Alberta will begin lifting some of its public health restrictions on Monday after avoiding a post-holiday boom in COVID-19 infections.
Starting on January 18, the province will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, although they must remain six feet apart. Indoor gatherings are still forbidden.
“Today, we can’t entirely ease up. But we can make small adjustments to allow Albertans some limited activities,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said at a news briefing on January 14.
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Personal service businesses are allowed to reopen by one-on-one appointment only. This includes hair salons, manicure and pedicure spas, and tattoo and piercing shops.
The restrictions for retail stores have not changed.
Alberta is also raising the attendance limit for funerals to 20 people. Receptions after the service are still not allowed, though.
Health officials have said that if cases continue to stay stable, then restrictions may be eased even further.
“Our future will depend on Albertans remaining responsible,” said the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
“Our trend today is very different than our trend in December. Our trend today is coming down in a reassuring way.”
To date, Alberta has seen 116,837 COVID-19 cases and 1,436 virus-related deaths.