Province Introducing Plans To Remove Restrictions, Multiple Starting Next Week

The government of Alberta is sharing its plan to return to a sense of normalcy away from COVID-19.

Premier Jason Kenney announced the ‘open for summer’ timeline on Wednesday which highlights when measures can potentially be lifted.

The plan is being split into three stages with the first getting underway on Friday.

Places of worship will be allowed to increase capacity to 15 per cent.

Starting Monday, retail capacity will also rise to 15 per cent, while outdoor gatherings and activities can include up to 10 people.

Personal and wellness services, such as barbershops, salons, tattoo shops, and more, will be allowed to start accepting bookings.

Also, patios and outdoor dining areas can reopen but tables can only include a maximum of four people. They must be from the same household or two close contacts for those who live alone.

Wedding ceremonies can have up to 10 people attend, which includes the bride, groom, officiant, and other staff hired, while a maximum of 20 people can attend a funeral service.

Stage 2 will get underway two weeks after 60 per cent of eligible residents get at least their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine and hospitalization numbers drop below 500.

Going off current projections, this is expected to happen this week with the Stage getting underway in mid-June.

Once this happens, libraries, museums, movie theatres will be allowed to re-open, while capacity limits at these spaces and retail and places of worship will increase to one-third.

Restaurants, bars, and cafes can allow up to six people per table, indoor and outdoor. This can include people from different households.

Personal and wellness services can welcome walk-ins again.

Gym and fitness facilities can open for solo workouts and drop-in activities.

Youth and adult sports activities can return with no restrictions.

Outdoor gatherings, wedding ceremonies, and funeral services will be allowed up to 20 people.

Public outdoor events can have as many as 150 individuals in attendance, while seated outdoor seated areas can have up to one-third capacity.

Post-secondary schools can also resume in-person classes.

Meanwhile, Stage 3 will get underway once the province hits 70 per cent vaccinated.

All restrictions will be lifted including a ban on indoor social gatherings.

Isolation will still be required for those who test positive for COVID-19, while some protective measures will still be in place at continuing care facilities.

The province says this could happen as soon as June 28.

More information can be found on the GoA’s website.

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