Today’s coronavirus news: Nearly 30 per cent of respondents broke restrictions, Canada-wide survey says; Abu Dhabi to close public spaces to unvaccinated

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.2:42 p.m. Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates, has announced that a wide range of public places will soon be accessible only to those vaccinated against the coronavirus in a bid to encourage more people to get shots.The Emirati government on Monday said that starting August 20, authorities will begin restricting access to shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, sporting activities, museums, gyms, schools and universities. The unvaccinated will effectively be barred from entering any business in the city except for supermarkets and pharmacies.Abu Dhabi has already rolled out a “green pass” system that limits public access to those who have either received the shot or can show a negative virus test.It comes as the country increasingly bets its economic reopening on its speedy vaccination campaign. The government says at least 93% of Abu Dhabi’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.The neighboring travel hub of Dubai, home to long-haul carrier Emirates, also has introduced some vaccination restrictions on mass entertainment and sporting events. However, malls and other businesses remain open to the unvaccinated.The UAE boasts one of the world’s fastest inoculation campaigns, with 15.1 million doses administered to its population of some 9 million. The country has relied heavily on the Chinese state-backed Sinopharm shot.2:35 p.m. A vaccine study in the United Kingdom reports that getting a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine four weeks after a dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca produced a much stronger immune response than two doses of AstraZeneca. The results are similar to those reported earlier this year from small studies in Germany and Spain and will reinforce the decision to mix and match vaccines in much of Canada.The National Advisory Committee on Immunization in Canada said June 17 that it is now "preferred" that every Canadian whose first dose was AstraZeneca get an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna for their second dose.NACI cited growing evidence that getting mRNA after AstraZeneca was proving to have better results, and eliminated further risks of vaccine-induced blood clots that have been potentially linked to getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.The U.K. study at the University of Oxford, where the AstraZeneca vaccine was developed, found mixing Pfizer and AstraZeneca in any order produced better results than two doses of AstraZeneca but that getting AstraZeneca first generated better results than getting it second. Lead investigator Matthew Snape, an associate professor in pediatrics and vaccinology at Oxford, says the results show the vaccines can be used interchangeably, adding flexibility to the rollout of vaccines around the world.2 p.m. Disney Cruise Line is postponing its first test cruise since the pandemic brought the cruise industry to a standstill after a handful of participants had inconsistent test results for COVID-19, the company said Monday.The Disney Dream had been scheduled to set sail Tuesday from Port Canaveral, Florida, with 300 employees who had volunteered for the “simulation” cruise. But the trip was postponed indefinitely because a small number of employees had inconsistent results for COVID-19, “which is considered positive by the CDC," Disney said in a statement.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, had approved the cruise line’s request to conduct a two-night test cruise.The federal government is starting to allow cruises to sail again, but only if nearly all passengers and crew are vaccinated against the virus. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning business from requiring proof of vaccination, so cruise lines must prove the effectiveness of their COVID-19 safety protocols on test cruises.Last weekend, Celebrity Edge departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, becoming the first cruise ship to leave a U.S. port in 15 months. Saturday’s sailing kicked off the cruise lines’ return to business with Carnival vessels already scheduled to depart from other ports next month.1:52 p.m. Manitoba is reporting 61 new COVID-19 cases and no deaths. The province's chief public health officer says a child under 10, whose death was announced on the weekend, had underlying health conditions.1:25 p.m. Germany had reopened its borders to fully vaccinated leisure travelers from several non-European Union countries, the German Interior Ministry announced.That includes immunized visitors from the United States, many of whom are eager to take a European vacation this summer, since Germany dropped the U.S. from the list of countries it considers high-risk on June 13. Up until now, only those who could prove they had an urgent or exceptional need to travel could apply for entry into Germany.Germany’s ban on travel and public transportation from high-risk countries where viral varian

Today’s coronavirus news: Nearly 30 per cent of respondents broke restrictions, Canada-wide survey says; Abu Dhabi to close public spaces to unvaccinated

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

2:42 p.m. Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates, has announced that a wide range of public places will soon be accessible only to those vaccinated against the coronavirus in a bid to encourage more people to get shots.

The Emirati government on Monday said that starting August 20, authorities will begin restricting access to shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, sporting activities, museums, gyms, schools and universities. The unvaccinated will effectively be barred from entering any business in the city except for supermarkets and pharmacies.

Abu Dhabi has already rolled out a “green pass” system that limits public access to those who have either received the shot or can show a negative virus test.

It comes as the country increasingly bets its economic reopening on its speedy vaccination campaign. The government says at least 93% of Abu Dhabi’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The neighboring travel hub of Dubai, home to long-haul carrier Emirates, also has introduced some vaccination restrictions on mass entertainment and sporting events. However, malls and other businesses remain open to the unvaccinated.

The UAE boasts one of the world’s fastest inoculation campaigns, with 15.1 million doses administered to its population of some 9 million. The country has relied heavily on the Chinese state-backed Sinopharm shot.

2:35 p.m. A vaccine study in the United Kingdom reports that getting a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine four weeks after a dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca produced a much stronger immune response than two doses of AstraZeneca.

The results are similar to those reported earlier this year from small studies in Germany and Spain and will reinforce the decision to mix and match vaccines in much of Canada.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization in Canada said June 17 that it is now "preferred" that every Canadian whose first dose was AstraZeneca get an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna for their second dose.

NACI cited growing evidence that getting mRNA after AstraZeneca was proving to have better results, and eliminated further risks of vaccine-induced blood clots that have been potentially linked to getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The U.K. study at the University of Oxford, where the AstraZeneca vaccine was developed, found mixing Pfizer and AstraZeneca in any order produced better results than two doses of AstraZeneca but that getting AstraZeneca first generated better results than getting it second.

Lead investigator Matthew Snape, an associate professor in pediatrics and vaccinology at Oxford, says the results show the vaccines can be used interchangeably, adding flexibility to the rollout of vaccines around the world.

2 p.m. Disney Cruise Line is postponing its first test cruise since the pandemic brought the cruise industry to a standstill after a handful of participants had inconsistent test results for COVID-19, the company said Monday.

The Disney Dream had been scheduled to set sail Tuesday from Port Canaveral, Florida, with 300 employees who had volunteered for the “simulation” cruise. But the trip was postponed indefinitely because a small number of employees had inconsistent results for COVID-19, “which is considered positive by the CDC," Disney said in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, had approved the cruise line’s request to conduct a two-night test cruise.

The federal government is starting to allow cruises to sail again, but only if nearly all passengers and crew are vaccinated against the virus. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning business from requiring proof of vaccination, so cruise lines must prove the effectiveness of their COVID-19 safety protocols on test cruises.

Last weekend, Celebrity Edge departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, becoming the first cruise ship to leave a U.S. port in 15 months. Saturday’s sailing kicked off the cruise lines’ return to business with Carnival vessels already scheduled to depart from other ports next month.

1:52 p.m. Manitoba is reporting 61 new COVID-19 cases and no deaths.

The province's chief public health officer says a child under 10, whose death was announced on the weekend, had underlying health conditions.

1:25 p.m. Germany had reopened its borders to fully vaccinated leisure travelers from several non-European Union countries, the German Interior Ministry announced.

That includes immunized visitors from the United States, many of whom are eager to take a European vacation this summer, since Germany dropped the U.S. from the list of countries it considers high-risk on June 13. Up until now, only those who could prove they had an urgent or exceptional need to travel could apply for entry into Germany.

Germany’s ban on travel and public transportation from high-risk countries where viral variants of concern are rampant will continue in full effect, Interior Ministry spokeswoman Alina Vick told Stars and Stripes.

1 p.m. Quebec is reporting 76 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and no deaths attributed to coronavirus.

Health officials in the province haven't reported a COVID-19-linked death since June 23.

Officials say they identified 178 cases on Friday and Saturday; the Health Department has stopped releasing COVID-19 data on weekends.

The province says COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped by 11 since Friday, to 124, and 31 people were in intensive care, a drop of nine since the last report.

12:50 p.m. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo announced Monday that his government will administer COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 12 after the country’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency green-lighted emergency use of the Sinovac vaccine for children.

Widodo said in a video statement that he was grateful that the agency has issued an emergency use of authorization for the Sinovac vaccine so that “vaccination for children that age can start immediately.”

He has asked authorities to boost the country’s vaccination rollout to two million shots a day by August from the current level of about 1 million a day, as a second wave of infections engulfs Southeast Asia country.

Monday’s announcement came a day after health authorities announced the country’s largest one-day jump in new coronavirus infections, the second day in a row, as the Health Ministry reported 21,342 new cases and 409 deaths over the past 24 hours.

12:45 p.m. Canada crossed a milestone this weekend of having 10 million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Ontario reported Monday it had given second doses to more than 160,000 people Sunday, pushing the number of fully vaccinated people in the country to 10.14 million — or more than 30 per cent of eligible Canadians at least 12 years old.

Canada's fully vaccinated population is increasing quickly, with more than three million people vaccinated in the last week alone.

At the current pace, Canada could reach 50 per cent fully vaccinated in about two weeks.

12:36 p.m. Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting that more than 30.2 per cent of the population over 12 has received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

They say 77 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have received at least one dose.

Health officials are reporting one new case of COVID-19 today, involving a person in their 50s in the Moncton region.

New Brunswick has 26 active reported cases of COVID-19 and four patients in hospital with the disease, including one in intensive care.

12:10 p.m. The federal government is providing $700 million over two years to help the arts, culture, heritage and sport industry recover from the pandemic and bring in much-needed tourism to the Canadian economy.

Minister of economic development Mélanie Joly and heritage minister Steven Guilbeault provided details of the funding, which was mentioned in the 2021 budget, on Monday morning in Montreal.

Of the $700 million, $200 million will go toward funding major events and festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Calgary Stampede — events which bring in a lot of domestic and international tourism and create employment for thousands of people, said Joly.

“These events have an impact directly on creating destinations that will attract international tourists,” she said.

Read the full story from the Star’s Rosa Saba

11:52 a.m. CBRE says Canadian commercial real estate is pointing to a post-pandemic economic upswing.

The commercial real estate company says the pace of office vacancy increases eased in every major Canadian city in the second quarter and industrial demand picked up.

Downtown office leasing increased in major cities by the smallest amount since the pandemic's onset last year with office tenants preparing to welcome employees back in the second half of the year.

CBRE says Canada has North America's four tightest downtown office markets with Vancouver's vacancy at 6.6 per cent, Toronto at 10 per cent, Ottawa at 10.6 per cent and Montreal at 11.1 per cent.

Prime industrial real estate has dipped with Waterloo Region having the lowest industrial availability rate in North America at 0.9 per cent.

All markets outside the Prairies have availability rates of three per cent or less, with Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal at 1.2, 1.1 and 1.4 per cent, respectively

11:40 a.m. Opening a restaurant during a pandemic may seem like a mighty big risk, but the guys behind Gus Tacos? They opened two.

The family-owned chain of taquerias has grown to three locations over three years, the newest having opened in Parkdale last April. The first weekend, co-owner Emilio Bravo Morales recalls, “we sold out the Saturday, then on the Sunday.”

It’s an inspiring success story, given the difficulties facing restaurant owners in pandemic-stricken Toronto — and the fact that Morales, cousin Augustine “Gus” Skrzypek Morales and Augustine’s father Michael opened the first Gus Tacos just two years ago.

The cousins, who have roots in the Mexican city of Leon, grew up together. Emilio, 27, studied business administration, while Augustine, 24, the son of two chefs, dreamed of going into food after becoming proficient in the kitchen at an early age.

11:25 a.m. With apologies to all the wonderful doctors I’ve had in my life, going to the vaccine mega-clinic at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday was the most fun I’ve ever had getting a medical procedure.

The clinic was such a well-oiled operation, I was out before I knew it. The Jörmungandr of a line to get in — which snaked up and down Front, York, Bremner and Queens Quay West — moved expeditiously, to the point where I was speedwalking at times.

The coalition of health experts and city officials, as well as Scotiabank and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) executives who set up the event called it the “Our Winning Shot” clinic. Coun. Joe Cressy, chair of the Toronto Board of Health, explained the name to me when I interviewed him for my article about it Friday.

Read the full story from the Star’s Ben Cohen

11 a.m. (updated) Toronto is opening 375,000 new COVID-19 vaccination appointments at city clinics in July to meet “surging demand” for second doses.

Mayor John Tory told reporters Monday that people can start booking the new appointments — 125,000 in each of the weeks beginning July 5, 12 and 19 — at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

People will be able to make the appointments through the the online booking system or by calling 1-833-943-3900.

Read the full story from the Star’s David Rider

10:45 a.m. Portugal’s battle to contain the surging COVID-19 delta variant has prompted it to put the United Kingdom on its red list for travel, speed up vaccinations in Lisbon and cancel school classes in the southern Algarve region, its main tourist destination.

Portugal has in recent days been reporting the highest number of daily new coronavirus cases since February. Though hospitals are comfortably coping with new virus admissions, officials say the increase of about 30 per cent over the past week was a worrying trend.

On Monday, the number of coronavirus patients in hospital surpassed 500 for the first time since early April.

The country's 14-day cumulative COVID-19 case notification rate per 100,000 people, meanwhile, rose to 162 — the highest officially recorded since early March.

Lisbon, the capital, is one of Portugal's hot spots, with a case rate of 438. The city council said Monday it will extend the opening hours of vaccine centers, with people over 50 allowed to walk in without an appointment. Already last week, Lisbon doubled the number of jabs being administered over seven days, with more than 46,000. The next goal is 65,000 a week.

Also, British travelers who aren’t vaccinated must quarantine for two weeks after arriving in Portugal, the Portuguese government announced Monday. The delta variant is believed to account for almost all of the United Kingdom’s new COVID-19 cases.

British arrivals can quarantine at their home or in a place stipulated by Portuguese health authorities. Arrivals from Brazil, India and South Africa come under the same rule.

All those entering Portugal must show either the European Union’s COVID Digital Certificate or a negative PCR test.

Health authorities in southern Portugal’s Algarve region, known for its numerous beaches and sunny weather, canceled in-person classes for children up to 16 years old in a bid to break transmission chains in five towns, including the well-known vacation spots Albufeira and Faro.

Thousands of British tourists visited the Algarve earlier this month when the British government briefly allowed easier travel to Portugal.

10:35 a.m. After more than a year of deadly COVID-19 outbreaks, the number of active viral eruptions in Toronto seniors’ homes, hospitals and homeless shelters recently dipped to just one.

The stunning drop, from a pandemic high in January of 123 outbreaks in that “congregate setting” category tracked by Toronto Public Health, is a testament to the virus-slaying power of vaccines.

But professionals tasked with keeping COVID-19 outside their doors, ensuring it grabs no more lives from settings that have collectively suffered mass death, say their goal isn’t to reach zero outbreaks, though that number might be reached temporarily.

“I believe that we’ll never actually get to zero,” says Dr. Susy Hota, in charge of infection control and prevention (IPAC) at University Health Network, the Toronto teaching hospital and research cluster.

Read the full story from the Star’s David Rider

10:12 a.m. The City of Toronto is adding 375,000 vaccination appointments for city vaccine clinics to accommodate the huge demand; 125,000 for the each of the weeks of July 5, 12 and 19.

10:08 a.m. (will be updated) Ontario is reporting 210 COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths.

Locally, there are 37 new cases in Toronto, 26 in the Region of Waterloo, 25 in Grey Bruce, 15 in Peel Region, 12 in Hamilton and 12 in Niagara Region.

Monday's numbers are based on 13,071 tests.

There are 218 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday and 287 patients in intensive care with COVID-related critical illness.

The province says 180,369 vaccine doses have been administered since the last update, for a total of more than 14.2 million.

Provincial data says over 77 per cent of people have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 35 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Also on Monday, all Ontario adults became eligible for an accelerated second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

10:05 a.m. Janet Conway had to go into work when a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at her school.

Conway has been teaching for the last 14 years and has recently been overseeing Grade 6 and Grade 7 students at the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB).

Conway said several classrooms closed due to the outbreak, but her class was allowed to remain open.

“It affected the students. Only two, three, four would show up on a given day with the other 24 online,” she said. “It was a little scary knowing there were active COVID cases declared. Some students reached out privately saying they were very scared about COVID or told me someone in their house has it. There was very noticeable stress.”

For students and families to feel safe when youth are in the classroom, Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) president Liz Stuart said there should be two metres of physical distancing, smaller class sizes, and improved ventilation, which she said did not occur in many schools.

9:50 a.m. A walk down the main drag may make it look like all is well in the tourism hot-spot of Banff, where restaurant patios are full and nearby hiking trails are packed on weekends.

But even as Alberta plans to drop nearly all COVID-19 restrictions on July 1st, local businesses and the Banff National Park’s tourism board say they’ll be sorely missing international tourists for a second peak summer season in a row.

The number of people isn’t the problem — there were 1.1 million visitors to the national park in the first half of 2021, barely below 2019’s 1.2 million visitors in the same period.

But many of those visitors in 2019 came from abroad, and Banff Lake Louise Tourism said Canadian visitors to the national park simply don’t spend their dollars the same way.

9:45 a.m. They’re fun in the sun but swimming pools haven’t always been a top selling feature when it comes to real estate. They don’t appeal to every homebuyer, who doesn’t necessarily want the cost, maintenance and safety concerns of a seasonal amenity.

But demand for swimming pools is just one more way the real estate market has evolved during the pandemic, said Toronto realtor April Williams. She and her husband decided last year this was the perfect time for her family to invest in a pool and they went looking this spring.

She describes COVID-19 as a perfect storm when it comes to the popularity of pools. Vacation and entertainment venues have been curtailed at the same time demand for bigger homes with more outdoor space has skyrocketed.

Williams and husband Taps Das, an art director, typically enjoy beach vacations with their children Winnie, 5, and Milo, 2. Their west-end Toronto house didn’t have enough room for a full-sized swimming pool but their kids splash about in the hot tub.

Read the full story from the Star’s Tess Kalinowski

9:20 a.m. Australian authorities are racing to contain outbreaks of the highly contagious Delta strain that have forced Sydney and Darwin into lockdown and put other major cities on high alert.

The outbreak in Sydney now numbers about 130 cases, with 18 more infections announced by New South Wales state on Monday. Contact tracers are battling to keep up with a growing list of exposure sites, including some domestic Virgin Australia flights after a cabin crew member tested positive for the virus.

Residents of Greater Sydney have been ordered to stay home except for exercise, essential shopping and medical treatment until July 9, while Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, is under a snap 48-hour lockdown. Queensland state on Sunday imposed additional restrictions, while Perth and Canberra have made mask-wearing mandatory in public for the first time since the pandemic began.

The clusters show the limits of Australia’s so-called “COVID-zero” strategy, which has relied on closed international borders and rigorous testing to eliminate community transmission of the virus. While nations such as the U.K. and U.S. are preparing to open up their economies after widespread vaccinations, a slow rollout in Australia means the economy, and particularly domestic tourism, remains vulnerable.

8:10 a.m. Hong Kong's government says it will ban all passenger flights from the U.K. starting Thursday as it seeks to curb the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.

It said in a statement Monday that the U.K. has been classified as "extremely high risk.“

Under the classification, people who have stayed in the U.K. for more than two hours will be restricted from boarding passenger flights to Hong Kong.

The statement says the flight ban was issued because of the “recent rebound of the epidemic situation in the U.K. and the widespread delta variant virus strain there."

7:57 a.m. Greece will give young adults 150 euros in credit to get vaccinated as it launches a two-tier access policy over the summer, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Monday.

Mitsotakis said that starting July 15, Greek citizens under age 26 would be eligible for the credit in a digital wallet after receiving the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination.

“We hope that young people will take advantage of this opportunity. The state thanks you for acting responsibly and doing something that I am certain you would have done anyway,” Mitsotakis said in a televised speech.

Heavily reliant on tourism, Greece is looking for ways to fully reopen its economy after recently making the vaccination available to all adult age groups.

Kyriakos Pierrakakis, a minister for digital policy, said the digital wallet scheme will focus on the tourism and entertainment industry.

Around 35 per cent of the total population, or 42 per cent of the adult population, will have completed their vaccination by the end of June, according to government estimates, with those numbers due to rise to 48 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively, by the end of July.

7:35 a.m. The vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna set off a persistent immune reaction in the body that may protect against the coronavirus for years, scientists reported Monday.

The findings add to growing evidence that most people immunized with the mRNA vaccines may not need boosters, so long as the virus and its variants do not evolve much beyond their current forms — which is not guaranteed. People who recovered from COVID-19 before being vaccinated may not need boosters even if the virus does make a significant transformation.

“It’s a good sign for how durable our immunity is from this vaccine,” said Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis who led the study, which was published in the journal Nature.

The study did not consider the coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, but Ellebedy said he expected the immune response to be less durable than that produced by mRNA vaccines.

Ellebedy and his colleagues reported last month that in people who survived COVID-19, immune cells that recognize the virus lie quiescent in the bone marrow for at least eight months after infection. A study by another team indicated that so-called memory B cells continue to mature and strengthen for at least a year after infection.

Based on those findings, researchers suggested that immunity might last for years, possibly a lifetime, in people who were infected with the coronavirus and later vaccinated. But it was unclear whether vaccination alone might have a similarly long-lasting effect.

Ellebedy’s team sought to address that question by looking at the source of memory cells: the lymph nodes, where immune cells train to recognize and fight the virus.

7:25 a.m. India unveiled more support measures for the pandemic-hit economy, including a 50 per cent expansion in its emergency credit program, as well as support for the health care and tourism sectors.

The announcement Monday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman comes as India’s states start lifting restrictions amid a decline in coronavirus infections after the country suffered the world’s worst COVID-19 surge.

The measures will support Asia’s third-largest economy as it begins to show signs of recovery after a record contraction during the first wave of the virus last year and a second, much more intense wave earlier in 2021.

7:15 a.m. Scotiabank Arena was the site of a huge victory on Sunday in the fight against COVID-19: The mega-clinic held at the home of the Maple Leafs and Raptors set a record for a one-day, single-dose vaccination clinic.

“The North American single-dose clinic record is 17,003 doses set at the Texas Motor Speedway,” Toronto City counsellor Joe Cressy (Ward 10, Spadina-Fort York) tweeted earlier Sunday. “Toronto, we’re about to crush it.”

Crush it they did, as they sailed past the 17,000 dose mark late Sunday afternoon. And it didn’t stop there: Dose No. 25,000 was administered at approximately 8:30 p.m. On Sunday night, Toronto Public Health confirmed in a news release that 26,771 doses were administered at the one-day clinic.

Read the full story from the Star’s Peter Edwards

6:35 a.m.: It’s been over a year since restaurant owners and their staff had to pivot to outside-of-the-box ideas to keep their businesses afloat as a result of the pandemic.

Places turned into grocery stores and figured out ways to make their food takeout-friendly — whether it was coming up with a new menu or turning items into meal kits.

But as patios reopen and there’s continued talk of going back to normal (whatever that means), the question is whether the restaurant pivots will stay.

Read the full story from the Star’s Karon Liu here.

6:30 a.m.: As Ontario’s COVID-19 cases decline, and the province gets ready to move into Stage 2 of reopening, the Scarborough Health Network’s emergency rooms continue to be overstretched, operating well beyond their capacity.

For Dr. Jemy Joseph, an emergency physician at SHN’s Centenary Hospital and a Scarborough native, the crisis remains far from over.

She says the inequities in her emergency room reflect those long present in the community. Her patients experience firsthand chronic shortages of primary care doctors and other medical services and are now filling up beds with otherwise minor issues that have gotten worse.

Read the full story from the Star here.

6:29 a.m.: Canada should have enough COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this week to fully inoculate three-quarters of all Canadians over the age of 12.

Brig. Gen. Krista Brodie, the military commander managing national vaccine delivery logistics for the Public Health Agency of Canada, says Pfizer-BioNTech is to send more than 2.4 million doses this week and Moderna about 1.4 million.

Those shipments will push Canada’s total vaccine deliveries above 50 million doses to date, enough to administer two shots to 75 per cent of eligible residents.

Another 18 million doses are expected in July, enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12.

Children under that threshold won’t be able to get immunized until trials testing the vaccines on younger children are completed later this summer or in the fall.

As of Sunday, more than 25.5 million residents had received at least one dose, and Canada is on the verge of hitting 10 million people fully vaccinated.

6:27 a.m.: Australia was battling to contain several COVID-19 clusters around the country on Monday in what some experts have described as the nation’s most dangerous stage of the pandemic since the earliest days.

Sydney in the east and Darwin in the north were locked down on Monday. Perth in the west made masks compulsory for three days and warned a lockdown could follow after a resident tested positive after visiting Sydney more than a week ago.

Brisbane and Canberra have or will soon make wearing masks compulsory. South Australia state announced new statewide restrictions from Tuesday.

Australia has been relatively successful in containing clusters throughout the pandemic, registering fewer than 31,000 cases since the pandemic began. But the new clusters have highlighted the nation’s slow vaccine rollout with only 5% of the population fully vaccinated.

Most of the new cases stem from a Sydney limousine driver who tested positive on June 16 to the delta variant, which is thought to be more contagious. He was not vaccinated, reportedly did not wear a mask and is suspected to have been infected while transporting a foreign air crew from Sydney Airport.

6:22 a.m.: Almost 30 per cent of respondents in a newly released Canada-wide survey admitted to breaking COVID-19 rules — and felt justified doing so.

The survey by the Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research at the University of Saskatchewan was done between June 1 and June 14. It asked 1,000 peopleabout how closely they stuck to public health orders and where they were getting their information about the pandemic.

Some 29 per cent said they broke at least one COVID-19 restriction. The most common transgressions were around gathering limits and wearing masks.

But the survey also found that respondents were generally diligent about following isolation requirements and gave honest responses to COVID-19 screening questions.

Saskatchewan Minister of Health Paul Merriman said he believes social media has played a major role in confusing people about public health measures meant to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“The issue that I saw during most of the restrictions that have been implemented since the fall was that there were lots of interpretations going around on social media and the rumour mill,” he said.

The survey found that 35 per cent of people were getting their COVID-19 news from social media — particularly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and 71 per cent were getting news by word of mouth.

The greatest number of people — 88 per cent — were getting their news from online or TV news outlets, and 70 per cent also informed themselves through government websites.

The survey also found that the pandemic has spurred some controversy and strife in close relationships. Twenty-two per cent of respondents reported a “falling out” with someone close to them over different views and opinions about the pandemic.

6:20 a.m.: All of Quebec is now at the lowest alert level under the province’s COVID-19 response plan as public health restrictions continue to ease.

Nine of Quebec’s 17 regions, including the province’s largest cities and the areas surrounding them, move from yellow to green on the pandemic alert level system as of today.

The province’s other regions were already at the green level.

Several green zone restrictions were relaxed further today, with up to 20 people now allowed to share a table on restaurant and bar patios.

Outdoor gatherings on private property can also now include up to 20 people.

Capacity for weddings and funerals is also rising to 250 people, but wedding receptions will be capped at 25 attendees indoors and 50 outside.