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Tuesday , 22 June 2021

Alberta kicks off Stage 1 of Open for Summer Plan

Albertans can now enjoy outdoor patios, haircuts and more physical activities as vaccination rates continue to climb and hospitalizations decline.

The Stage 1 threshold of 50 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus having received at least one dose of vaccine was met on May 18. Together, Albertans have driven cases down and kept hospitalizations well below 800 through the two-week waiting period.

Stage 1 measures are effective immediately. They are in addition to the easing of capacity limits for worship services that began on May 28.

“This is the first, cautious step in reopening Alberta and getting back to doing the things we love,” Jason Kenney, Premier said. “We are able to move forward thanks to the more than 2.4 million Albertans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and all those who continue to follow the public health guidance in place.”

Officials will continue to monitor the progress of Alberta’s vaccine rollout while keeping a close eye on hospitalization numbers and COVID-19 transmission in the province.
“I am pleased to see us move into the first stage of our Open for Summer Plan,” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health said. “This is only possible by working together to protect each other and our health system.”

 

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.

As of May 28:

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

As of June 1:

  • Outdoor social gatherings, with distancing, increases 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.

Based on the current pace of vaccinations and decreasing hospitalizations, Stage 2 is expected to begin on June 10, provided hospitalizations remain below 500 and declining.

Stage 3 is expected to begin in late June or early July. This is dependent on all Albertans continuing to get vaccinated and following the public health measures in place.

“I encourage all Albertans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health said. “By getting vaccinated, they will also help our province reopen and get us through the pandemic.”

Albertans can track the province’s vaccination progress on alberta.ca.

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!