Alberta is lifting some restrictions on restaurants and gyms on February 8.
Restaurants will be allowed to reopen in-person dining and gyms will have strict one-on-one training limits and must be by appointment only. School-related indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performances will also be allowed.
The province has outlined a four step plan for their restriction changes with each step associated with a COVID-19 hospitalization benchmark. If after three weeks, the hospitalization numbers are within the range of the benchmark, the province will move to the next step. The step one benchmark is 600 and declining then 450, 300 and 150.
The second step will ease restrictions on retail, community halls, hotels, banquet halls and conference centres. Step three includes places of worship, adult team sports, museums, zoos, theatres, auditoriums, casinos, bingo halls and libraries. The fourth step will lift restrictions on trade shows, conferences, performance activities, outdoor sports, wedding ceremonies and receptions, funeral receptions, indoor concerts and festivals.
Premier Jason Kenney says the steps outline a clear path for Albertans on how they can ease health measures.
“By outlining the benchmarks we must achieve to see more reopenings, we are offering hope and a path forward. But we have to proceed with caution. This stepped approach will only work if Albertans continue to follow existing health measures and make good choices to keep our numbers trending down. It’s up to each one of us to maintain our vigilance.”
Indoor masking and distancing requirements will stay in place throughout the entire approach and Albertans are encouraged continue following health guidelines, practice good hygiene, monitor their symptoms and isolate when feeling sick.
Kenney says if cases surge again like in November and December or if a variants starts to spread at rates seen in other parts of the world, stronger restrictions will have be imposed again.