Alberta government officials have announced that the province will be moving into Stage 3 of its reopening plan on July 1.
During a Friday afternoon press conference, Premier Jason Kenney provided an update on the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the vaccine rollout.
The province had said that it could enter Stage 3 two weeks after 70% of Albertans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Stage 3 means the lifting of all public health restrictions, including the ban on indoor social gatherings.
As of June 17, Alberta has reached the benchmark to move into Stage 3, meaning the province can enter this stage on July 1.
“This is a great day for Alberta! Thanks to the diligence of Albertans and the decision of 2.7 million folks to get vaccinated, we are now just two weeks away from getting our lives back to normal,” said Kenney in a release.
“This is an important milestone and a great achievement, but we will not stop here. We will keep administering first and second doses as quickly as possible so we’re not just open for summer, but open for good.”
Under Stage 3, isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and protective measures in continuing care settings may remain.
Additionally, the general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but masking may still be required in some settings.
Alberta moved into Stage 1 of the Open for Summer Plan on June 1, two weeks after 50% of eligible Albertans had received at least one dose of vaccine and with COVID-19 hospitalizations below 800 and declining. This allowed for restaurant patio dining, the reopening of personal and wellness services, outdoor recreation activities, increased size for outdoor social gatherings, and more.
Stage 2 began on June 10, two weeks after 60% of eligible Albertans had received at least one dose of vaccine and with COVID-19 hospitalizations below 500 and declining. Under Stage 2, restaurants can offer indoor dining, gyms, libraries, and movie theatres can reopen, outdoor gathering sizes further increased, and more.
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Officials also announced that anyone who received their first dose of the vaccine 28 days ago or earlier is now eligible to book an appointment receive a second dose.
The exception to this is for anyone who received the AstraZeneca vaccine. These individuals should continue to wait eight weeks between doses to ensure maximum effectiveness.
As of June 17, 70.2% of the eligible population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, including over 25% of Albertans who are fully immunized with two doses.