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Friday, September 24, 2021

COVID-19: Alberta moves into Stage 2 of reopening — Here’s what you can and can’t do


Alberta’s “Open for Summer” plan is moving ahead swiftly with more COVID-19 public health restrictions being lifted provincewide.

Alberta officially moved into Stage 2 of reopening on Thursday. The three-stage plan boldly aims to lift nearly all public health restrictions province-wide by the end of June or early July.

The threshold for Stage 2 was that two weeks had passed since 60 per cent of eligible Albertans age 12 and older received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and that hospitalizations from disease are below 500 and declining.

Read more:
Sluggish vaccine demand could put Alberta’s 3rd stage of reopening in jeopardy: Kenney

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 329 people in hospital with COVID-19 and Alberta hit the 60 per cent vaccination threshold on May 28.

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So what can Albertans do now, that they couldn’t a day earlier? Here’s a closer look at Stage 2 of the province’s plan:

Outdoor social gatherings

Albertans can now gather in groups of up to 20 people outdoors. Previously, the limit was 10 people for outdoor gatherings. Physical distancing is still required between households. Indoor social gatherings are still not allowed.

Indoor recreation and entertainment

Entertainment and recreation facilities are now allowed to open at one-third of fire code capacity. This includes things like recreation centres, casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries and libraries.

Alberta’s provincially owned museums and heritage sites plan to reopen on the following dates:

  • June 10: Provincial Archives of Alberta, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
  • June 16: Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, Remington Carriage Museum, Royal Alberta Museum
  • June 19: Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
  • June 21: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
  • June 23: Reynolds-Alberta Museum

Timed ticketing is in place at several facilities to allow for reduced visitor capacity and physical distancing. Visitors are asked to book their tickets in advance.

Read more:
Movie theatres to reopen across Alberta June 10

Gyms and fitness studios

Gyms and fitness studios can open for solo and drop-in activities, as well as indoor fitness classes. Three metres of physical distance is required between participants.

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Funeral services

Funeral service capacity remains at 20 people, both inside and outside. Funeral receptions are now allowed but are only permitted outdoors.

Wedding ceremonies

Wedding ceremony capacity doubles to 20 people, both indoors and outdoors. Wedding receptions are now permitted but are only allowed outside.

Places of worship

Capacity at places of worship has increased to one-third of fire cod capacity, up from 15 per cent fire code capacity in Stage 1.

Personal and wellness services

Personal and wellness services can resume walk-in service. Under Stage 1, Albertans had to book an appointments at services like hair salons, nail studios and barbershops.

Read more:
Edmonton prepares to reopen recreation facilities, city-owned attractions

Post-secondary institutions

Post-secondary institutions can now resume in-person learning.

Restaurants

Indoor dining is once again allowed in Alberta for the first time in months.

A maximum of six people are allowed at each table for both indoor and outdoor dining. While physical distancing still applies, dining parties are no longer restricted to one household.

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Read more:
Hinshaw urges ongoing caution, vaccinations when Alberta drops COVID-19 restrictions

Retail

Retail capacity increases to one-third of fire code occupancy in Stage 2, up from 15 per cent fire code capacity in Stage 1. Stores must maintain their ability to distance patrons.

Youth activities

You activities like day camps, overnight camps and play centres can resume with some restrictions.

Youth and adult sports

Youth and adult sports are allowed to resume both indoors and outdoors with no restrictions.

Outdoor public gatherings

Outdoor public gatherings like concerts and festivals are allowed with up to 150 people.

Read more:
Edmonton Folk Music Festival is taking it to the streets for neighbourhood concerts

Outdoor fixed seating facilities

Outdoor fixed seating facilities like grandstands are allowed to reopen with one-third of seated capacity.

Work from home

The work from home order is lifted under Stage 2, however, working from home where possible is still recommended.

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Read more:
Alberta doctors ask Iveson, Nenshi to keep mask bylaw until 70% have 2 doses

Distancing and masking

Physical distancing and masking requirements remain in place across Alberta under Stage 2.


The Alberta government released its “Open for Summer” plan Wednesday, May 26, 2021, to lift COVID-19 restrictions in three stages.


Credit: Alberta government

Looking ahead to Stage 3

The threshold for Stage 3 of the “Open for Summer” plan is two weeks after 70 per cent of the eligible population receives one dose of vaccine. Stage 3 does not have a hospitalization benchmark attached to it.

Stage 3 would see all COVID-19 restrictions lifted, including the ban on indoor social gatherings, which has been in place since the end of 2020.

Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 would remain in place, as well as some protective measures in continuing care settings across Alberta.

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Earlier this week, Premier Jason Kenney suggested the threshold for Stage 3 may be in jeopardy due to declining demand for first doses in Alberta.

On Monday, Kenney said about 67 per cent of Albertans 12 and older had received their first jab, but demand for first doses had slowed down. He encouraged all eligible Albertans to sign up for their first dose if they hadn’t already. Everyone 12 and older in Alberta is eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and can book their first dose at any time.

Read more:
COVID-19: Drop-in 1st doses of vaccine available at Edmonton Expo Centre

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 4,204 active COVID-19 cases across the province. Of the 329 people in hospital with COVID-19, 83 are being treated in intensive care.

As of June 8, 3,157,862 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. So far, 67.2 per cent of eligible Albertans 12 and older have received one shot of the vaccine and 15.7 per cent of eligible Albertans are fully vaccinated with two doses.

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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