Alberta officially moved to Stage 2 reopening on Thursday. The three-step plan boldly aims to lift nearly all province-wide public health restrictions by the end of June or early July.
The threshold for Stage 2 was that two weeks had passed since 60% of eligible Albertans aged 12 and over received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and hospitalizations for illness fell below 500 and falling.
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As of Wednesday afternoon, 329 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and Alberta reached the 60% vaccination threshold on May 28.
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So what can Albertans do now that they couldn’t do a day sooner? Here’s a closer look at Stage 2 of the province’s plan:
Outdoor social gatherings
Albertans can now meet in groups of up to 20 people outdoors. Previously, the limit was 10 people for outdoor gatherings. Physical distancing is still required between households. Social gatherings indoors are still not allowed.
Indoor leisure and entertainment
Entertainment and recreation facilities are now allowed to open up to a third of the capacity of the fire code. This includes things like recreation centers, casinos, cinemas, theaters, museums, galleries, and libraries.
The museums and heritage sites in the province of Alberta are planning to reopen on the following dates:
- 10 juin : Archives provinciales de l’Alberta, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
- 16 juin : Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, Remington Carriage Museum, Royal Alberta Museum
- June 19: Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
- June 21: Bison jump with broken head
- June 23: Reynolds-Alberta Museum
A timed ticket office is in place at several facilities to allow reduced visitor capacity and physical distancing. Visitors are requested to reserve their tickets in advance.
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Gyms and fitness studios
Gyms and fitness studios may open for solo and walk-in activities, as well as indoor fitness classes. Three meters of physical distance are required between participants.
The capacity of the funeral services remains at 20 people, both indoors and outdoors. Funeral receptions are now authorized but are only allowed outside.
The capacity of the wedding ceremony doubles to 20 people, indoors and outdoors. Wedding receptions are now permitted but are only permitted outdoors.
Places of worship
The capacity of places of worship has increased to one-third of the capacity of the fire code, compared to 15% of the capacity of the fire code in stage 1.
Personal services and well-being
Personal and Wellness Services may resume walk-in service. In Stage 1, Albertans were required to make appointments at services such as barber shops, nail salons, and barber shops.
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Post-secondary institutions can now resume in-person learning.
Indoor dining is re-authorized in Alberta for the first time in months.
A maximum of six people are allowed at each table for indoor and outdoor dining. While physical distancing still applies, dinner parties are no longer limited to one household.
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Retail capacity increases to one-third of the occupancy of the fire code in stage 2, compared to 15% of the capacity of the fire code in stage 1. Stores must maintain capacity to keep customers away.
Your activities such as day camps, night camps and play centers may resume with certain restrictions.
Youth and adult sports
Sports for young people and adults are allowed to resume both indoors and outdoors without any restrictions.
Outdoor public gatherings
Outdoor public gatherings like concerts and festivals are allowed up to 150 people.
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Fixed outdoor seating installations
Fixed exterior seats such as the grandstands are allowed to reopen with one third of the seating capacity.
Work at home
Work from home order is lifted as part of step 2, however, working from home whenever possible is still recommended.
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Distancing and masking
Physical distancing and masking requirements remain in place across Alberta during Stage 2.
In preparation for stage 3
The threshold for step 3 of the “Open for Summer” plan is two weeks after 70% of the eligible population has received a dose of the vaccine. Stage 3 is not accompanied by a hospitalization benchmark.
Stage 3 would see all COVID-19 restrictions lifted, including the ban on indoor social gatherings, which has been in place since the end of 2020.
Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 would remain in place, along with some protective measures at continuing care facilities across Alberta.
Earlier this week, Premier Jason Kenney suggested the Stage 3 threshold could be compromised due to declining demand for first doses in Alberta.
On Monday, Kenney said about 67% of Albertans 12 and older had received their first vaccine, but demand for first doses had slowed. He encouraged all eligible Albertans to register for their first dose if they had not already done so. Anyone 12 years and older in Alberta is eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and can reserve their first dose at any time.
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As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 4,204 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the 329 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 83 are being treated in intensive care.
As of June 8, 3,157,862 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. To date, 67.2 percent of eligible Albertans aged 12 and over have received an injection of the vaccine and 15.7 percent of eligible Albertans are fully immunized with two doses.
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