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Saturday , 31 July 2021

Stage 2 of Open for Summer Plan begins today

Alberta will take a big step today towards safely returning to normal as fitness centres, libraries and movie theatres reopen and large outdoor gatherings resume.

Beginning June 10, Stage 2 of the Open for Summer Plan will take effect, two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus received at least one dose of vaccine and with COVID-19 hospitalizations well below 500 and still falling.

“With more than 67 per cent of eligible Albertans vaccinated with a first dose, a fully reopened Alberta is within our sight,” Jason Kenney, Premier said. “We are putting the worst of this pandemic behind us for good and moving into a bright summer and an even brighter future. If you haven’t booked your appointment yet, please arrange to get your first dose today so we can be fully open for summer.”

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.

Restrictions eased in Stage 2 of the Open for Summer Plan, effective June 10

  • Outdoor social gatherings increase to 20 people, with distancing.
  • Indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies may occur with up to 20 attendees. Receptions are permitted outdoors.
  • Indoor and outdoor funeral services remain unchanged with up to 20 people permitted. Receptions are permitted outdoors.
  • 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.
  • Capacity for places of worship increases to one-third of fire code occupancy.
  • Gyms and other indoor fitness facilities 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.
  • Youth activities, such as day camps, overnight camps and play centres, may resume.
  • 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).

Indoor masking and distancing requirements remain in place throughout Stage 2. Some restrictions continue to apply to activities within each step.

“I am pleased that we continue to strike a safe balance between easing restrictions and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Together, we can continue to keep transmission low as we reopen our province,” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health said.

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.

“We continue to be able to reopen thanks to Albertans who protect each other every day,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health said.We can keep up this progress if Albertans continue to book their first and second-dose appointments and follow public measures, such as masking, maintaining a safe distance and staying home when feeling even slightly unwell.”

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!