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Ontario’s borders with Quebec and Manitoba fully reopen today.

A provincial order restricting interprovincial travel between those provinces expired at midnight.

The regulation was introduced in April as Ontario battled a third wave of COVID-19.

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It applied to land and water borders.

Travel between the regions was limited to essential reasons such as health care, custody or compassionate grounds like attending a funeral.

It also allowed law enforcement to stop and question people about their reasons for entering Ontario.

Alberta adds vacation packages, travel prizes to COVID-19 vaccine lottery

Albertans who get fully vaccinated with two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine now have a chance to win vacation packages and other travel prizes from WestJet and Air Canada.

The government says in a news release that 40 travel-related prizes have been added to its “Open for Summer” lottery.

They include weeklong stays at all-inclusive luxury resorts and flights across Canada and abroad.

The lottery already includes three $1-million cash awards with proof of vaccination.

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About 69 per cent of Albertans who are eligible have had at least one shot.

Once 70 per cent is reached, and vaccines have two weeks to take full effect, the province plans to lift all but a handful of public health restrictions – essentially returning to its pre-COVID state.

“Alberta’s government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated so we can put this pandemic behind us,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a news release Wednesday.

“We want Albertans to get their vaccines as soon as possible so we can fully open for summer and open for good.”

Manitoba has also announced a vaccine lottery for $100,000 cash prizes and $25,000 youth scholarships.

Alberta also announced it is opening a temporary clinic at a southwest Edmonton mosque to get more people vaccinated. The province said up to 1,200 Albertans can receive a first dose of an mRNA vaccine at the clinic that is to run Friday through Sunday.

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Ontario reports 384 new cases of COVID-19, 12 deaths, and record high vaccinations

Ontario is reporting 384 new cases of COVID-19 today and 12 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 71 new cases in Waterloo, 60 in Peel Region and 54 in Toronto.

She says there are also 23 new cases in Middlesex-London and 21 in Ottawa.

Today’s data is based on nearly 28,100 completed tests.

The Ministry of Health says that 438 people are in hospital with the novel coronavirus – 377 in intensive care and 242 on a ventilator.

Premier Doug Ford says Ontario administered a record high of 202,984 vaccine doses since Tuesday’s report, for a total of more than 11.7 million doses given out so far.

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Quebec reports 153 cases of COVID-19 as hospitalizations fall below 200

There are now fewer than 200 people hospitalized in Quebec with COVID-19 as the province’s pandemic indicators continue to dip.

Health officials also reported 153 new cases and one additional death.

Overall, hospitalizations fell by 17 to 192, while the number of people in intensive care dropped by five to 45.

Health Minister Christian Dubé says the hospitalization curve in the province is flattening and the numbers are heading in the right direction.

The province also added another 87,000 vaccine doses to its tally, for a grand total of nearly 7 million doses administered.

The Health Department also announced that a number of additional vaccine sites across the province are now offering walk-in appointments for first and second doses.

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B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots, say health officials

British Columbia health officials say the province ranks among the highest in the world in the number of people who have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In a news release, they say more than 76 per cent of eligible people have received their first shot while 710,847 people have had their second.

Health officials say a number of locations are offering extended hours and mobile clinics so more people can get immunized.

The province reported 113 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 146,674.

It also recorded four COVID-19-related deaths for a total of 1,738 fatalities.

British Columbia entered step two of its four-step reopening plan Tuesday by allowing outdoor personal gatherings of up to 50 people, opening recreational travel across health regions and loosening other restrictions.

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Nova Scotia will join Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador in a joint opening made possible by steadily declining COVID-19 rates across the region. The move means travellers won't have to isolate for 14 days upon entering each province. The Canadian Press

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