More provinces moving to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions

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OTTAWA -- As COVID-19 cases continue to decline in much of the country, some provinces are moving today to loosen more of the restrictions they implemented to slow the spread of the pandemic.

British Columbia is giving parents the option of sending their children back to school on a part-time basis.

For kindergarten to Grade 5, most students will go to school half time, while grades 6 to 12 will attend classes about one day a week. The government has said its goal is for the return of full-time classes in September.

Manitoba is easing a raft of restrictions, including its ban on people visiting loved ones in personal care homes, though safeguards such as screening visitors and maintaining physical distancing will apply.

Community centres, seniors clubs, fitness clubs, dine-in restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, pools, amateur sports and recreation programs can also reopen with limits on customer capacity and rules for physical distancing.

Film productions are being allowed to resume and a ban on non-essential travel to the province's north is being eased.

In Ontario Drive-in movie theatres and batting cages were allowed to reopen Sunday, and today campers can return to provincial parks, with certain stipulations. 

Meanwhile, Prince Edward Island is moving into the third phase of its reopening plan, which allows in-house dining at restaurants as well as the reopening of child-care centres and libraries. Also allowed now are outdoor visits with residents at long-term care homes, certain recreational and sporting activities and gatherings of up to 15 people indoors and 20 outdoors.

In Ottawa this morning, Prime Minister Trudeau will resume his daily briefings on the pandemic after taking the weekend off.

On Sunday Canada's total number of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases stood at 90,929 -- 739 more than the day before -- with the vast majority of cases in Quebec and Ontario. Some 48,854 cases were listed as being resolved, while the number of deaths from the illness rose by 222 to 7,295.

The Canadian Press

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