Albertans were likely surprised to hear that the next stage of the province’s COVID-19 Relaunch Strategy would be bumped up by a week to this Friday.
Jason Kenney made the announcement on Tuesday, stating that a number of facilities, activities, and services would be allowed to reopened starting June 12.
The City of Calgary released a statement in response to the provincial government’s decision, stating that it is now coming up with a strategy for those businesses and services that may be eager to open their doors as early as this weekend.
- See also:
- Alberta to start Stage 2 of Relaunch Strategy this Friday
- Canadians who applied for CERB and wage subsidy mistakenly won’t be punished: Trudeau
- Yosemite National Park will reopen this week with new reservation system
“We are reviewing the Province’s changes to the timing of Stage 2 of their relaunch strategy. We hope to be able to clarify what this accelerated timeline means for our operations and services in the coming days, and any updates required to our local emergency orders,” the statement reads.
“Calgarians have done very good work in following public health orders. While opening additional services, businesses and activities are welcome news, we must continue to take Dr. Hinshaw’s advice and keep up our own personal efforts to help limit the spread of COVID-19 while we safely resume more of our regular daily lives.”
Calgary and Brooks were held back by a few weeks during Stage 1 of the Relaunch Strategy, as they had seen a disproportionate number of coronavirus cases compared to the rest of the province.
This time around, Stage 2 will start throughout the entirety of Alberta together, as of Friday, June 12, allowing for the reopening of the following:
- 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, and 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 3 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.