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Thursday , 19 May 2022
Michael Menzies Photo.

Alberta drops almost all public health restrictions, Legislation will ensure consistent public health rules

Alberta is a leader in lifting the majority of public health measures, as the province moves to step two of reopening.

Albertans are now able to enjoy social gatherings without limits again and visit businesses without capacity restrictions. Children and youth are free to resume regular school life and enjoy activities without mandatory prior screening.

The provincial mandatory mask mandate has also ended, except in AHS facilities, continuing care and on public transit in order to protect vulnerable Albertans.

“I am proud of our province and its people on reaching this milestone,” Jason Kenney, Premier said. “The majority of Albertans came together to keep everyone safe, and this is the result we were working towards. The pressure on our health-care system and the people it serves is lessening and we can now move forward. As we safely get our lives back to normal, we can move forward toward Alberta’s great economic recovery.”

Mandatory isolation for COVID-19 core symptoms or a positive test result remains in place. Isolation periods are five days at home and five days of continued masking for fully vaccinated individuals, or 10 days for partially and unvaccinated individuals.

Step two

Now in effect:

  • Remaining provincial school requirements (including cohorting) are removed.
  • Screening prior to youth activities is no longer required.
  • Capacity limits are lifted for all venues.
  • Limits on social gatherings are removed.
  • The provincial mask mandate is lifted in most settings. However, masking will still be required in the following high-risk settings: on public transit, at Alberta Health Services-operated and contracted facilities and all continuing care settings.
    • Municipal bylaws may continue to be in effect.
    • Albertans may wish to consider individual risk factors and choose to wear masks in other public indoor settings.
  • Restrictions on interactive activities, liquor service and operating hours are lifted.
  • Mandatory work-from-home requirement is removed.

Legislation will ensure consistent public health rules

Alberta’s government will introduce legislation to limit the ability of municipalities to enact bylaws that are contrary to provincial public health policy and expertise.

The proposed amendments to the Municipal Government Act (MGA) will restrict the ability of municipalities to pass bylaws that contradict public health policies and rules enacted by the province. This will ensure Alberta has one clear policy as we move together toward a path to normal.

“As we safely move beyond COVID restrictions, we need clarity, consistency and unity,” Jason Kenney, Premier said. It would be confusing and divisive to have multiple different public health policies, particularly when there is no compelling public health rationale. It is time for us to move forward together.”

Provincial legislation supersedes any municipal bylaw where they are inconsistent.

This proposed change will create clarity and certainty for Albertans when it comes to public health policy after almost two years of changing guidelines,” Ric McIver, Minister of Municipal Affairs said. “Municipalities have asked the provincial government to take the lead on public health policy many times in the past, and we are confident now is the right time for everyone in the province to follow the same rules to avoid confusion and frustration.”

 

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green 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, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.