Here's what moving back to Step 1 COVID-19 restrictions means for Albertans

Apr 7 2021, 6:03 pm

During a Tuesday afternoon COVID-19 update from the provincial government, Premier Jason Kenney announced that Alberta would be moving back to Step 1 of the “Path Forward” COVID-19 restrictions.

This comes after a steady rise in COVID-19 infections over the past three weeks, and particularly as the province sees an increase in variant cases. Currently, variants make up nearly 43% of Alberta’s active cases.

“We are taking strong action to stop the third wave from threatening our health system and the health of thousands of Albertans,” Premier Kenney said during the Tuesday afternoon announcement. “The rapid rise in cases, especially variants of concern, makes this a critical time to stop the spread.”

“These measures will buy us some time for additional COVID-19 vaccines to arrive and take effect so we can once again start safely easing restrictions as quickly as possible.”

At 11:59 pm on April 6, updated mandatory health measures came into effect for retail, fitness, and performance activities.

These updated restrictions are as follows.

  • 15% capacity in all retail spaces and shopping malls.
  • No adult performance activities are permitted, including dancing, singing, acting, playing a musical instrument, and rehearsal or theatrical performances.
  • Only one-on-one training is permitted for indoor fitness activities.

No drop-in fitness activities, unsupervised individual fitness, or indoor group fitness, high or low intensity are allowed at this time.

Outdoor physical activity is allowed for groups of up to 10 people, as long as physical distancing is maintained between households.

Beginning at noon on Friday, April 9, restaurants will be restricted to providing only takeout, delivery, and patio service. Indoor in-person service will not be allowed until further notice.

Outdoor patio dining remains limited to household members only, or two close contacts for those who live alone.

Public health measures remain unchanged for places of worship, personal and wellness services, and children’s sport and performance.

Current restrictions for these sectors include:

  • Places of worship limited to 15% capacity.
  • Personal and wellness services, including hair salons, nail salons, massage, tattoos, and piercing, can be open by appointment only.
  • Health services, including physiotherapy or acupuncture, social or protective services, shelters for vulnerable persons, emergency services, child care, and not-for-profit community or charitable kitchens, can remain open for in-person attendance.
  • Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools and post-secondary children’s sport and performance activities, such as physical education classes, can use off-site facilities to support curriculum-related educational activities.
  • Lessons, practices, and conditioning activities can take place for indoor team-based minor (under 18) sports and school athletics, but not games are not permitted.

Indoor social gatherings are still prohibited; however, outdoor social gatherings continue to be allowed.

Outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 participants, and individuals must adhere to physical distancing.

Alberta will remain in Step 1 until further notice, as health officials continue to monitor the spread of the virus and assess whether additional action is needed to help reduce transmission.

A complete list of current COVID-19 restrictions can be found on the Alberta government’s website.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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