Canada to remove mask mandate on planes, joining Japan, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates in lifting COVID restrictions

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The Canadian government announced on Monday that it will no longer require people to wear masks on planes to guard against COVID-19, the Associated Press reported.

The rules will be lifted on October 1. Government officials have also confirmed that Canada is dropping the vaccine requirement for people entering the country at the end of the month. The United States is unlikely to follow suit in the short term.

The news comes at a time when many other places, including Japan and Hong Kong, are lifting travel restrictions. The United Arab Emirates is dropping mask requirements in public places, except for medical facilities, mosques and public transport, according to a report published by the official Emirates News Agency on Monday. quoted by the AP.

Dubai airport, busiest in the world for international travelwas forced to ground all passenger flights when it, along with other UAE airports, closed for eight weeks at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Unlike the capital, Abu Dhabi, however, Dubai has reopened to travelers shortly thereafter and did not require proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter most places, which landed it on the UK’s ‘do not travel’ lists, United States and many other countries for much of the past year.

In the United States, known COVID cases continue to decline and are now at their lowest level since late April, although the true count is likely higher given the number of people testing at home, where the data does not are not collected. The daily average of new cases stood at 52,539 on Monday, according to a New York Times trackerdown 23% from two weeks ago.

The tracker shows cases rising in 21 states and Washington, D.C. The hardest-hit state is Montana, where cases are up 75% from two weeks ago, followed by Massachusetts at 40%, New Jersey at 33% and Oregon and Maine at 32%. All Northeastern states are seeing cases rise.

The daily average of hospitalizations fell by 15% to 29,443, while the daily average of deaths increased by 9% to 417.

According to Anthony Fauci, COVID-19 vaccines will likely be offered on an annual basis, like flu shots. He said the injections would likely be tailored to the circulating strain of a given year. Photo: Amir Hamja for the Wall Street Journal

From the CDC: Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, including reminders

Coronavirus update: MarketWatch’s Daily Roundup organizes and reports all the latest developments each day of the week since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• Novavax NVAX,
+12.35%
shares rallied on Tuesday after the company said one million doses of its Nuvaxovid protein-based COVID vaccine are now available in the UK “with UK data showing that people infected with both COVID -19 and influenza are more than five times more likely to die compared to an uninfected person, it is more important than ever to consider any vaccine offered to you by the National Health Service,” said Stanley C. Erck, CEO of Novavax, in a statement.The Novavax vaccine uses more conventional technology than mRNA-based vaccines developed by Pfizer PFE,
+0.91%,
BioNTech BNTX,
+3.53%
and Moderna ARNM,
+3.68%,
which were the first to be approved and widely used during the pandemic.

• A prominent Chinese commentator said that as the country considers its policies on COVID-19, epidemiology experts must speak out, and the government should conduct thorough research and make all studies available to the public , Reuters reported. Hu Xijin, former editor of the nationalist tabloid Global Times, made the comments on Chinese social media, garnering 34,000 likes on the Weibo microblog. “As for the future, China needs very rational research and calculations,” Hu said. The move was unusual, after the Chinese leader warned against any comments criticizing the government’s COVID policies.

• A Southern California man was sentenced Monday to four years in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining more than $5 million in COVID relief loans for three shell companies, reports the AP. Raghavender Reddy Budamala, who was arrested in February as he attempted to cross the border into Mexico, was also ordered to pay $5.15 million in restitution, the local US attorney’s office said in a statement.

• COVID cases and hospitalizations increase in northern Europe as cold weather sets in, Politico reported. The latest data from Belgium, the United Kingdom and Denmark indicate a gradual increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations. Belgium’s health authority said its modeling indicated a new wave of COVID would hit in mid-October.

Here’s what the numbers say:

The global tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 615.6 million on Monday, while the death toll topped 6.53 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the world with 96.1 million cases and 1,056,862 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tracker shows that 224.9 million people living in the United States are fully immunized, or 67.8% of the total population. Only 109.6 million had a booster, or 48.7% of the vaccinated population, and 23.1 million of those eligible for a second booster had one, or 35.5% of those who received a booster. first reminder.

So far, some 4.4 million people have received a booster dose of the new bivalent vaccine that targets the latest omicron subvariants.

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