 a.m.

\n

\n\tTravellers will also be required to quarantine.

\n

\n\t"Persons who have spent more than 48 hours abroad and who will remain in Belgium for more than 48 hours will be subject to stricter controls," the committee said on November 30.

\n

\n\tThese measures will apply until 15 January 2021.

\n

\n\t"At the beginning of January, the situation will be reassessed, based on the medical indicators, to see whether and for which industries a transition to the management phase ... is possible," the committee said.

\n

\n\t[As of November 30]

\n

\n\tBULGARIA

\n

\n\tAll cultural and entertainment events have been suspended across Bulgaria since November 27.

\n

\n\tAn exception has been made for theatrs, where seats can be occupied up to 30% of their total capacity and protective face masks are mandatory.

\n

\n\tRestaurants in the country have also closed their doors to diners, though deliveries and meals for homes and offices are allowed.

\n

\n\tVisits to all shopping centers -- except for essential stores such as grocery stores and pharmacies -- are banned.

\n

\n\tA decision on whether to relax certain restrictions was set to be made on December 17 or December 18.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\t 

\n

\n\tCROATIA

\n

\n\tCroatia is still considering the measures for its Christmas period, but health minister Vili Beros said on December 12 that "he did not believe a strict lockdown would be imposed."

\n

\n\tBeros noted that though a possible travel ban between countries was being discussed, it was unlikely to be introduced, according to Croatia's Public News Agency HIRA.

\n

\n\tMeanwhile the minister of the interior Davor Bozinovic, who is the head of the national COVID-19 response team, has called on Croatians to avoid visiting friends and relatives over the holiday period.

\n

\n\tAll secondary schools in Croatia have switched to online classes.

\n

\n\tAfter a spike in cases, Croatia announced new restrictions, which include "locking down cafes and restaurants, and a ban on wedding parties, fairs and most sports events."

\n

\n\tThese restrictions will be in place from November 28 to December 21.

\n

\n\t[As of December 12]

\n

\n\tCYPRUS

\n

\n\tIn Cyprus, the hospitality sector -- bars, restaurants and cafes -- will be shut until the end of the year. The stricter measures were announced by Cypriot health minister Constantinos Ioannou during the first week of December.

\n

\n\tHigh school students have also switched from in-person classes to online ones.

\n

\n\tCyprus is also banning church attendance over Christmas. A 9 p.m. curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in houses remain in place.

\n

\n\tRetail and department stores can, however, remain open -- under strict rules.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tCZECH REPUBLIC

\n

\n\tThe lower house of the Czech parliament has extended the country's state of emergency to December 23 -- one day before Christmas Eve, which is traditionally the main day of celebrations in the Czech Republic.

\n

\n\tThe Czech Republic has seen a surge in cases in recent months.

\n

\n\tIts state of emergency was originally scheduled to end on December 12.

\n

\n\tThe government had sought an extension until January 11, arguing it was a necessary step to control the spread of the coronavirus.

\n

\n\t[As of December 9]

\n

\n\tDENMARK

\n

\n\tIn Denmark, social distancing recommendations and a ban on gatherings apply through December -- including on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tOfficials have recommended that people keep to a maximum of 10 people in private homes and a maximum of 10 social contacts during the Christmas period and on New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tPeople in Denmark are allowed to see their closest family members on Christmas Eve. These family members will not be included in the 10 social contacts.

\n

\n\tAt the same time, the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will be adjusted to allow for Christmas Eve celebrations in certain parts of society. Communal eating for up to 50 people at social care institutions is allowed. This is also allowed in nursing homes and for homeless, vulnerable or lonely people.

\n

\n\tReligious communities are also allowed to host services conforming with health and safety requirements.

\n

\n\tBut as part of the country's national measures, restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m.

\n

\n\tAll national restrictions in Denmark have been extended until February 28, 2021.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tESTONIA

\n

\n\tEstonia has recommended canceling "all joint events," including Christmas parties, as part of new coronavirus measures that took effect from November 12, according to a government statement on November 10.

\n

\n\t"Celebrating Christmas with family is, of course, allowed," the statement added, noting that the cancellation recommendations apply to all events attended by people who do not come into daily contact.

\n

\n\tThe Estonian measures also include the mandatory wearing of face coverings in all public places, and a recommendation for all employees to work remotely, if possible.

\n

\n\tSince November 16, the operating hours of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues in Estonia have been reduced. All such venues must close at midnight and can have a maximum of 10 people per group.

\n

\n\t[As of November 10]

\n

\n\tFINLAND

\n

\n\tFinland's restrictions are set at a regional level, as opposed to a national one.

\n

\n\tThe number of participants at public events can be limited to 10 people and if necessary, events can prohibited altogether.

\n

\n\tRestrictions for restaurants and cafes are separated into three levels, depending on the region, and remain in force until February 28, 2021.

\n

\n\tRegions regarded as "stable" in terms of coronavirus transmission must stop serving alcoholic beverages by midnight.

\n

\n\tLapland faces harder restrictions than much of the country. Businesses there must stop serving alcoholic beverages by 10 p.m. and those that primarily serve alcohol must close by 11 p.m., while other food and beverage service businesses may remain open until midnight at the latest.

\n

\n\tPubs, bars and nightclubs in Lapland are only permitted half the normal number of customers in their premises at a time.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tFRANCE

\n

\n\tThe French government on December 3 recommended that Christmas and New Year's Eve gatherings be limited to a maximum of six adults -- with no limit on children -- due to the pandemic.

\n

\n\tAn easing of coronavirus restrictions in France scheduled for December 15 was delayed in light of new infection figures, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on December 3.

\n

\n\tCultural venues including theatres, museums, and cinemas had been due to reopen on December 15, but they will remain closed for three additional weeks, Castex said.

\n

\n\tFrance's curfew -- initially set from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- was extended from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Castex added.

\n

\n\tAn exception to the curfew will be made on Christmas Eve, but not on New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tHowever, French citizens will no longer need administrative certificates to leave their homes, as of December 15, Castex said. Citizens will also be allowed to travel to other regions.

\n

\n\tRestaurants and cafés are scheduled to reopen on January 20, 2021.

\n

\n\t[As of December 10]

\n

\n\tGERMANY

\n

\n\tAs of December 16, all non-essential shops, services and schools across Germany will close until January 10, 2021.

\n

\n\tChristmas Day gatherings in the country will be reduced from 10 people to only five from two different households.

\n

\n\tThe restrictions come as Germany grapples with a surge in cases.

\n

\n\tGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said on December 13 that "the philosophy is to stay at home."

\n

\n\tChristmas church services will be subject to prior registration, and no singing will be allowed.

\n

\n\tAlcohol will also be banned from all public spaces, and the annual New Years' Eve fireworks display will be canceled.

\n

\n\tGerman finance minister Olaf Scholz has pledged economic help for all businesses affected by the lockdown.

\n

\n\tSome states are also implementing additional measures -- Bavaria, for example, will have a 9 p.m. curfew.

\n

\n\tMerkel has said she wants to implement a full lockdown for as long as two weeks after Christmas, to bring down infection numbers.

\n

\n\tBerlin mayor Michael Müller has said the German capital is set to implement "significant restrictions" in the run up to Christmas, to curb the spread of cases.

\n

\n\tIn Berlin, the senate has closed schools and shops until January 10, 2021, and school vacations which are due to start on December 21 will be extended until January 10, with students having the option of attending online classes from January 4.

\n

\n\tMüller added that retail shops could close as early as December 20, or at the very latest December 23.

\n

\n\t[As of December 13]

\n

\n\tGREECE

\n

\n\tGreece is extending most of its COVID-19 restrictions through the Christmas holiday period, government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced earlier this month.

\n

\n\tSchools, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, skiing centers and courts will remain shut until January 7, 2021.

\n

\n\tA night-time curfew and a ban on movement between regions will also remain in place until then.

\n

\n\tPetsas said that anyone entering Greece from abroad between December 18 and January 7 will have to quarantine for three days as a precaution, in addition to an already compulsory negative PCR test.

\n

\n\tRetail stores will operate under the "click-away" method, which allows customers to collect goods from shop entrance.

\n

\n\tShopping inside most stores is not allowed. Seasonal shops, bookstores and hair salons will, however, be open throughout the Christmas period.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tIRELAND

\n

\n\tThe Irish government announced an easing of restrictions in November, following a six-week national lockdown.

\n

\n\tFrom December 1, once-shuttered businesses such as hairdressers and non-essential retail outlets were allowed to reopen their doors. And December 3 saw the return of indoor dining in restaurants and gastropubs across the country.

\n

\n\tFrom December 18 to January 6, travel between counties will be permitted once more, in order to facilitate Christmas celebrations.

\n

\n\tDuring this period a household may mix with two other households.

\n

\n\tBut despite the relaxed restrictions, fears of streets thronged with Christmas shoppers have prompted the Irish government to recommend the use of face masks in "crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation."

\n

\n\t[As of November 28]

\n

\n\tITALY

\n

\n\tItaly has banned movement between regions during the Christmas holidays, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

\n

\n\tFrom December 21 to January 6, 2021, people will only be allowed to move from one region to another for work, health reasons and emergencies, according to a decree which came into force on December 3.

\n

\n\tDuring this period, people will not be permitted to travel to their vacation homes.

\n

\n\tOn Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, movement between municipalities will be banned, with exceptions for work, health reasons and emergencies. People will also be allowed to return to their place of residence.

\n

\n\tAnother new decree, to introduce further restrictions for the Christmas holidays, is currently being discussed by the government and regional administrations; it is expected to enter into force on Friday, December 18.

\n

\n\tAmong the measures being discussed are: A national curfew starting at 10 p.m., and restaurants being required to close at 6 p.m. in regions with higher infection rates.

\n

\n\tItaly has also asked that Christmas Eve masses end by around around 8:30 p.m. "so that worshippers can return home before the 10 p.m. curfew," said Sandra Zampa, undersecretary at the health ministry.

\n

\n\t[As of December 3]

\n

\n\tLATVIA

\n

\n\tLatvia declared an emergency situation from November 9, 2020, until January 11, 2021.

\n

\n\tPublic events in the country are canceled and prohibited.

\n

\n\tAnd until January 11, the operation of all cultural sites, including Christmas markets, is banned.

\n

\n\tHowever, museums remain open to visitors.

\n

\n\tPrivate events are also banned, except those within a single household.

\n

\n\tEconomic services related to entertainment and well-being -- such as bars and nightclubs -- are also banned from opening; restaurants are only allowed to provide take-away meals.

\n

\n\tOn weekends and public holidays only pharmacies, service stations and shops selling foodstuffs (except for alcohol) are allowed to operate.

\n

\n\tPeople in Latvia are permitted to visit those who live alone and need care.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tLITHUANIA

\n

\n\tThe Lithuanian government will decide on the country's Christmas rules in the next few days, a health ministry spokesperson said on December 14.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tLUXEMBOURG

\n

\n\tThe maximum number of visitors people can welcome into their homes in Luxembourg is two.

\n

\n\tThe country has also banned people from going out in public between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

\n

\n\tEstablishments serving food and drinks are closed to the public and any gathering exceeding 100 people is banned.

\n

\n\tWith the exception of museums, art centers, libraries and national archives, cultural institutions are closed to the public.

\n

\n\tPlaces of worship are allowed to remain open, but visitors must respect social distancing rules and wear masks.

\n

\n\tThese measures came into effect on November 26 and will remain in place until January 15.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tNETHERLANDS

\n

\n\tThe Dutch government is dramatically escalating its lockdown to address rising coronavirus infections, according to national broadcaster NOS.

\n

\n\tThe government has mandated the closure of all non-essential stores, schools, hairdressers, museums, and theatres from December 15 until January 19, 2021, NOS reported, citing government sources.

\n

\n\tRestaurants are closed for everything but take out.

\n

\n\tMeanwhile, household visits are limited to a maximum of three guests, regardless of whether they take place indoors or outdoors. Children up to 12 are exempt from that cap.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tPOLAND

\n

\n\tCultural institutions in Poland -- including theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries and cultural centers -- have been closed since November 7.

\n

\n\tThe number of people allowed to attend church services is limited to a maximum of one person per 15 square meters.

\n

\n\tFor events taking place outside, participants must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from one another, and cover their nose and mouth.

\n

\n\tAs of November 28, shopping centers and retail parks have been allowed to open, under a strict sanitary regime.

\n

\n\tRestaurants can prepare and serve food, but only for take-away and delivery.

\n

\n\tThe country has also established shopping time slots for older people -- only those over 60 are allowed into shops, pharmacies and post offices between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday to Friday. These shopping hours will not apply on Christmas Eve.

\n

\n\tPublic gatherings in Poland are limited to five people; participants must cover their nose and mouth, and maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.

\n

\n\tSince November, parties and meetings at home have been limited to a maximum of five people. This limit does not include the host and anyone else who lives in the house.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tPORTUGAL

\n

\n\tOn December 5, Portugal extended its state of emergency and coronavirus restrictions until December 23, but it did announce the relaxation of some rules for Christmas.

\n

\n\tBetween December 23 and 26, the country's internal travel ban will be lifted and the mandatory curfews of 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends will be extended.

\n

\n\tRestaurants may also stay open later; until 3.30 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. at lunchtime, and 1 a.m. instead of 10 p.m. at night.

\n

\n\tHowever, Portugal's Prime Minister António Costa has said that the plan to ease restrictions over the holidays will be reviewed on December 18, and will only go forward "if the current downward trend in cases" continues.

\n

\n\tPortugal's internal travel ban will be reinstated over New Year, meaning public parties will be forbidden and public gatherings will be limited to six people, the government has said.

\n

\n\t[As of December 5]

\n

\n\tROMANIA

\n

\n\tRomania announced additional coronavirus restrictions that will remain in place for 30 days beginning December 14; they include a ban on parties, and a night time curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m.

\n

\n\tSLOVAKIA

\n

\n\tSlovakia will close all schools and non-essential shops for at least three weeks, from December 21 until January 10, 2021.

\n

\n\tGatherings in the country are currently limited to six people, and cafes and restaurants are only providing takeaway services.

\n

\n\tNew restrictions are due to be announced this week.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tSPAIN

\n

\n\tSpain will ban movement between its regions from December 23 until January 6, 2021, health minister Salvador Illa announced on December 2.

\n

\n\tIlla announced that family gatherings -- with a maximum of 10 people -- will be allowed on December 24 and 25, as well as December 31 and January 1.

\n

\n\tA national curfew will start at 1:30 a.m. on these dates.

\n

\n\tAll regions will limit events and activities in order to avoid crowds during the festive period, Illa added.

\n

\n\tReligious ceremonies are permitted to take place indoors, providing that capacity limits are observed; singing is not recommended.

\n

\n\t[As of December 2]

\n

\n\tSWEDEN

\n

\n\tSweden's current limit of eight people for indoor gatherings will remain in place throughout Christmas and New Year.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tSWITZERLAND

\n

\n\tSwitzerland's federal council has announced a series of coronavirus measures ahead of Christmas, in an attempt to curb rising COVID-19 infection numbers.

\n

\n\tThey include the closure of bars and restaurants from 7 p.m.; sporting and cultural activities are limited to five people; markets and museums are to close on Sundays and public holidays.

\n

\n\tUp to five people from two households can gather for private events, but that number will increase to 10 for celebrations from December 24 to 26, and on New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tSwiss ski resorts have been permitted to open for domestic tourism, but strict coronavirus measures are in place in ski resorts.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tUNITED KINGDOM

\n

\n\tThe U.K. has agreed to ease social contact restrictions during the festive period from December 23 to 27; people will be allowed to travel freely between the four U.K. nations to spend time with friends and family in an exclusive "Christmas bubble."

\n

\n\tAlthough the rules are broadly similar across the U.K., each nation can enforce its own set of guidelines.

\n

\n\tIn England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a "Christmas bubble" can be composed of people from no more than three households.

\n

\n\tTravel across the border to the Republic of Ireland has already been the subject of much debate.

\n

\n\tThe current advice from the Northern Ireland Executive instructs those travelling outside the region for Christmas to do so between December 22 and 28.

\n

\n\tScotland will also allow up to three households to form a bubble during this time, but it plans to restrict the number of people in any bubble to eight. There are no separate arrangements for New Year, when existing tiered restrictions will apply.

\n

\n\tHouseholds in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are currently banned from mixing indoors in private homes.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tContributors: Mia Alberti, Sharon Braithwaite, Niamh Kennedy, Katya Krebs, Amy Cassidy, Sara Gill, Antonia Mortensen and Chris Liakos

","contentSnippet":"Europe is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.\n\n\tCountries across the continent are taking varied approaches, even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some nations.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tHere's what European nations are planning this festive season.\n\n\tAUSTRIA\n\n\tAustria is opening ski resorts with limited capacity from Christmas Eve, for locals only. The country's chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on December 2 that skiing could resume from December 24, for the festive period -- but only for people living close to the slopes.\n\n\tKurz said skiing, at least for the day, would be possible \"for a large part of our population.\" But he added that lift capacity would be limited and hotels and accommodation providers would remain shut until January 7.\n\n\tRestaurants, cafes, bars and clubs will also remain closed until January 7, according to Kurz, allowing for the possibility that if infection rates drop, the government may loosen restrictions.\n\n\tBut the limited relaxation of rules for locals has been accompanied by new quarantine requirements for travellers, which were unveiled by the government at the beginning of December.\n\n\t''Tourist travel is currently de facto not possible in Austria, in light of the measures against the coronavirus,\" the government statement said.\n\n\tThe new rules mean that until January 10, all arrivals in Austria from a country with more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the previous two weeks will have to quarantine for 10 days.\n\n\tThis period can be shortened if visitors test negative after five days in isolation.\n\n\t[As of December 3]\n\n\tBELGIUM\n\n\tBelgium has allowed non-essential shops to reopen from December 1. Museums and swimming pools are also allowed to open, in accordance with their industry protocols.\n\n\tBut the country will continue to require people to comply with social distancing protocols over the festive break.\n\n\t\"During the Christmas period, social contact rules will continue to apply,\" Belgium's Consultative Committee said in a statement on November 30.\n\n\tPeople living alone will be allowed to be with two other people, maximum, \"on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, to protect their psychosocial well-being,\" the committee said. \"For meetings outside, the rule of four continues to apply.\"\n\n\tA general ban on large gatherings remains in place, as does a curfew between midnight and 5 a.m.\n\n\tTravellers will also be required to quarantine.\n\n\t\"Persons who have spent more than 48 hours abroad and who will remain in Belgium for more than 48 hours will be subject to stricter controls,\" the committee said on November 30.\n\n\tThese measures will apply until 15 January 2021.\n\n\t\"At the beginning of January, the situation will be reassessed, based on the medical indicators, to see whether and for which industries a transition to the management phase ... is possible,\" the committee said.\n\n\t[As of November 30]\n\n\tBULGARIA\n\n\tAll cultural and entertainment events have been suspended across Bulgaria since November 27.\n\n\tAn exception has been made for theatrs, where seats can be occupied up to 30% of their total capacity and protective face masks are mandatory.\n\n\tRestaurants in the country have also closed their doors to diners, though deliveries and meals for homes and offices are allowed.\n\n\tVisits to all shopping centers -- except for essential stores such as grocery stores and pharmacies -- are banned.\n\n\tA decision on whether to relax certain restrictions was set to be made on December 17 or December 18.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\t \n\n\tCROATIA\n\n\tCroatia is still considering the measures for its Christmas period, but health minister Vili Beros said on December 12 that \"he did not believe a strict lockdown would be imposed.\"\n\n\tBeros noted that though a possible travel ban between countries was being discussed, it was unlikely to be introduced, according to Croatia's Public News Agency HIRA.\n\n\tMeanwhile the minister of the interior Davor Bozinovic, who is the head of the national COVID-19 response team, has called on Croatians to avoid visiting friends and relatives over the holiday period.\n\n\tAll secondary schools in Croatia have switched to online classes.\n\n\tAfter a spike in cases, Croatia announced new restrictions, which include \"locking down cafes and restaurants, and a ban on wedding parties, fairs and most sports events.\"\n\n\tThese restrictions will be in place from November 28 to December 21.\n\n\t[As of December 12]\n\n\tCYPRUS\n\n\tIn Cyprus, the hospitality sector -- bars, restaurants and cafes -- will be shut until the end of the year. The stricter measures were announced by Cypriot health minister Constantinos Ioannou during the first week of December.\n\n\tHigh school students have also switched from in-person classes to online ones.\n\n\tCyprus is also banning church attendance over Christmas. A 9 p.m. curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in houses remain in place.\n\n\tRetail and department stores can, however, remain open -- under strict rules.\n\n\t[As of December 14] \n\n\tCZECH REPUBLIC\n\n\tThe lower house of the Czech parliament has extended the country's state of emergency to December 23 -- one day before Christmas Eve, which is traditionally the main day of celebrations in the Czech Republic.\n\n\tThe Czech Republic has seen a surge in cases in recent months.\n\n\tIts state of emergency was originally scheduled to end on December 12.\n\n\tThe government had sought an extension until January 11, arguing it was a necessary step to control the spread of the coronavirus.\n\n\t[As of December 9]\n\n\tDENMARK\n\n\tIn Denmark, social distancing recommendations and a ban on gatherings apply through December -- including on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.\n\n\tOfficials have recommended that people keep to a maximum of 10 people in private homes and a maximum of 10 social contacts during the Christmas period and on New Year's Eve.\n\n\tPeople in Denmark are allowed to see their closest family members on Christmas Eve. These family members will not be included in the 10 social contacts.\n\n\tAt the same time, the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will be adjusted to allow for Christmas Eve celebrations in certain parts of society. Communal eating for up to 50 people at social care institutions is allowed. This is also allowed in nursing homes and for homeless, vulnerable or lonely people.\n\n\tReligious communities are also allowed to host services conforming with health and safety requirements.\n\n\tBut as part of the country's national measures, restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m.\n\n\tAll national restrictions in Denmark have been extended until February 28, 2021.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tESTONIA\n\n\tEstonia has recommended canceling \"all joint events,\" including Christmas parties, as part of new coronavirus measures that took effect from November 12, according to a government statement on November 10.\n\n\t\"Celebrating Christmas with family is, of course, allowed,\" the statement added, noting that the cancellation recommendations apply to all events attended by people who do not come into daily contact.\n\n\tThe Estonian measures also include the mandatory wearing of face coverings in all public places, and a recommendation for all employees to work remotely, if possible.\n\n\tSince November 16, the operating hours of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues in Estonia have been reduced. All such venues must close at midnight and can have a maximum of 10 people per group.\n\n\t[As of November 10]\n\n\tFINLAND\n\n\tFinland's restrictions are set at a regional level, as opposed to a national one.\n\n\tThe number of participants at public events can be limited to 10 people and if necessary, events can prohibited altogether.\n\n\tRestrictions for restaurants and cafes are separated into three levels, depending on the region, and remain in force until February 28, 2021.\n\n\tRegions regarded as \"stable\" in terms of coronavirus transmission must stop serving alcoholic beverages by midnight.\n\n\tLapland faces harder restrictions than much of the country. Businesses there must stop serving alcoholic beverages by 10 p.m. and those that primarily serve alcohol must close by 11 p.m., while other food and beverage service businesses may remain open until midnight at the latest.\n\n\tPubs, bars and nightclubs in Lapland are only permitted half the normal number of customers in their premises at a time.\n\n\t[As of December 14] \n\n\tFRANCE\n\n\tThe French government on December 3 recommended that Christmas and New Year's Eve gatherings be limited to a maximum of six adults -- with no limit on children -- due to the pandemic.\n\n\tAn easing of coronavirus restrictions in France scheduled for December 15 was delayed in light of new infection figures, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on December 3.\n\n\tCultural venues including theatres, museums, and cinemas had been due to reopen on December 15, but they will remain closed for three additional weeks, Castex said.\n\n\tFrance's curfew -- initially set from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- was extended from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Castex added.\n\n\tAn exception to the curfew will be made on Christmas Eve, but not on New Year's Eve.\n\n\tHowever, French citizens will no longer need administrative certificates to leave their homes, as of December 15, Castex said. Citizens will also be allowed to travel to other regions.\n\n\tRestaurants and cafés are scheduled to reopen on January 20, 2021.\n\n\t[As of December 10]\n\n\tGERMANY\n\n\tAs of December 16, all non-essential shops, services and schools across Germany will close until January 10, 2021.\n\n\tChristmas Day gatherings in the country will be reduced from 10 people to only five from two different households.\n\n\tThe restrictions come as Germany grapples with a surge in cases.\n\n\tGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said on December 13 that \"the philosophy is to stay at home.\"\n\n\tChristmas church services will be subject to prior registration, and no singing will be allowed.\n\n\tAlcohol will also be banned from all public spaces, and the annual New Years' Eve fireworks display will be canceled.\n\n\tGerman finance minister Olaf Scholz has pledged economic help for all businesses affected by the lockdown.\n\n\tSome states are also implementing additional measures -- Bavaria, for example, will have a 9 p.m. curfew.\n\n\tMerkel has said she wants to implement a full lockdown for as long as two weeks after Christmas, to bring down infection numbers.\n\n\tBerlin mayor Michael Müller has said the German capital is set to implement \"significant restrictions\" in the run up to Christmas, to curb the spread of cases.\n\n\tIn Berlin, the senate has closed schools and shops until January 10, 2021, and school vacations which are due to start on December 21 will be extended until January 10, with students having the option of attending online classes from January 4.\n\n\tMüller added that retail shops could close as early as December 20, or at the very latest December 23.\n\n\t[As of December 13]\n\n\tGREECE\n\n\tGreece is extending most of its COVID-19 restrictions through the Christmas holiday period, government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced earlier this month.\n\n\tSchools, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, skiing centers and courts will remain shut until January 7, 2021.\n\n\tA night-time curfew and a ban on movement between regions will also remain in place until then.\n\n\tPetsas said that anyone entering Greece from abroad between December 18 and January 7 will have to quarantine for three days as a precaution, in addition to an already compulsory negative PCR test.\n\n\tRetail stores will operate under the \"click-away\" method, which allows customers to collect goods from shop entrance.\n\n\tShopping inside most stores is not allowed. Seasonal shops, bookstores and hair salons will, however, be open throughout the Christmas period.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tIRELAND\n\n\tThe Irish government announced an easing of restrictions in November, following a six-week national lockdown.\n\n\tFrom December 1, once-shuttered businesses such as hairdressers and non-essential retail outlets were allowed to reopen their doors. And December 3 saw the return of indoor dining in restaurants and gastropubs across the country.\n\n\tFrom December 18 to January 6, travel between counties will be permitted once more, in order to facilitate Christmas celebrations.\n\n\tDuring this period a household may mix with two other households.\n\n\tBut despite the relaxed restrictions, fears of streets thronged with Christmas shoppers have prompted the Irish government to recommend the use of face masks in \"crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation.\"\n\n\t[As of November 28]\n\n\tITALY\n\n\tItaly has banned movement between regions during the Christmas holidays, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.\n\n\tFrom December 21 to January 6, 2021, people will only be allowed to move from one region to another for work, health reasons and emergencies, according to a decree which came into force on December 3.\n\n\tDuring this period, people will not be permitted to travel to their vacation homes.\n\n\tOn Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, movement between municipalities will be banned, with exceptions for work, health reasons and emergencies. People will also be allowed to return to their place of residence.\n\n\tAnother new decree, to introduce further restrictions for the Christmas holidays, is currently being discussed by the government and regional administrations; it is expected to enter into force on Friday, December 18.\n\n\tAmong the measures being discussed are: A national curfew starting at 10 p.m., and restaurants being required to close at 6 p.m. in regions with higher infection rates.\n\n\tItaly has also asked that Christmas Eve masses end by around around 8:30 p.m. \"so that worshippers can return home before the 10 p.m. curfew,\" said Sandra Zampa, undersecretary at the health ministry.\n\n\t[As of December 3]\n\n\tLATVIA\n\n\tLatvia declared an emergency situation from November 9, 2020, until January 11, 2021.\n\n\tPublic events in the country are canceled and prohibited.\n\n\tAnd until January 11, the operation of all cultural sites, including Christmas markets, is banned.\n\n\tHowever, museums remain open to visitors.\n\n\tPrivate events are also banned, except those within a single household.\n\n\tEconomic services related to entertainment and well-being -- such as bars and nightclubs -- are also banned from opening; restaurants are only allowed to provide take-away meals.\n\n\tOn weekends and public holidays only pharmacies, service stations and shops selling foodstuffs (except for alcohol) are allowed to operate.\n\n\tPeople in Latvia are permitted to visit those who live alone and need care.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tLITHUANIA\n\n\tThe Lithuanian government will decide on the country's Christmas rules in the next few days, a health ministry spokesperson said on December 14.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tLUXEMBOURG\n\n\tThe maximum number of visitors people can welcome into their homes in Luxembourg is two.\n\n\tThe country has also banned people from going out in public between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.\n\n\tEstablishments serving food and drinks are closed to the public and any gathering exceeding 100 people is banned.\n\n\tWith the exception of museums, art centers, libraries and national archives, cultural institutions are closed to the public.\n\n\tPlaces of worship are allowed to remain open, but visitors must respect social distancing rules and wear masks.\n\n\tThese measures came into effect on November 26 and will remain in place until January 15.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tNETHERLANDS\n\n\tThe Dutch government is dramatically escalating its lockdown to address rising coronavirus infections, according to national broadcaster NOS.\n\n\tThe government has mandated the closure of all non-essential stores, schools, hairdressers, museums, and theatres from December 15 until January 19, 2021, NOS reported, citing government sources.\n\n\tRestaurants are closed for everything but take out.\n\n\tMeanwhile, household visits are limited to a maximum of three guests, regardless of whether they take place indoors or outdoors. Children up to 12 are exempt from that cap.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tPOLAND\n\n\tCultural institutions in Poland -- including theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries and cultural centers -- have been closed since November 7.\n\n\tThe number of people allowed to attend church services is limited to a maximum of one person per 15 square meters.\n\n\tFor events taking place outside, participants must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from one another, and cover their nose and mouth.\n\n\tAs of November 28, shopping centers and retail parks have been allowed to open, under a strict sanitary regime.\n\n\tRestaurants can prepare and serve food, but only for take-away and delivery.\n\n\tThe country has also established shopping time slots for older people -- only those over 60 are allowed into shops, pharmacies and post offices between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday to Friday. These shopping hours will not apply on Christmas Eve.\n\n\tPublic gatherings in Poland are limited to five people; participants must cover their nose and mouth, and maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.\n\n\tSince November, parties and meetings at home have been limited to a maximum of five people. This limit does not include the host and anyone else who lives in the house.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tPORTUGAL\n\n\tOn December 5, Portugal extended its state of emergency and coronavirus restrictions until December 23, but it did announce the relaxation of some rules for Christmas.\n\n\tBetween December 23 and 26, the country's internal travel ban will be lifted and the mandatory curfews of 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends will be extended.\n\n\tRestaurants may also stay open later; until 3.30 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. at lunchtime, and 1 a.m. instead of 10 p.m. at night.\n\n\tHowever, Portugal's Prime Minister António Costa has said that the plan to ease restrictions over the holidays will be reviewed on December 18, and will only go forward \"if the current downward trend in cases\" continues.\n\n\tPortugal's internal travel ban will be reinstated over New Year, meaning public parties will be forbidden and public gatherings will be limited to six people, the government has said.\n\n\t[As of December 5]\n\n\tROMANIA\n\n\tRomania announced additional coronavirus restrictions that will remain in place for 30 days beginning December 14; they include a ban on parties, and a night time curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. \n\n\tSLOVAKIA\n\n\tSlovakia will close all schools and non-essential shops for at least three weeks, from December 21 until January 10, 2021.\n\n\tGatherings in the country are currently limited to six people, and cafes and restaurants are only providing takeaway services.\n\n\tNew restrictions are due to be announced this week.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tSPAIN\n\n\tSpain will ban movement between its regions from December 23 until January 6, 2021, health minister Salvador Illa announced on December 2.\n\n\tIlla announced that family gatherings -- with a maximum of 10 people -- will be allowed on December 24 and 25, as well as December 31 and January 1.\n\n\tA national curfew will start at 1:30 a.m. on these dates.\n\n\tAll regions will limit events and activities in order to avoid crowds during the festive period, Illa added.\n\n\tReligious ceremonies are permitted to take place indoors, providing that capacity limits are observed; singing is not recommended.\n\n\t[As of December 2] \n\n\tSWEDEN\n\n\tSweden's current limit of eight people for indoor gatherings will remain in place throughout Christmas and New Year.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tSWITZERLAND\n\n\tSwitzerland's federal council has announced a series of coronavirus measures ahead of Christmas, in an attempt to curb rising COVID-19 infection numbers.\n\n\tThey include the closure of bars and restaurants from 7 p.m.; sporting and cultural activities are limited to five people; markets and museums are to close on Sundays and public holidays.\n\n\tUp to five people from two households can gather for private events, but that number will increase to 10 for celebrations from December 24 to 26, and on New Year's Eve.\n\n\tSwiss ski resorts have been permitted to open for domestic tourism, but strict coronavirus measures are in place in ski resorts.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tUNITED KINGDOM\n\n\tThe U.K. has agreed to ease social contact restrictions during the festive period from December 23 to 27; people will be allowed to travel freely between the four U.K. nations to spend time with friends and family in an exclusive \"Christmas bubble.\"\n\n\tAlthough the rules are broadly similar across the U.K., each nation can enforce its own set of guidelines.\n\n\tIn England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a \"Christmas bubble\" can be composed of people from no more than three households.\n\n\tTravel across the border to the Republic of Ireland has already been the subject of much debate.\n\n\tThe current advice from the Northern Ireland Executive instructs those travelling outside the region for Christmas to do so between December 22 and 28.\n\n\tScotland will also allow up to three households to form a bubble during this time, but it plans to restrict the number of people in any bubble to eight. There are no separate arrangements for New Year, when existing tiered restrictions will apply.\n\n\tHouseholds in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are currently banned from mixing indoors in private homes.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tContributors: Mia Alberti, Sharon Braithwaite, Niamh Kennedy, Katya Krebs, Amy Cassidy, Sara Gill, Antonia Mortensen and Chris Liakos","guid":"1.5233245","isoDate":"2020-12-16T11:59:57Z","embed":"

Family festivities or solo celebrations: Here's how Europe is handling a COVID-19 Christmas

CTVNewsEurope is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/074f6a4a-111d-4ee4-96b6-eb2da6745c5f.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/074f6a4a-111d-4ee4-96b6-eb2da6745c5f_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/074f6a4a-111d-4ee4-96b6-eb2da6745c5f_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/074f6a4a-111d-4ee4-96b6-eb2da6745c5f_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/074f6a4a-111d-4ee4-96b6-eb2da6745c5f_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/074f6a4a-111d-4ee4-96b6-eb2da6745c5f_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/074f6a4a-111d-4ee4-96b6-eb2da6745c5f.jpg","width":600,"height":338}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411837,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:29 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:18 PM","Content":"

U.K. still plans to ease restrictions on holiday gatherings

CTVNewsBritain's easing of restrictions for family gatherings over Christmas looks like it's still on despite a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections that's raised fears of another wave of cases and deaths in the new year.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"U.K. still plans to ease restrictions on holiday gatherings","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-k-still-plans-to-ease-restrictions-on-holiday-gatherings-1.5233222","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 06:12:28 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233223.1608117061!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tBritain's easing of restrictions for family gatherings over Christmas looks like it's still on despite a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections that's raised fears of another wave of cases and deaths in the new year.

\n

\n\tBritain's communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, said further discussions will take place on Wednesday between leaders from the four nations of the U.K. about the planned relaxation. However, he gave no indication that a change would be announced, beyond urging people to think harder about their holiday plans.

\n

\n\t"It could be counterproductive to produce overly restrictive rules rather than providing very clear and sober guidance and ask people to think carefully and come to their informed judgment," he told BBC radio.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tCriticism of the planned five-day easing of restrictions, which would allow three households to form a holiday bubble, have ratcheted higher in recent days. With new infections rising in many places, concerns are growing that the relaxation will only escalate infections and deaths and put too much pressure on the already-stressed National Health Service.

\n

\n\tMichael Gove, a senior member of Britain's Conservative government, which sets public health policy for England, has met with leaders from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the U.K.'s Christmas plans, and the group will meet again Wednesday. They agreed last month to allow a maximum of three households to mix between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27, regardless of what local restrictions are in place.

\n

\n\tOn Wednesday, London and nearby areas entered the highest level of local restrictions in England -- Tier 3 -- in which pubs and restaurants had to close again apart from takeout, and more curbs were placed on different households meeting up. Other areas in England, including the cities of Manchester and Birmingham, are finding out later Wednesday whether they will be moved down to Tier 2 restrictions.

\n

\n\tJenrick said the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine developed by America's Pfizer and the German company BioNTech had changed the narrative since the Christmas bubble decision was made. The U.K. on Dec. 8 became the first country in the world to use the vaccine, which has a high efficacy rate of around 95%.

\n

\n\t"It's given hope that early in the new year, if not before, those people can be vaccinated. So why not wait a few weeks or months to get family together when you can do so safely in 2021?" he said.

\n

\n\tBritain's new vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said Wednesday that 137,897 people had received a vaccination shot since inoculations began. All those people must return in three weeks for a follow-up shot.

\n

\n\t"A really good start to the vaccination program," he said in a tweet.

\n

\n\tThe government, which is providing the vaccine free of charge mainly at hospitals so far, is first targeting nursing home workers and elderly people over 80. Nursing home residents are now being vaccinated as well after issues relating to the transportation of the vaccine, which needs to be kept at super-cold temperatures, were addressed.

\n

\n\tDespite the update, questions remain over how many people can be inoculated on any given day, and what proportion of people being offered the vaccine are agreeing to get a shot.

\n

\n\tTo date, 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are known to be in the U.K. and 5 million more are expected to arrive this year, half of the original expectation.

\n

\n\tOther vaccines from American biotechnology firm Moderna and one developed by the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca are currently being assessed by British regulators.

","contentSnippet":"Britain's easing of restrictions for family gatherings over Christmas looks like it's still on despite a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections that's raised fears of another wave of cases and deaths in the new year.\n\n\tBritain's communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, said further discussions will take place on Wednesday between leaders from the four nations of the U.K. about the planned relaxation. However, he gave no indication that a change would be announced, beyond urging people to think harder about their holiday plans.\n\n\t\"It could be counterproductive to produce overly restrictive rules rather than providing very clear and sober guidance and ask people to think carefully and come to their informed judgment,\" he told BBC radio.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tCriticism of the planned five-day easing of restrictions, which would allow three households to form a holiday bubble, have ratcheted higher in recent days. With new infections rising in many places, concerns are growing that the relaxation will only escalate infections and deaths and put too much pressure on the already-stressed National Health Service.\n\n\tMichael Gove, a senior member of Britain's Conservative government, which sets public health policy for England, has met with leaders from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the U.K.'s Christmas plans, and the group will meet again Wednesday. They agreed last month to allow a maximum of three households to mix between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27, regardless of what local restrictions are in place.\n\n\tOn Wednesday, London and nearby areas entered the highest level of local restrictions in England -- Tier 3 -- in which pubs and restaurants had to close again apart from takeout, and more curbs were placed on different households meeting up. Other areas in England, including the cities of Manchester and Birmingham, are finding out later Wednesday whether they will be moved down to Tier 2 restrictions.\n\n\tJenrick said the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine developed by America's Pfizer and the German company BioNTech had changed the narrative since the Christmas bubble decision was made. The U.K. on Dec. 8 became the first country in the world to use the vaccine, which has a high efficacy rate of around 95%.\n\n\t\"It's given hope that early in the new year, if not before, those people can be vaccinated. So why not wait a few weeks or months to get family together when you can do so safely in 2021?\" he said.\n\n\tBritain's new vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said Wednesday that 137,897 people had received a vaccination shot since inoculations began. All those people must return in three weeks for a follow-up shot.\n\n\t\"A really good start to the vaccination program,\" he said in a tweet.\n\n\tThe government, which is providing the vaccine free of charge mainly at hospitals so far, is first targeting nursing home workers and elderly people over 80. Nursing home residents are now being vaccinated as well after issues relating to the transportation of the vaccine, which needs to be kept at super-cold temperatures, were addressed.\n\n\tDespite the update, questions remain over how many people can be inoculated on any given day, and what proportion of people being offered the vaccine are agreeing to get a shot.\n\n\tTo date, 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are known to be in the U.K. and 5 million more are expected to arrive this year, half of the original expectation.\n\n\tOther vaccines from American biotechnology firm Moderna and one developed by the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca are currently being assessed by British regulators.","guid":"1.5233222","isoDate":"2020-12-16T11:12:28Z","embed":"

U.K. still plans to ease restrictions on holiday gatherings

CTVNewsBritain's easing of restrictions for family gatherings over Christmas looks like it's still on despite a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections that's raised fears of another wave of cases and deaths in the new year.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7f1caf8d-169b-4d4c-8a7c-102257842947.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7f1caf8d-169b-4d4c-8a7c-102257842947_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7f1caf8d-169b-4d4c-8a7c-102257842947_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7f1caf8d-169b-4d4c-8a7c-102257842947_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7f1caf8d-169b-4d4c-8a7c-102257842947_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7f1caf8d-169b-4d4c-8a7c-102257842947_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/7f1caf8d-169b-4d4c-8a7c-102257842947.jpg","width":600,"height":338}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411838,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:30 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:19 PM","Content":"

Lovesick Scot jailed for breaching virus rules on jet-ski odyssey

CoronavirusA lovesick Scottish man who bought a jet-ski so he could evade lockdown measures to visit his girlfriend in the Isle of Man has been jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions, reports said.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"AFP","title":"Lovesick Scot jailed for breaching virus rules on jet-ski odyssey","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/lovesick-scot-jailed-for-breaching-virus-rules-on-jet-ski-odyssey-1.5233282","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 07:48:27 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233284.1608122869!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"AFP","content":"

\n\tA lovesick Scottish man who bought a jet-ski so he could evade lockdown measures to visit his girlfriend in the Isle of Man has been jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions, reports said.

\n

\n\tDale McLaughlan from Ayrshire in southern Scotland met his girlfriend while working as a roofer on the island in the Irish Sea in September, the BBC reported Tuesday.

\n

\n\tCoronavirus restrictions on the tax haven -- famous for the annual Tourist Trophy motorcycle race -- mean non-residents currently require special permission to land on the island.

\n\n

\n\tBut after returning to Scotland when his contract ended, McLaughlan was denied permission to re-enter the island, the BBC said.

\n

\n\tUndeterred, the 28-year-old bought a jet-ski and set off last Friday to make the 40-kilometre (25-mile) sea-crossing by stealth.

\n

\n\tHe had never ridden a jet-ski before and expected the journey to take around 40 minutes, prosecutors told a court in Douglas, the island's main town, according to the BBC.

\n

\n\tBut the journey across the choppy waters -- which have an average December temperature of around eight degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) according to Ireland's meteorological service -- took over four hours.

\n

\n\tHe then had to walk 24 kilometres (15 miles) to his girlfriend's home.

\n

\n\tOn Sunday he was arrested by police after they found out he had arrived illegally and visited nightclubs with his girlfriend.

\n

\n\tDeputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan had made a "deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate" the border restrictions, and jailed him for four weeks, the BBC said.

\n

\n\tMcLaughlan's defence lawyer said he had suffered from depression at not being able to see his partner.

","contentSnippet":"A lovesick Scottish man who bought a jet-ski so he could evade lockdown measures to visit his girlfriend in the Isle of Man has been jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions, reports said.\n\n\tDale McLaughlan from Ayrshire in southern Scotland met his girlfriend while working as a roofer on the island in the Irish Sea in September, the BBC reported Tuesday.\n\n\tCoronavirus restrictions on the tax haven -- famous for the annual Tourist Trophy motorcycle race -- mean non-residents currently require special permission to land on the island.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\tBut after returning to Scotland when his contract ended, McLaughlan was denied permission to re-enter the island, the BBC said.\n\n\tUndeterred, the 28-year-old bought a jet-ski and set off last Friday to make the 40-kilometre (25-mile) sea-crossing by stealth.\n\n\tHe had never ridden a jet-ski before and expected the journey to take around 40 minutes, prosecutors told a court in Douglas, the island's main town, according to the BBC.\n\n\tBut the journey across the choppy waters -- which have an average December temperature of around eight degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) according to Ireland's meteorological service -- took over four hours.\n\n\tHe then had to walk 24 kilometres (15 miles) to his girlfriend's home.\n\n\tOn Sunday he was arrested by police after they found out he had arrived illegally and visited nightclubs with his girlfriend.\n\n\tDeputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan had made a \"deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate\" the border restrictions, and jailed him for four weeks, the BBC said.\n\n\tMcLaughlan's defence lawyer said he had suffered from depression at not being able to see his partner.","guid":"1.5233282","isoDate":"2020-12-16T12:48:27Z","embed":"

Lovesick Scot jailed for breaching virus rules on jet-ski odyssey

CoronavirusA lovesick Scottish man who bought a jet-ski so he could evade lockdown measures to visit his girlfriend in the Isle of Man has been jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions, reports said.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/0c407e58-6a81-4107-8ed7-011939b87605.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/0c407e58-6a81-4107-8ed7-011939b87605_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/0c407e58-6a81-4107-8ed7-011939b87605_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/0c407e58-6a81-4107-8ed7-011939b87605_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/0c407e58-6a81-4107-8ed7-011939b87605.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/0c407e58-6a81-4107-8ed7-011939b87605_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/0c407e58-6a81-4107-8ed7-011939b87605_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411840,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:31 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:20 PM","Content":"

Manitoba, three Atlantic provinces to start COVID-19 vaccinations

CTVNewsManitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are planning to administer their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Canadian Press","title":"Manitoba, three Atlantic provinces to start COVID-19 vaccinations","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/manitoba-three-atlantic-provinces-to-start-covid-19-vaccinations-1.5233207","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 04:33:59 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5230512.1607973823!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Canadian Press","content":"

\n\tMore provinces are planning to administer their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today.

\n

\n\tManitoba says high-priority health workers will be getting the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.

\n

\n\tNova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are also gearing up to start immunizations.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tSaskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia began giving shots Tuesday, after the first ones in Canada were given in Ontario and Quebec on Monday.

\n

\n\tPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said Canada is to get up to 168,000 doses of Moderna's vaccine by the end of December, ahead of schedule.

\n

\n\tIt has not yet been approved by Health Canada, but Trudeau said deliveries could begin within 48 hours of getting the green light.

\n

\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.

","contentSnippet":"More provinces are planning to administer their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today.\n\n\tManitoba says high-priority health workers will be getting the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.\n\n\tNova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are also gearing up to start immunizations.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tSaskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia began giving shots Tuesday, after the first ones in Canada were given in Ontario and Quebec on Monday.\n\n\tPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said Canada is to get up to 168,000 doses of Moderna's vaccine by the end of December, ahead of schedule.\n\n\tIt has not yet been approved by Health Canada, but Trudeau said deliveries could begin within 48 hours of getting the green light.\n\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.","guid":"1.5233207","isoDate":"2020-12-16T09:33:59Z","embed":"

Manitoba, three Atlantic provinces to start COVID-19 vaccinations

CTVNewsManitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are planning to administer their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/468011cd-9423-4568-805f-eff3319d499a.jpg","width":600,"height":337,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/468011cd-9423-4568-805f-eff3319d499a_300.jpg","width":300,"height":168},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/468011cd-9423-4568-805f-eff3319d499a_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/468011cd-9423-4568-805f-eff3319d499a_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":348},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/468011cd-9423-4568-805f-eff3319d499a.jpg","width":600,"height":337},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/468011cd-9423-4568-805f-eff3319d499a_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/468011cd-9423-4568-805f-eff3319d499a_800.jpg","width":620,"height":348}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411841,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:33 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:21 PM","Content":"

Pattie Lovett-Reid: What you need to know about CERB as the year ends

CTVNewsGovernment programs and bailouts were the financial lifeline to families in need this year; however, if you don't plan for it properly it could become the anchor that sinks you in 2021, CTV News' Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid writes in her column for CTVNews.ca.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Patricia Lovett-Reid","title":"Pattie Lovett-Reid: What you need to know about CERB as the year ends","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/pattie-lovett-reid-what-you-need-to-know-about-cerb-as-the-year-ends-1.5231747","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 06:00:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5031140.1595257720!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Patricia Lovett-Reid","content":"

\n\tFor many Canadians this year has been a challenge. Families have been hit hard by the pandemic, and for many, health concerns linger. Financially it has been tough as jobs were lost and lockdowns persist. Government programs and bailouts were the financial lifeline to families in need; however, if you don't plan for it properly it could become the anchor that sinks you in 2021. 

\n

\n\tIn fact, a recent survey out by Scotiabank it highlights almost one in five Canadians have received CERB to assist them financially while two-thirds are concerned about the effect the benefit will have on their tax return especially those between the ages of 18-34 (72%) and 35- 54 (71%). This is concerning as time is running out for year-end tax planning.

\n

\n\tLet’s look back: If you were unable to work your regularly scheduled hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, due to a job loss, quarantine, or even forced to care for family members in 2020 you were eligible for the CERB benefit for up to 28 weeks at $500 per week to a maximum of $14,000. The CERB was available until September 26, and yet you could still apply retroactively until, December 2. 

\n

\n\tIt was telegraphed loudly at the time by CRA that no tax was deducted at the source. As a result. the government will be issuing you a T4A reporting slip for the total amount of CERB you received. In turn, it must be then reported as income when filing your 2020 taxes. The actual amount you owe will depend on your 2020 marginal tax rate. 

\n

\n\tWhen the CERB wound down in September it was replaced with three separate programs:

\n
    \n\t
  1. \n\t\tCanada Recovery Benefit (CRB): If you are self-employed and not eligible for EI you can receive a taxable benefit of $500.00 per week for up to 26 weeks. The government will withhold 10% in taxes on any payments, but beware it may not be enough to cover off your tax liability. As well, there is a threshold limit of $38,000 excluding CRB, meaning if you earned more then $38,000 you may be required to pay back the government at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar of CRB received over this amount.
  2. \n\t
  3. \n\t\tCanada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB): If you become ill or have to self- isolate due to COVID-19 and don't get paid sick leave, this benefit will pay you $500 per week, for up to 2 weeks and is available from September 27, 2020 to September 25 2021. Similar to the CRB, the amount paid to you is taxable and subject to a 10% withholding tax.
  4. \n\t
  5. \n\t\tCanada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB): This plan is available for those having to care for a family member due to COVID-19. It amounts to $500 per week and runs in duration similar to the CRSB. This benefit, like the others, is a taxable benefit and subject to withholding tax of 10%.
  6. \n
\n

\n\tMy fear is that the benefits offered by the government a necessary lifeline for families has been taken at face value and the tax consequences ignored. I get it. Families needed the money to make ends meet. All the money they could get their hands on and the tax consequences were not the priority. However, fast forward to today, and the reality is these benefits are considered to be income and will be taxed accordingly at your marginal rate for the 2020 taxation year. 

\n

\n\tThe new programs now have 10% withholding tax embedded in them, yet for some that still may not be enough money held back for taxes, depending on how much income has been earned and your corresponding marginal tax rate. 

\n

\n\tFor others who benefited from the CERB it is all on you to tuck some money aside for payment back to the government come April.

\n

\n\tYou don't need to make a tough year tougher on yourself financially, so a little year-end tax planning estimation will cost you time today but could save you money come April when you file your 2020 taxes.

\n

\n\tCall to action:

\n
    \n\t
  1. \n\t\tEstimate your 2020 income from all sources, including the government. 
  2. \n\t
  3. \n\t\tLook for ways to reduce your 2020 income by making a contribution to your RRSP, a charitable donation, pooling medical and dental expenses and search out all avenues to lower your 2020 tax bill.
  4. \n\t
  5. \n\t\tReduce any discretionary costs and tuck aside unused money for the tax liability that is coming your way.
  6. \n\t
  7. \n\t\tFor some, the withholding tax of 10% will be sufficient; however, for many it won't be. Determine today what you will owe and plan accordingly. 
  8. \n
","contentSnippet":"For many Canadians this year has been a challenge. Families have been hit hard by the pandemic, and for many, health concerns linger. Financially it has been tough as jobs were lost and lockdowns persist. Government programs and bailouts were the financial lifeline to families in need; however, if you don't plan for it properly it could become the anchor that sinks you in 2021. \n\n\tIn fact, a recent survey out by Scotiabank it highlights almost one in five Canadians have received CERB to assist them financially while two-thirds are concerned about the effect the benefit will have on their tax return especially those between the ages of 18-34 (72%) and 35- 54 (71%). This is concerning as time is running out for year-end tax planning.\n\n\tLet’s look back: If you were unable to work your regularly scheduled hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, due to a job loss, quarantine, or even forced to care for family members in 2020 you were eligible for the CERB benefit for up to 28 weeks at $500 per week to a maximum of $14,000. The CERB was available until September 26, and yet you could still apply retroactively until, December 2. \n\n\tIt was telegraphed loudly at the time by CRA that no tax was deducted at the source. As a result. the government will be issuing you a T4A reporting slip for the total amount of CERB you received. In turn, it must be then reported as income when filing your 2020 taxes. The actual amount you owe will depend on your 2020 marginal tax rate. \n\n\tWhen the CERB wound down in September it was replaced with three separate programs:\n\n\t\n\t\tCanada Recovery Benefit (CRB): If you are self-employed and not eligible for EI you can receive a taxable benefit of $500.00 per week for up to 26 weeks. The government will withhold 10% in taxes on any payments, but beware it may not be enough to cover off your tax liability. As well, there is a threshold limit of $38,000 excluding CRB, meaning if you earned more then $38,000 you may be required to pay back the government at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar of CRB received over this amount.\n\t\n\t\tCanada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB): If you become ill or have to self- isolate due to COVID-19 and don't get paid sick leave, this benefit will pay you $500 per week, for up to 2 weeks and is available from September 27, 2020 to September 25 2021. Similar to the CRB, the amount paid to you is taxable and subject to a 10% withholding tax.\n\t\n\t\tCanada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB): This plan is available for those having to care for a family member due to COVID-19. It amounts to $500 per week and runs in duration similar to the CRSB. This benefit, like the others, is a taxable benefit and subject to withholding tax of 10%.\n\n\n\tMy fear is that the benefits offered by the government a necessary lifeline for families has been taken at face value and the tax consequences ignored. I get it. Families needed the money to make ends meet. All the money they could get their hands on and the tax consequences were not the priority. However, fast forward to today, and the reality is these benefits are considered to be income and will be taxed accordingly at your marginal rate for the 2020 taxation year. \n\n\tThe new programs now have 10% withholding tax embedded in them, yet for some that still may not be enough money held back for taxes, depending on how much income has been earned and your corresponding marginal tax rate. \n\n\tFor others who benefited from the CERB it is all on you to tuck some money aside for payment back to the government come April.\n\n\tYou don't need to make a tough year tougher on yourself financially, so a little year-end tax planning estimation will cost you time today but could save you money come April when you file your 2020 taxes.\n\n\tCall to action:\n\n\t\n\t\tEstimate your 2020 income from all sources, including the government. \n\t\n\t\tLook for ways to reduce your 2020 income by making a contribution to your RRSP, a charitable donation, pooling medical and dental expenses and search out all avenues to lower your 2020 tax bill.\n\t\n\t\tReduce any discretionary costs and tuck aside unused money for the tax liability that is coming your way.\n\t\n\t\tFor some, the withholding tax of 10% will be sufficient; however, for many it won't be. Determine today what you will owe and plan accordingly. ","guid":"1.5231747","isoDate":"2020-12-16T11:00:00Z","embed":"

Pattie Lovett-Reid: What you need to know about CERB as the year ends

CTVNewsGovernment programs and bailouts were the financial lifeline to families in need this year; however, if you don't plan for it properly it could become the anchor that sinks you in 2021, CTV News' Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid writes in her column for CTVNews.ca.\n\n
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/c8372da3-b5cb-43bf-9b54-3dcc816b96a0.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/c8372da3-b5cb-43bf-9b54-3dcc816b96a0_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/c8372da3-b5cb-43bf-9b54-3dcc816b96a0_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/c8372da3-b5cb-43bf-9b54-3dcc816b96a0_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/c8372da3-b5cb-43bf-9b54-3dcc816b96a0_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/c8372da3-b5cb-43bf-9b54-3dcc816b96a0_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/c8372da3-b5cb-43bf-9b54-3dcc816b96a0.jpg","width":600,"height":338}]}],"ShowEditedBy":"true"}},{"Id":1196411826,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:26 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:26 PM","Content":"","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":13 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":""},{"Id":1196411839,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:51:30 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:51:30 PM","Content":"","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":13 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":""}] }, discussions: { enabled: false }, replies: { enabled: true, // is replies feature on for that stream publicRepliesEnabled: false, moderated: false, openByDefault: true, token: "5sY2L4z4", poll: false, postingEnabled: false, // is public replies enabled anonymousLoginOnly: true }, comments: { token: "MyTsEruf", }, directmessaging: { enabled: true, // is direct messaging feature on for that stream " token: "Crt92Zay" }, likes: { enabled: true, endpoint: 'https://cdnlove.scribblelive.com', frequency: 120 }, is: { live: false, commenting: true, moderated: true, thirdpartytrackingdisabled: true, }, embeds: { enabled: false, notice: "", host: 'embed-beta.scribblelive.com' } }, user: {}, website: { client: { name: "Testing", id: "1", custom: { name: "="}, consentFormLastModified: "2021-03-26T14:02:45Z", consentForm: true }, cdn: { enabled: true, prefix: '//cdn-beta.scribblelive.com' }, embeds: { whitelist: 'www.reuters.com,www.whitehouse.gov,www.msnbc.msn.com,download.macromedia.com,c.brightcove.com,www.sportsnet.ca,admin.brightcove.com,www.macromedia.com,img.widgets.video.s-msn.com,video.uk.msn.com,msn.com,theplatform.com,www.globalnews.ca,sports.cbsimg.net' }, secure: true, avatar: 'https://avatars.scribblelive.com/default.png', urls: { root: 'https://whitelabel-test-123.scribblelive.com', path: '/', base: '/', promote: '' } }, sherlockServerAPIEndpoint: '//dev-sherlockcheckin.scribblelive.com', endpoints: { apiGateway: "https://api.scribblelive.com/v1", } };