Schools in Ottawa reopen for in-person learning on Monday, new COVID-19 testing requirements for international travellers and a new proposal to expand the Chateau Laurier. looks at five stories to watch this week.


All schools in Ottawa and eastern Ontario will reopen this week for in-person learning.

It's the first time students will be in the classroom for in-person classes since the start of the Christmas Break in December.

New safety protocols in schools to limit the spread of COVID-19 include mandatory masks for all students in Grades 1-3 in classes and on buses.  Kindergarten students are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.

Secondary students will be required to confirm they have completed the daily self-assessment. (School boards will release more information about the procedure)

Schools in the following school boards will resume in-person learning this week

  • Ottawa Carleton District School Board
  • Ottawa Catholic School Board
  • Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario
  • Upper Canada District School Board
  • Conseil des ecoles catholiques du Centre-Est
  • Conseil des ecoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'Est Ontarien

Medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says Ottawa Public Health is "anticipating a number of students testing positive (for COVID-19) as they return to using the daily screening tool and realize that they meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing based on having symptoms."


Starting Monday, international travellers arriving at Canada's busiest airport will have to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing.

The Ontario government is implementing new travel rules at Toronto's Pearson Airport, requiring all travellers to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test when they land.

Those who refuse will receive a $750 fine under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that the federal government will soon implement a policy requiring all Canadian travellers returning from overseas will have to take a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport, and quarantine in a designated hotel for three days at their own expense while they await results.


Quebec Premier Francois Legault says the Quebec government will unveil changes to the province's current COVID-19 restrictions at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

In a Facebook post, Legault said he's hopeful that the announcement could include an easing of restrictions on retail stores and other businesses.

The changes will come into effect after Feb. 8, the day the province-wide curfew is scheduled to end.

Quebec ordered all "non-essential" businesses to close on Dec. 25. An 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew has been in place since Jan. 9.

Ontario's stay-at-home order will remain in place until at least Feb. 9.


The debate over the proposed expansion at the historic Fairmont Chateau Laurier resumes this week at Ottawa City Hall.

On Friday, a joint meeting of the Planning Committee and the Built Heritage Sub-Committee will vote on an application to expand the Chateau Laurier hotel.

In November, Larco Investments submitted a new application to the city of Ottawa for a 159-room, two pavilion addition at the back of the hotel.

According to the application, the 11,846-square-metre addition includes two pavilions - one a 10-storey tower, the other 11 storeys tall, extending from the east and west arms of the original hotel and connected by a transparent two-storey connector

Last August, Capital Hotel Limited Partnerships, an affiliate of Larco Investments, announced an agreement had been reached with Heritage Ottawa on the design of the proposed addition to the hotel.


The 43rd edition of Winterlude kicks off next weekend, virtually.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Canadian Heritage has announced Winterlude will be virtual for "all of Canada to participate in and enjoy!"

On Feb. 5, you're invited to take part in "Exploring Canada's Winter Traditions!", a virtual show that will introduce you to talented Canadians sharing what they love about the winter season.

The show will be available on Canadian Heritage's YouTube channel.

You will also be able to vote online for your favourite ice-carving sculptures.

For more information, visit



Schools reopen in Ottawa


Ottawa's Finance and Economic Development Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)

Ottawa Senators at Edmonton Oilers at 10 p.m., (TSN 5 and TSN 1200)


Ottawa's Transportation Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)


Ottawa's Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee meets at 10 a.m. (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)

Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m. (TSN 5 and TSN 1200)


Ottawa's Planning Committee and Built Heritage Sub-committee meets at 9 a.m. (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)

Winterlude begins virtually


Ottawa Senators host Montreal Canadiens at 1 p.m. (TSN 5 and TSN 1200)