OTTAWA — Canada eases travel restrictions at the border, all eyes on COVID-19 numbers in Ottawa and election speculation heats up.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.
NEW TRAVEL RULES FOR CANADIANS AND VISITORS AT CANADA-U.S. BORDER
Travellers from the U.S. will be allowed to enter Canada on Monday for non-essential reasons for the first time since March 2020.
Meanwhile, international flights will once again be allowed to land at the Ottawa International Airport.
The federal government is easing border restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border as COVID-19 cases decline and vaccination rates increase.
As of Aug. 9, American citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to enter Canada if they can provide proof they’ve been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days. Fully vaccinated U.S. travellers will be exempt from quarantining for 14 days.
Only the major airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary have been allowed to accept international flights during the pandemic.
Effective Monday, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the Ottawa International Airport, Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and Edmonton International Airport.
ALL EYES ON COVID-19 NUMBERS
Four weeks before the start of the new school year, Ottawa’s COVID-19 case numbers are increasing and the vaccine rollout continues to slow.
Ottawa Public Health reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, after 11 cases on Thursday, 18 on Friday and 12 on Saturday. It’s been the highest number of cases in Ottawa since late June.
Meantime, Ottawa’s COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to slow.
Ottawa Public Health reports only 3,378 vaccines were administered at community and pop-up clinics across Ottawa on Thursday, the lowest number of vaccines administered in Ottawa since March 28.
As of Friday, 83 per cent of Ottawa residents 12 and older have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 73 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The Quebec government is expected to unveil details of the COVID-19 vaccine passport this week.
Election speculation is rising in Ottawa.
CTV News’ Rachel Aiello reported this week that federal political parties are finalizing campaign plans behind the scenes in anticipation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling an election this month.
A survey by Nanos Research and commissioned by CTV News found three in five Canadians surveyed over the August long weekend said an election was unimportant or somewhat unimportant right now.
All parties have been working to nominate candidates.
As of Tuesday, the Liberals have nominated 226 candidates, the Conservatives have nominated 275 candidates, the NDP have nominated 126 candidates, and the Greens have 97 candidates nominated.
In Ottawa, the Liberals have not nominated a candidate to run in Ottawa Centre following Catherine McKenna’s decision not to seek re-election. Former Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi was door knocking with McKenna on Saturday.
VERDICT AT JAGTAR GILL MURDER TRIAL
A verdict is expected Tuesday at the trial for an Ottawa man and his former lover, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jagtar Gill.
Gill was found bludgeoned and stabbed to death in her Barrhaven home on her wedding anniversary in 2014.
Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald pleaded not guilty to first degree murder.
The pair were convicted of first-degree murder in 2016, but the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled the trial judge made a legal error when instructing the jury and ordered a new trial.
PRO SOCCER RETURNS TO TD PLACE
Professional soccer returns to the pitch at TD Place on Saturday.
Over 535 days after the official announcement that Atletico Ottawa would become the eighth club competing in the Canadian Premier League, the soccer club will play its first game at TD Place.
To celebrate the first outdoor sporting event in Ottawa post COVID-19 lockdown, the team is giving 15,000 fans the chance to attend the game at TD Place for any price you want.
The “Pay What You Want” game will allow fans to pay any price to enter the stadium.
“You can choose for nothing. You can choose a little, or you can choose a lot. Any profits will go to the youth services foundation,” says Jeff Hunt, president of Atletico Ottawa.
Atletico Ottawa faces the Halifax Wanderers on Saturday, Aug. 14 at TD Place. Game time is 3 p.m.
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