Alberta will begin seeing even more COVID-19 restrictions lifted as of this Friday.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced on Tuesday that the province would launch Stage 2 of the Relaunch Strategy well ahead of schedule on Friday, June 12, along with several activities that had been planned for Stage 3.
“This decision is anchored in science and solid data,” Kenney said, noting that three triggers had to be hit before launching Stage 2. These triggers were a decrease in coronavirus hospitalizations or no more than a 5% increase, less than half of dedicated ICU beds being occupied, and active cases decreasing.
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Alberta has met all of these triggers over the past few weeks, allowing for an accelerated reopening of Stage 2.
“Albertans have demonstrated the care and common sense needed to move forward with our relaunch earlier than initially planned,” said Kenney.
“Our data tells us our active cases are low, hospitalizations are trending downward, and people are taking action to protect those most vulnerable and prevent the spread of the virus. We will continue to move forward together to overcome any tough times ahead, but responsible Albertans should be proud of the vigilance they have shown to date.”
As of June 12, Alberta will be able to reopen the following (with basic public health measures in place):
- K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
- More surgeries
- Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
- Personal services (esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatment, artificial tanning)
- Indoor recreation, fitness, and sports, including gyms and arenas
- Movie theatres and theatres
- Community halls
- Team sports
- Pools for leisure swimming
- VLTs in restaurants and bars
- Casinos and bingo halls (but not table games)
- Instrumental concerts
The 50% capacity limit has been lifted for provincial campgrounds, worship gatherings, restaurants, cafes, lounges, bars, casinos, and bingo halls, with no cap on the maximum number of attendees.
Attendance maximums have been increased to 50 for indoor social gatherings and 100 for outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events.
Here’s what is still not approved as of Stage 2:
- Social gatherings that exceed above-listed maximums
- Regular in-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12. Classes will resume September 2020
- Vocal concerts (as singing carries a higher risk of transmission)
- Major festivals and concerts, large conferences, trade shows and events (as these are non-seated social events and/or vocal concerts)
- Amusement parks
- Hookah lounges (permitted for food and drink only)
- Major sporting events and tournaments
- Non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended. This recommendation will not be lifted until stage three of the relaunch strategy.
As with previous stages, just because businesses are allowed to reopen under the lifted restrictions does not mean that they have to reopen.