ontario news watch

A look at Alberta's 'open for summer' plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions

EDMONTON — The Alberta government detailed a plan Wednesday to reopen businesses, activities and services impacted by public health rules meant to curb the spread of COVID-19. Here are the three stages set out by the province:

Stage 1: This stage is to start Tuesday, two weeks after 50 per cent of Albertans 12 and older received at least one dose of vaccine and COVID-19 hospitalizations went below 800.

— The limit on outdoor social gatherings increases to 10 people. Indoor social gatherings are still not permitted.

— Outdoor patio dining at restaurants can resume with a maximum of four people from the same household at the same table. Those who live alone can dine with two close contacts.

— Retail capacity increases to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy.

— Personal and wellness services can open by appointment only.

— Wedding ceremonies can be held with a maximum of 10 people. Receptions remain prohibited.

— Funeral ceremonies may have up to 20 people. Receptions are still prohibited.

Starting this Friday, the capacity for worship services increases to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy.

Stage 2: This phase will begin two weeks after 60 per cent have received a vaccine and hospitalizations are below 500 and trending downward. Premier Jason Kenney says this could happen by mid-June.

— The limit on outdoor gatherings increases to 20 people.

— Wedding ceremonies can be held with up to 20 people. Receptions are permitted outdoors.

— Funeral receptions are permitted outdoors.

— Restaurants can open indoor dining with up to six people from any household at a table.

— Retail capacity increases to one-third of fire code occupancy.

— Capacity for places of worship also increases to one-third occupancy.

— Gyms and indoor fitness facilities can open for solo and drop-in activities and fitness classes.

— Arenas, theatres, museums, art galleries and libraries can open with up to one-third of fire occupancy.

— Indoor and outdoor youth and adult sports can resume.

— Youth activities, such as day camps and play centres, can open.

— Personal and wellness services can provide 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, such as grandstands, can open at one-third capacity.

— The limit on public outdoor gatherings — concerts and festivals — increases to 150 people.

— Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect.

Stage 3: This step will happen two weeks after 70 per cent have had a shot of vaccine. Kenney says this could be at the beginning of July or earlier.

— All restrictions are lifted, included masking and a ban on indoor gatherings.

— Isolation requirements remain in place for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures are extended in continuing care settings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press