Covid: Protests in Canada and France, and end of self-isolation a ‘step too far’on February 13, 2022 at 4:19 am

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Sunday morning.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Sunday. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

1. Police try to clear Canada bridge blockade

Following days of protests by truckers against Canada’s coronavirus rules, police have started to clear a blockade of a main crossing to the United States. Truckers have been blocking the Ambassador Bridge, which is a vital trade route linking Windsor, Ontario with Detroit, Michigan. Protesters oppose Covid vaccine mandates, with gatherings at other border crossings and in Ottawa. Here, we look at whether Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is losing his fight against the truckers.

A protester confronts police

Image source, Reuters

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2. Hundreds fined and tear gas fired at Paris protest

There have also been protests in Europe, with the self-styled Canadian “Freedom Convoy” inspiring groups in France. Police have intercepted hundreds of vehicles trying to enter Paris. Tear gas was fired in the capital as demonstrators protested against the country’s coronavirus regulations, defying an order banning the convoy. More than 300 tickets were handed out and 54 people arrested, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said. More than 7,000 officers are being deployed over the next three days to try to stop the demonstrators.

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3. Removing self-isolation would be a ‘step too far’

An expert has warned against removing coronavirus self-isolation rules, saying it would be a “step too far” and would risk undoing progress in tackling the virus. Jillian Evans, head of health intelligence at NHS Grampian, urged a slow and cautious move out of the existing restrictions. Under the current rules in Scotland, anyone who tests positive must self-isolate for at least five full days. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that could end in England this month. Read more about how Scottish isolation rules differ from England.

covid test

Image source, Getty Images

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4. Friendship helped us through loss in the pandemic

“I just remember her as being such fun and always laughing and always there for everybody. It was a tragedy losing her so young,” says Marcelle Orsi. She and a group of former convent school pupils have created a project in memory of their friend, Sonia Kinsella, who died of cancer. The women – many of whom are key workers – spent months putting together a play about female solidarity and friendship.

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5. New Zealand plays Barry Manilow to repel protesters

Barry Manilow songs on repeat could be magic for many. But not in New Zealand, where authorities have instead used the singer’s greatest hits to drive people away. In an attempt to dispel protestors camped outside the parliament building, songs by the US singer are being played on a 15-minute loop, along with the Spanish dance tune, Macarena. The protests, opposing Covid-19 vaccine mandates, began on Tuesday. Demonstrators have retaliated by playing songs such as Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It.

Protesters pack into the grounds of Parliament on the fifth day of demonstrations against Covid-19 restrictions in Wellington on February 12

Image source, Getty Images

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Government statistics show 159,351 people have now died, with 193 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 18,220,515 people have tested positive, up 58,899 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 12,753 people in hospital. In total, more than 52 million people have have had at least one vaccination. Updated 11 Feb.

And there’s more…

If you’re heading for a half term break in the UK here are the Covid rules in each nation.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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