EDMONTON, AB – You’ll be able to have Christmas gatherings this year, however they’ll have to be kept fairly small.
As expected, Premier Jason Kenney has announced a relaxing of gathering restrictions for the upcoming holidays.
Jason Kenney though is asking everyone to be cautious with the Omicron variant now spreading.
The government is not increasing the number of people allowed for private indoor social gatherings, however a couple of adjustments are being made to the measures already in place.
“Effective immediately, we are removing the two household cohort maximum,” says Kenney. “This means you can get together with up to ten adults from more than two different households. Second, this gathering limit applies to all Albertans regardless of their vaccination status.”
Rapid Testing Kits
Rapid testing kits for COVID-19 will soon be available to everyone across the province.
Premier Kenney says the government is giving out part of its stockpile of rapid antigen tests and notes this is another way of protecting Albertans heading into the Christmas holidays.
Starting December 17, Albertans can pick up a rapid testing kit for free at select pharmacies in Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer and 140 Alberta Health Services sites in other communities. Each test kits will contain five rapid tests and instructions on how to use them.
Kenney says if you are hosting a holiday get together this year, these rapid tests might be a good tool to keep your guests safe.
The province is also making the kits available to all K-6 schools in the province under COVID-19 alert status. Participation in this program is optional.
COVID-19 Booster Shot Expansion
The province is expanding booster shots to more Albertans.
Anyone who is 50 years of age and older as well as health care workers who had their second dose at least six months ago can now sign up for a third shot.
Appointments can be made through the Alberta online vaccine booking system or through your pharmacy.
Health Minister Jason Copping said on Wednesday that with Omicron having the potential to change the situation quickly, immediately expanding booster eligibility will help protect more Albertans.