Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged in a video message that COVID-19 has forced Canadians to celebrate Easter differently for a second straight year, and urged Canadians to check up on loved ones who are isolated and to find other ways to celebrate.

People wear face masks as they browse at an outdoor boutique in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)The latest:

Ontario taps Dr. Homer Tien to lead province’s vaccine rollout task force. 16 Vancouver Canucks players on NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. Health Canada issues recall for disposable masks with graphene. Researcher says coronavirus variants could require annual vaccinations, like the flu. Essential but forgotten? Youth working in grocery stores, cafés feel the strain. Have a question about the COVID-19 pandemic? Send your questions to [email protected] Canada’s chief public health officer is urging people to keep their guard up as COVID-19 disrupts Easter celebrations for a second year.

Canadians need to be careful since the more contagious variants of concern “could be anywhere,” Dr. Theresa Tam wrote on Twitter.

“Let’s all be careful [and] cautious and keep up our guard,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged in a video message that COVID-19 has forced Canadians to celebrate Easter differently for a second straight year, and that many people are having to forgo in-person church services and family dinners.

He urged Canadians to stay optimistic, suggesting that the battle with COVID-19 was drawing to a close.

“My friends, soon this crisis will end,” he said.

In the meantime, he asked people to check up on loved ones who are isolated and to find different ways to celebrate the holiday.

Several other politicians also sent out Easter messages paying tribute to front-line workers and encouraging Canadians to respect pandemic-related safety measures over the holiday.

What’s happening across Canada As of 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had reported 1,003,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 58,402 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 23,062.

British Columbia’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says businesses putting staff and patrons at risk by remaining open in defiance of COVID-19 rules will face consequences. Anyone hosting a non-compliant event can currently be issued a violation ticket of $2,300, while individuals face a $575 fine.

The warning comes after Vancouver Coastal Health issued a closure notice for the city’s Corduroy Restaurant on Saturday for flouting restrictions by serving patrons indoors.

In a video posted on Twitter, Corduroy’s owner is seen speaking to a bylaw officer handing her a notice of trespassing as unmasked customers in the packed eatery start chanting “Get out.” A Sunday Instagram post from the restaurant describes the last two days as a “roller-coaster” but does not mention the closure order.

Father Felix Min distributes communion to parishioners in vehicles during an outdoor Easter Sunday mass at St. Patrick’s Parish in Vancouver on Sunday. (Darryl Dyck/The Associated Press)

Alberta reported an estimated 950 new COVID-19 cases, based on preliminary data.

In Saskatchewan, inmates at the Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre are worried about a repeat of a November 2020 outbreak after three positive cases were reported at the facility.

Meanwhile, the province recorded 221 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths. As of Sunday there were 194 people in hospital, including a record 44 in intensive care.

Dr. Tania Diener, Medical Health Officer, COVID-19 Immunization Co-Chief for the Saskatchewan Health Authority would like to share that she was vaccinated today. 1/2


In Ontario, the provincial government says it has chosen Dr. Homer Tien, the CEO and president of Ornge Air Ambulance, to lead its COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force.

Tien, also a trauma surgeon, will be its “operational lead” as the province prepares to move into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, according to Stephen Warner, spokesperson for Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

Tien’s official title is chair of the task force and he replaces retired Gen. Rick Hillier in that role. Hillier stepped down when his contract expired on March 31 after declining a request to stay on.

WATCH | Modelling paints bleak picture of what lies ahead in Ontario’s 3rd wave:

Brazil’s cemeteries struggle to keep up with record COVID-19 casualties, extend services to all hours and attempt to accommodate new caskets. 1:23

In Asia, Bangladesh authorities are imposing a one-week nationwide lockdown on Monday. Forhad Hossain, the country’s junior minister for public administration, says organizations providing emergency services will be available during the lockdown and industries will remain open.

In Europe, some 9,000 people are getting vaccinated at a huge stadium in Lyon during Easter weekend, and thousands more around France are spending the holiday lining up for injections elsewhere as the government tries to speed up vaccinations amid a new virus surge.

In Africa, authorities say Libya has received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccines after 101,250 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine landed in the capital, Tripoli. The North African nation has seen a swell in confirmed COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.