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June 10, 2021 – Federal and provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Canadian and Québec governments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Surgeries to resume in Québec

The minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, outlined his reopening plan for the resumption of surgeries in Québec.

He announced that the healthcare system will have caught up on delayed surgeries caused by the pandemic by 2023. The provincial government is hoping to schedule an additional 5,000 surgeries per month to make up for this delay.

So far, 145,000 people are awaiting surgery in Québec.

The plan targets four objectives: immediately reinstate a 100% surgery rate; then increase the rate to 115% by October; bring down the waitlist to below the pre-pandemic level by March 2023; and significantly reduce the waitlist for patients who have been waiting for surgery for over a year, also by March 2023.

“The last year has been incredibly hard on the health and social services network and unfortunately, many surgeries had to be delayed. Over the last few months, the network has been working to stabilize this waitlist, while allowing healthcare workers to take a much-needed and well-deserved rest. By March 2023, we’ll return to the pre-pandemic situation, and an even better one. For some, this date may seem far away, but we can’t forget all the challenges our healthcare system has had to face over the last year,” said Mr. Dubé.

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Seven million doses of Moderna by the end of June

Canada’s minister of Public Services and Procurement, Anita Anand,  announced that Moderna  will be shipping seven million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June, starting next week.

With this shipment, Canada should receive at least 55 million doses of vaccines, including the ones from Pfizer-BioNTech, by the end of July.

Easing health measures at the border  

Canada’s Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Dominique Leblanc, announced that the federal government will lift the obligation to quarantine in a hotel for Canadian travellers who have received two doses of the vaccine by the beginning of July.

“The first phase, which is currently under consideration, is intended to allow fully vaccinated people who are permitted to enter the country—Canadians, permanent residents and essential workers—to do so without having to stay in a quarantine hotel,” said Dominic Leblanc.

Travellers will still have to have a screening test before their departure and upon arrival in Canada. They will also have to quarantine at home until they receive a negative result.

No specific date has been established for when these measures will come into effect. If the health situation is under control, they could begin during the first week of July.