- Tourism sector losses pile up for European Union nations.
- COVID-19 deaths surpass 1,000 in Israel as country mulls new restrictions.
- No arrests as anti-mask group throws Toronto beach party.
- Ontario and Quebec report largest daily increases in COVID-19 cases in six weeks.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reports first case in more than a week.
The European Union’s tourism sector has lost tens of billions of euros due to the coronavirus pandemic, the bloc’s European Commission says.
Despite a brief uptick in business in July, the commission says the upheaval in the past six months is expected to continue for hotels, restaurants, tour operators, long distance train operators and airlines and it expects bookings for September and October to remain “abnormally low.”
Even with the number of visitors starting to rise in Belgium after reopening its borders to tourists in mid-June, attendance at museums in Bruges for July was still at only 50 per cent. Overall, attendance has slumped to a quarter of what it was in 2019.
“It’s declining gradually. Every month we see the numbers declining,” said Jonathan Nowakowski, the business director of Bruges Museums. “I can tell you that we’re looking at losses of 3.4 to 4 million euros this year,” all happening despite expectations being high in a Van Eyck memorial year with special exhibits.
Unsure how long the pandemic will last, Bruges has already decided to forego any blockbuster exhibits. Instead, it will focus on local artists who have been hard hit financially by the pandemic.
A special EU summit is planned for early October on how to reinvigorate and reform tourism in general. In July, the EU agreed to a 750-billion-euro recovery fund, but it still needs unanimous approval from the bloc’s parliaments.
What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada
As of 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 131,495 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 116,136 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,183.
On Saturday, Ontario reported 169 new confirmed cases of coronavirus — the most new infections in a single day since July 24. Quebec also had its highest daily increase in cases since late July, with 175 new infections reported and two deaths tied to the respiratory illness.
On July 31, Ontario allowed Toronto and nearby Peel Region to join Stage 3 of the province’s pandemic reopening plan, two weeks after a majority of public health unit regions had already been given the go-head to ease restrictions.
WATCH | Tam offers advice on indoor gatherings this fall:
Under Stage 3, gatherings are limited to up to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors, while attendees must follow proper physical distancing of two metres.
That distancing didn’t appear to be the case as a crowd of people gathered at Toronto’s Cherry Beach on Saturday for an all-night dance party organized by a local anti-mask group that has been pushing back against COVID-19 restrictions. It was not clear from images taken at the party how many people attended.
Police officers were on the scene but did not make any arrests.
Mayor John Tory said last Monday that the city would “redouble” its efforts to monitor the parties after the arrest of two men seen carrying chainsaws on the same beach last month.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, noted that 631 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the country on Saturday, for an average of 525 cases a day in the last week, a noticeable uptick from earlier in the summer.
She urged Canadians to consider their own risk factors if they’re planning to socialize with friends and family.
Meanwhile, most schools in Ontario will open for students on Tuesday. Schools in Quebec have been open for more than a week — and 46 out of 3,100 schools in the province have seen at least one case of COVID-19, according to government figures released Friday.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said the number of cases is in line with what was expected and that in most of the 46 cases, the staff or student was infected outside of school.
He would not specify how many cases there were in each school but said none had turned into outbreaks, with widespread transmission within a school.
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce, in reaction to the Quebec figures, noted that Ontario has mandated masking in classrooms, while Quebec has not, and said more than 600 public health nurses will be stationed in schools this fall. Under Ontario’s plan, students in grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear masks indoors, and younger students will be encouraged to do so. But individual school boards, including in Toronto, have voted to require masks for all students.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 63,292 confirmed cases in Quebec, and 5,769 people infected have died.
Ontario has now seen 43,003 cumulative confirmed cases of the virus since the outbreak began in late January, and 2,811 people have died.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
According to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases is now more than 26.9 million. More than 880,000 people have died while 17.9 million have recovered.
WATCH | Infectious disease specialist cautions against rushing vaccine development:
The coronavirus death toll in Israel has surged past 1,000, as the government mulls steps to impose new restrictions.
Israel earned praise for its early handling of the crisis, but since reopening the economy in May, new cases have spiked to record levels and the government is being blamed for mismanaging the health crisis.
The most recent spike has seen more than 3,000 new cases diagnosed a day and raised the spectre of a renewed nationwide lockdown.
The government is expected to convene Sunday to vote on locking down many so-called red cities that have seen the most widespread outbreaks.
Published at Sun, 06 Sep 2020 14:26:22 +0000