Quebec to lift capacity restrictions for restaurants and bars starting Monday
Quebec will lift capacity restrictions on restaurants and bars starting on Monday, days after the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus virus no longer a threat to human health.
As part of the revised regulations, the province will add more information to its website, and some measures will be removed altogether, such as the 25% limit on the number of people who can enter a bar or restaurant and the fine of up to $50,000, the Quebec government said in a statement.
“The ministry is focusing on the most important and urgent measures to prevent more patients from falling ill”, a ministry spokesman told Reuters.
He added the restrictions would only be lifted once the province was sure there were no more cases of the virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes.
Till today, Quebec had placed a 25% restriction on the number of people entering a bar or restaurant, restricting access to clients of establishments with 25 or more seats.The province made 18 such restrictions following the outbreak of Zika last April, with the remaining restrictions being lifted in July.
By 0221 GMT, 147 people had been diagnosed with the virus in Quebec so far in 2017, slightly higher than in the same period last year, said the province’s health department spokesman Yves Lavigne. None of the new cases are in Quebec City, the regional capital, he added.
West Africa reports sixth case of Ebola, but this time no human death
West Africa said on Friday it had confirmed its sixth case of Ebola virus, but it was contained and did not pose a risk to people, although it was moving into an outbreak zone previously unaffected by the disease.
The latest case was in Bukavu, in Democratic Republic of Congo’s volatile east, said the World Health Organization, which described it as a “transmission” case. Ebola, which is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, has killed around 30 people in western DRC since the start of November.
Investigation: Fed job growth hits 200k as wage growth slows
US job growth accelerated more than expected in January as employers maintained robust hiring despite threats of protectionist trade policies, casting doubts on whether the labour market would be enough to boost inflation.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 200,000 jobs last month, the US Labor Department said on Friday, just below the 212,000 average in December and above economists’ estimates for a gain of 180,000.
January’s employment gain was the largest since February and surpassed economists’ expectations for average monthly job gains to moderate to 180,000 from 206,000 in the previous month.
Average hourly earnings increased six cents, or 0.2 per cent, after rising 0.2 per cent in December. That left the year-on-year increase in average hourly earnings at 2.7 per cent.
From September through November, wages gained 2.8 per cent on average.
The unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point to 4.1 per cent in January, matching a seven-year low set in November. The decline last month was likely due to workers entering the labour force, which was a reversal from last month.
Oil rises as hopes rise of OPEC-led output cuts
Oil rose on Friday after a report showed US oil drillers cut rigs for a third consecutive week, signalling that a deal among global producers to reduce output is succeeding in lowering output.
Helping to push the Brent crude futures up by about $1 a barrel, data from oil services company Baker Hughes showed that the US oil rig count fell by 14 last week, bringing the total count down to 688, the lowest since May.
The industry closely follows the oil rig count as it provides an early indication of future output. The rig count plunged in the second half of last year as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers led by Russia agreed to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in order to drain a glut.