Thursday , 21 October 2021

Gyms, libraries, pools all allowed to reopen Friday as Alberta moves up relaunch plans

Alberta will ease more health restrictions on Friday, a week earlier than originally expected.

That means gyms, libraries, pools, casinos, and movie theatres will be allowed to open in the Lakeland in the new Phase 2 of relaunching.

A maximum of 50 people will be allowed to gather indoors, which includes weddings and funeral receptions.

A 100 people can gather for outdoor events and indoor audience events are also apart of Phase 2.

There will be no cap on the max amount of people in restaurants, bars, places of worship, casinos and bingo halls.

“Albertans have demonstrated the care and common sense needed to move forward with our relaunch earlier than initially planned,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a press release.

The 50 per cent capacity limit for provincial campgrounds is also being lifted.

As of Monday, there is 355 active cases and 44 people in hospital across Alberta.

The province said since the first phase of reopening, the number of active cases of has gone down by 70 per cent.

What will be allowed to reopen Friday

  • K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
  • Libraries
  • More surgeries
  • Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
  • Personal services (esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatment, 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

There is more flexibility for ‘cohort’ groups – small groups of people whose members do not always keep two metres apart.

A household can increase its close interactions with other households to a maximum of 15 people.

Performers can have a cohort of up to 50 people (cast members or performers) and sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players (mini leagues).

The province will continue to monitor active COVID-19 infections while asking Albertans to continue to socially distance.

“More Albertans can now return to work and to the activities so many of us enjoy,” chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

“However, I encourage you to do it safely. Think of the people in your life who may be at high risk from COVID-19 and protect all those around you as you would want your loved ones protected.”

Phase two of relaunching was originally scheduled for as early as June 19.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.