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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. Federal public-health authorities say Delta variant is COVID-19′s “latest hurdle”
  2. What to know about relaxed travel measures for fully vaccinated Canadians
  3. As COVID-19 wanes in Canada, BMO CEO predicts economic boom

In the last 7 days, 4,957 cases were reported, down 34 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 174 deaths announced, up 27 per cent over the same period. At least 891 people are being treated in hospitals. (Note: Alberta’s case numbers for June 25 were not available due to a technical issue.)

Canada’s inoculation rate is 10th among countries with a population of one million or more people.

Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.

Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopeningVaccine distribution planFour vaccines approved in CanadaEssential resources

Photo of the day

People wait in line to refill an oxygen tanks for relatives infected with the new coronavirus, in Arequipa, Peru on Friday, June 25. The city is under a strict lockdown for 15 days following an increase of COVID-19 cases and the Delta variant.Guadalupe Pardo/The Associated Press

Coronavirus in Canada

  • Quebec said fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks around each other in private indoor settings and loosened other restrictions as the province reports just 88 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths.
  • All adults in Ontario who received a first dose of an mRNA vaccine can book accelerated second appointments staring Monday – a change that makes 1.5 million eligible for second doses. At least 76 per cent of eligible people in Ontario have at least one COVID-19 dose, with 30 per cent fully vaccinated.

In Ottawa, health officials say the Delta variant is the “latest hurdle” in the pandemic and could make a potential fourth wave worse than initially thought.

  • Data currently shows COVID-19 infections declining across the country – and as that happens, more provinces are moving ahead with reopening plans and loosening of public-health restrictions.
  • Federal modelling is based on assumptions that the Delta variant is more transmissible and leads to more severe illness.
  • Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the Delta variant is the most contagious strain seen to date and its presence has increased in Canada.

COVID-19 restrictions: What to know about relaxed travel measures for fully vaccinated Canadians.

Coronavirus around the world

  • In Britain, a study of of nine entertainment events found that they produced no major community spread of COVID-19 – just 28 cases out of 58,000 total spectators. As part of the study, commissioned by the British government ahead of its reopening plan, no masks were worn and there were no physical-distancing rules.
  • In the United States, Republican Senator Josh Hawley has asked that Canada be added to his country’s religious watch list over the arrests of two pastors who are accused of disregarding COVID-19 health restrictions.

Coronavirus and business

The Bank of Montreal’s chief executive officer says he believes Canada is entering a two-year period of economic rebound.

  • Darryl White says he expects Canada’s GDP growth to be about 6 per cent in Canada this year and 4.5 per cent next year.
  • Some of the growth, White says, is catching up on lost ground from the COVID-19 crisis while many consumers have savings waiting to be spent.
  • “I mean, there’s just so much liquidity,” White says, adding: “I don’t know how you keep a lid on it, frankly.”

Also today: Some companies are reversing course on plans to sublease their office space as more workers say they want to return to the workplace.

And: As the Canada Recovery Benefit winds down, questions remain over Liberals’ long-term plan

Globe opinion

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Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.

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