Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced on Saturday that the province will be removing almost all COVID-19 restrictions come March 1.
Kenney was joined by Health Minister Jason Copping in Grande Prairie during the announcement, after teasing the news earlier this week.
“All signs here and across the world suggest the worst of COVID-19 is behind us,” Kenney said, pointing to declining hospitalizations and daily cases in the province.
Kenney added that “Alberta is not alone in this approach” of approaching COVID-19 with an endemic lens.
What restrictions are going?
The following public health measures will be updated:
- Any remaining school requirements removed (for example: Kindergarten to grade 6 cohorting.)
- Youth screening activities for entertainment and sports activities removed.
- Capacity on all large venues and entertainment venues lifted.
- Indoor and outdoor social gathering limits lifted.
- Mandatory work-from-home requirements lifted.
- Indoor masking no longer required.
“There will be some who choose to wear a mask and we need to respect those choices,” added Kenney.
“We just can not continue to live our lives indefinitely with restrictions on our rights and friends and our normal lives.”
This month, the province decommissioned its COVID-19 vaccine passport system.
No timeline has been set for phase three; however, it would see the removal of COVID-specific continuing care measures and mandatory isolation being reduced as a recommendation.
“I am pleased to see that the stress on our health-care system continues to lessen. Not only does this allow us to ease more public health measures, it also reduces the pressure and strain on our dedicated health-care workers who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to provide expert care to Albertans,” said Copping in a news release.
On Friday Alberta reported 595 new COVID-19 cases, with active infections continuing to rapidly decline.