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Saturday , 16 October 2021

Alberta’s Open For Summer Plan

Alberta’s government will remove provincewide health measures in three stages as vaccine targets are reached and hospitalizations decline.

Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan provides a three-stage road map to lifting health restrictions and safely getting back to normal.

The plan provides Albertans with a clear picture of a summer without restrictions as long as Albertans continue to follow public health measures in the short term and vaccination numbers continue to rise quickly.

“This is the day we have all waited for. We now have a clear plan to lift all public health restrictions and get back to normal,” Jason Kenney, Premier said. “So long as Albertans continue to get vaccinated in strong numbers, Alberta will be fully open and back to normal for a truly great Alberta summer.”

Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan includes three stages based on vaccination thresholds and hospitalizations:

  • Stage 1: Two weeks after 50 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and COVID-19 hospitalizations are below 800 and declining.
  • Stage 2: Two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and COVID-19 hospitalizations are below 500 and declining.
  • Stage 3: Two weeks after 70 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine.

Since Alberta reached the 50 per cent threshold for one-dose vaccination on May 18, and with hospitalizations well below 800, Alberta will enter Stage 1 on June 1. Based on the current pace of vaccinations, Alberta is projected to enter Stage 2 in mid-June and Stage 3 in late June or early July. These are estimates only and rely on all Albertans continuing to drive down our hospitalizations while increasing vaccination numbers.

“Our Open for Summer Plan is a responsible plan to get back to normal while at the same time protecting our health-care system,” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health said.We will end this pandemic the same way we started it – by ensuring we have world-class health care available to every Albertan who needs it.”

Stage 1: Two weeks after 50 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and hospitalizations are below 800 and declining.

Starting May 28:

  • The capacity limit for worship services increases to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy.

Starting June 1:

  • Outdoor social gatherings, with distancing, increase to up to 10 people.
    • Indoor social gatherings are still not permitted.
  • Outdoor patio dining can resume with a maximum of four people per table.
    • Everyone at the table must be members of the same household or for a person living alone, dining parties are limited to two close contacts.
    • Physical distancing and other restrictions still apply.
  • Outdoor physical, performance and recreational activities are permitted with up to 10 distanced people, for all ages.
  • Retail can increase to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy (must maintain ability to distance).
  • Personal and wellness services can reopen, by appointment only.
  • Wedding ceremonies may have up to 10 people, including the officiant, bride/groom, witnesses and any photographers/videographers. Receptions remain prohibited.
  • Funeral ceremonies may have up to 20 people, not including facility staff, funeral clergy or organizers not considered guests. Receptions remain prohibited.
  • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect.

Stage 2: Two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and hospitalizations are below 500 and declining.

  • Outdoor social gatherings increase to 20 people, with distancing.
  • Wedding ceremonies may occur with up to 20 attendees. Receptions are permitted outdoors only.
  • Funeral ceremonies remain unchanged with up to 20 people permitted, not including facility staff, funeral clergy or organizers not considered guests. Receptions are permitted outdoors only.
  • Restaurants may seat tables with up to six people, indoors or outdoors.
    • Dining parties are no longer restricted to households only.
    • Physical distancing and other restrictions still apply.
  • Retail capacity increases to one-third of fire code occupancy (must maintain ability to distance).
  • Capacity for places of worship increases to one-third of fire code occupancy.
  • Gyms and other indoor fitness open for solo and drop-in activities with three-metre distancing between participants and fitness classes may resume with three-metre distancing.
  • Indoor settings may open with up to one-third of fire code occupancy, including indoor recreation centres. This includes arenas, cinemas, theatres, museums, art galleries and libraries.
  • Indoor and outdoor youth and adult sports resume with no restrictions.
  • Youth activities, such as day camps and play centres, may resume, with restrictions.
  • Personal and wellness services can resume walk-in services.
  • Post-secondary institutions can resume in-person learning.
  • The work-from-home order is lifted but still recommended.
  • Outdoor fixed seating facilities (e.g., grandstands) can open with one-third seated capacity.
  • Public outdoor gatherings increase to 150 people (e.g. concerts/festivals), with restrictions.
  • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect.

Stage 3: Two weeks after 70 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine.

  • All restrictions are lifted, including the ban on indoor social gatherings.
  • Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures in continuing care settings remain.

Additional details on all restrictions and measures in place will be released prior to each step. Albertans can track the province’s immunization progress on alberta.ca.

Provincial COVID-19 transmission will continue to be monitored throughout the reopening. If required, a reopening step may be paused to respond to COVID-19 transmission trends at regional or provincial levels.

Sustained reopening will depend on Albertans getting fully vaccinated with two doses during the summer months to prevent future spread of COVID-19.

“Thanks to vaccines, we can start moving safely forward,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health said. “Please book your vaccine appointment and also keep following the measures in place for a little while longer. That will protect our communities and this reopening plan.”

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner!