Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday that the province will be further easing public health restrictions on Monday, February 8.
Starting that day more children’s sports and performance activities will be allowed in schools, restrictions on adult indoor fitness will relax, and restaurants will be allowed to offer some indoor dining.
All of these newly allowed activities will come with certain rules, including mask-wearing and physical distancing.
“We must do this in a gradual, stepped approach,” Kenney said. “Businesses have said the last thing they want is a roller coaster.”
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The province will also use hospitalization benchmarks as an indicator of whether to further loosen restrictions in the coming weeks and months.
When hospitalizations drop below 450, Alberta will further loosen restrictions on retail, banquet halls, hotels and conference centres, children’s extra-curriculars, and adult indoor fitness.
In the next stage, Alberta will lift rules on places of worship, art galleries, libraries, casinos, bingo halls, and movie theatres. This is also when indoor gathering rules might be relaxed.
When hospitalizations fall below 150, the province will relax more public health rules to be at a similar place they were at in Summer 2020.
Alberta will wait at least three weeks from February 8 to decide whether to proceed to the next stage, and at any time may impose more restrictions if case counts rise.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the restrictions would be loosening on Thursday, February 4. They are relaxing on February 8.