Some big changes were announced for Alberta on Wednesday.
Premier Jason Kenney announced that Stage 1 of the province’s Relaunch Strategy would move forward as of May 14, though two places hit hardest by COVID-19, Calgary and Brooks, would reopen at a slower pace.
The City of Calgary issued a release in response on Thursday, stating that they believe that the province made the right decision.
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“I want to remind people how serious this is. Calgarians have lost their lives – that is something we should never forget. But I understand that this has been a tough week for a lot of people,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the release.
“This includes supporting those businesses, especially restaurants that were expecting to open and now have excess food. So, I am going to ask you to eat a lot this weekend. Order in. Pick up. And let’s help these businesses out.”
Some businesses were allowed to reopen in Calgary on May 14, however, including retail businesses, farmers’ markets, museums, art galleries, daycares, out-of-school care, and some regulated health professionals.
Salons, barbershops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, and bars will be allowed to reopen in Calgary as of May 25.
The City release also asked Calgarians to be cautious when heading out to their favourite shops, stating that they should inform themselves about new rules and regulations and to have masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer at the ready when out and about.
“And most importantly, pack your patience. Many of these workers are probably feeling a little uneasy – they want to stay safe and want you, their customers, to stay safe too,” said CEMA Chief Tom Sampson in the release.
“Some will require facemasks, or gloves, or have very strict capacity rules. If you don’t understand something, ask questions – don’t get upset.”
Calgary also announced the reopening of some city-owned golf courses, a suspension of the city’s blue cart program as a result of a coronavirus outbreak at the Cascades Recovery sorting facility, and the creation of a public safety task force.
This task force will be investigating businesses throughout the city to ensure that current public health and safety orders are being followed, the release states.
Calgarians are also being asked to avoid the Sue Higgins Dog Park, Nose Hill Park, Eau Claire Promenade, and Prince’s Island Park this long weekend.
Playground throughout the city remain closed, and while the city has announced that sports training, dryland training, and skills practice are now being permitted for outdoor recreation, those participating must follow these rules:
- Participants must not touch the same ball or other device with their hands.
- A distance of at least two metres must be maintained between persons and appropriate measures must be taken to ensure no intentional or accidental physical contact between participants.
- The gathering of more than 15 persons in a group in an outdoor location.
“The critical thing to remember is that no sports are permitted if you have to touch the same ball or equipment as others,” said Nenshi.
“And you must stay six feet apart unless you are from the same household.”