(Getty images)

(Getty images)

EDITORIAL: COVID-19 directives still in place

Despite increasing vaccination rates, pandemic restrictions have not been lifted

Although nearly half of the Canadian population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, the restrictions to control the spread of the pandemic remain in place.

The directives to wear masks in public and to maintain a physical distancing of at least two metres have not been lifted, even for those who have been vaccinated.

The Canadian measures are in contrast to the policy in the United States, where fully vaccinated individuals are able to forego mask-wearing and physical distancing directives.

READ ALSO: Canada unlikely to follow U.S. approach to easing COVID-19 masking rules: doctor

READ ALSO: ‘We have longed for this moment’: Fully vaccinated people in U.S. can ditch masks indoors

Some in Canada are asking why this country will not offer a similar policy, since those who are fully vaccinated are no longer able to spread the virus.

However, Canadian health officials have indicated the present directives are to continue until a much larger percentage of the population has been vaccinated.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has said at least 75 per cent of the population would need to have received vaccines, with at least 20 per cent receiving their second dose before the restrictions would be lifted.

The vaccine rollout is continuing and the percentage of vaccinated Canadians is continuing to rise. However, more vaccinations are required before we reach the 75 per cent threshold.

As a result, the COVID-19 restrictions and directives, including wearing face masks and observing physical distancing, will remain part of life for some time to come.

In Canada, more than 1.3 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded, and around 25,000 deaths from this virus have occurred, according to figures from the federal government.

The pandemic has affected our province, our country and our world for well over a year and many are longing for the time when COVID-19 is a part of our history rather than our presence. This time will come, but it has not yet arrived.

Until then, face masks, physical distancing and other COVID-19 protocols will remain with us. Eventually, the pandemic will be over, but for now, the directives remain in place.

— Black Press

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