Thursday, December 7, 2023

Phased-in relaunch of Alberta economy to start in May

The Alberta government announcing its plans for a phased re-launch of the provincial economy.

Premier Jason Kenney saying Thursday (Apr. 30) he’s confident Albertans will approach this with the same adaptability and resilience they’ve shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. pandemic. “We will move forward together with care and common sense, knowing tough times are still ahead. We will support and protect vulnerable Albertans and keep them safe as we build our province back up one stage at a time.

He says the plan to move forward requires careful and ongoing monitoring.

Starting Monday, some scheduled non-urgent surgeries in Alberta will be allowed again as well as dental and other heath care workers will be able to resume services on May 4th.

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That’s as long as they follow approved guidelines.

Starting in two weeks on May 14th, some businesses can gradually resume operations as part of phase 1. Those include retail stores, farmers’ markets, some personal services like hairstyling as well as museums and daycares.

Cafes and restaurants with no bar service will also be allowed to open by mid-May as well for public seating for no more than 50.

Any gatherings though of more than 15 people will continue to not be allowed.

The province says the timing of enter a Stage 2 relaunch will be determined by the success of Stage 1.

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Stage 1 relaunch highlights:

With increased infection prevention and controls, to minimize the risk of increased transmission of infections, some businesses and facilities can start to gradually resume operations as early as May 14:

  • Retail businesses, such as clothing, furniture and bookstores. All vendors at farmers markets will also be able to operate.
  • Some personal services like hairstyling and barber shops.
  • Museums and art galleries.
  • More scheduled surgeries, dental procedures, physiotherapy, chiropractic, optometry and similar services.
  • Daycares and out-of-school care with limits on occupancy.
  • Summer camps with limits on occupancy. This could include summer school.
  • Cafés, restaurants (minors allowed in liquor licensed establishments) with no bar service to reopen for public seating at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Some additional outdoor recreation.
  • Post-secondary institutions will continue to deliver courses, however how programs are delivered – whether online, in-person, or a blend – will be dependent on what restrictions remain in place at each relaunch phase.
  • The use of masks will be strongly recommended in certain specific crowded public spaces, like mass transit, that do not allow for physical distancing (two metres apart).

Still not permitted in stage 1:

  • Gatherings of more than 15 people. (Gatherings of 15 people or fewer must follow personal distancing and other public health guidelines.)Arts and culture festivals, major sporting events, and concerts, all of which involve close physical contact.
  • Movie theatres, theatres, pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, gyms and nightclubs will remain closed.
  • Visitors to patients at health-care facilities will continue to be limited.
  • In-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 students.

Recognizing the role that access to the outdoors and recreation in the outdoors plays to Albertans’ sense of well-being, access to provincial parks and public lands will be re-opened using a phased approach, beginning with:

  • Vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas in parks and on public lands opening May 1.
  • Opening a number of boat launches in provincial parks on May 1 and working to have them all open by May 14. Check for the status of boat launches.
  • Government is working hard to make campsites available as soon as possible, with the goal to have as many open as possible by June 1 so Albertans can enjoy our parks while adhering to current health orders. At this time, sites are open to Albertans only. Check for updates.
  • Group and comfort camping will not be offered. Campground facility access restrictions to areas such as showers, picnic and cooking shelters will also be posted to
  • Alberta Parks’ online reservation system will be available May 14 to book site visits beginning June 1. Out-of-province bookings will not be processed.
  • No washrooms or garbage pickup will be available within provincial parks at this time. These services will be available as soon as Alberta Environment and Parks brings staff back.
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