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

Top headlines:

  1. Flights to Mexico and the Caribbean will stop until the end of April, and airlines will work with those already abroad to co-ordinate a trip home
  2. Pfizer shipments will now be reduced over five weeks, rather than four weeks as previously announced
  3. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has proven effective against severe COVID-19 illness and new variants

In the last 7 days, 33,391 cases were reported, down 20 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 975 deaths announced, down 11 per cent over the same period. At least 3,740 people are being treated in hospitals and 695,679 others are considered recovered.

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About 83 per cent of the 1,122,450 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 2.5 doses for every 100 people in Canada.

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 charts Lockdown rules and reopeningCanada’s vaccine distribution planDeveloping/approved vaccinesPfizer’s vaccine, explained Essential resources

Photo of the day

Spectators make some noise from the comfort of their cars, while watching a concert by the heavy rock band Kasalla, in Cologne, Germany, Friday Jan. 29, 2021. The coronavirus has forced a different type of participation for music concert goers. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

Henning Kaiser/The Associated Press

Coronavirus in Canada

In Ottawa, the latest round of travel restrictions were announced today, which include suspending flights to “sun destinations” such as the Caribbean and Mexico from Jan. 30 until at least April 30.

Vaccine approvals: Health Canada is on track to give the green light to a third COVID-19 vaccine within the next two weeks, the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Race against variants: Vaccines may not be as effective against these new strains, making it a race to control and track the spread of variants before they become a dangerous new outbreak.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

Canada’s economy is showing resilience, according to new data from Statistics Canada. But the economy will be tested in the coming weeks by elevated caseloads of COVID-19, new variants of the virus and sluggish vaccination rollouts.

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  • Despite fear of a pullback last month, real gross domestic product rose almost twice as much as expected, by 0.7 per cent.
  • But, if December estimates pan out, real GDP will have declined 5.1 per cent in 2020 – the worst hit in generations.

Also today: Hudson’s Bay is the latest retailer to see staff layoffs. More than 600 workers across Canada have received notice amid ongoing store closures due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

And: As many people try to bolster the livability and sense of safety in home environments that now double as offices, classrooms, daycares and fitness nooks, the concept of healthy condo design is booming.

Globe opinion

  • Robyn Urback: Perhaps for queue jumpers Rod and Ekaterina Baker, the discomfort of being exorbitantly wealthy and having a travel itch that can’t be scratched is comparable to the angst of languishing for months in an underserved long-term care home during a pandemic?
  • Jillian Horton: It is perfectly normal for health care workers to find themselves regretting their choice of profession right now, during these abnormal circumstances. “To err, of course, is human – and ultimately, that’s what we all are.”
  • Ethan Lou: “As candid as I’d been about my grandfather’s mortality before, when he actually died, I couldn’t bring myself to even tell anyone, not even those closest to me.” Restoring an old laptop changed all that.
  • Gary Mason: B.C. Premier John Horgan looks back on a pandemic-marred 12 months: “We just need people to hang on for a bit longer. We’ve come too far to let our frustrations get in the way of doing the right thing now.”
  • Cathal Kelly: The NFL did everything wrong, and it all ended up exactly right. Bizarrely, COVID-19 has been good to football.

More reporting

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