Alberta moves to Stage 2 of relaunch on June 12
By Anthony Capkun
June 9, 2020 – The Government of Alberta says strong testing data shows active COVID-19 cases in the province are lower than expected, meaning Stage 2 of the relaunch strategy can safely begin on June 12.
“Albertans have demonstrated the care and common sense needed to move forward with our relaunch earlier than initially planned,” said Jason Kenney, Premier. “We will continue to move forward together to overcome any tough times ahead, but responsible Albertans should be proud of the vigilance they have shown to date.”
Data from June 8 shows only 355 active cases and 44 people in hospital across Alberta.
As the province enters Stage 2 of relaunch, more businesses, sport and recreation services can open… if they are ready. Some larger gatherings for seated audience events will be permitted. In all cases, public health guidance must be followed.
A new interactive map will help Albertans understand the level of risk in their community and learn about any enhanced health measures at the local level. Currently, no communities in Alberta need locally targeted enhanced measures.
“More Albertans can now return to work and to the activities so many of us enjoy. However, I encourage you to do it safely,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Permitted to open (with restrictions)
• K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
• More surgeries
• Wellness services, such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
• Personal services (e.g. esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, artificial tanning)
• Indoor recreation, fitness, and sports, including gyms and arenas
• Movie theatres and theatres
• Community halls
• Team sports
• Pools for leisure swimming
• VLTs in restaurants and bars
• Casinos and bingo halls (but not table games)
• Instrumental concerts
The 50% capacity limit for provincial campgrounds is being lifted.
Events and gatherings permitted to be larger
Maximum 50 people:
• Indoor social gatherings, including wedding and funeral receptions, and birthday parties
Maximum 100 people:
• Outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events, including wedding and funeral ceremonies
No cap on the number of people (with public health measures and physical distancing in place):
• Worship gatherings
• Restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars
• Bingo halls
There is more flexibility for “cohort” groups a.k.a. small groups of people whose members do not always keep 2 metres apart:
• A household can increase its close interactions with other households to a maximum of 15 people
• Performers can have a cohort of up to 50 people (cast members or performers)
• Sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players (mini leagues)
• People could be part of a sports/performing and household cohort
Still not approved in Stage 2
• Social gatherings that exceed above listed maximums
• Regular in-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12. Classes will resume September 2020
• Vocal concerts (singing carries a higher risk of transmission)
• Major festivals and concerts, large conferences, tradeshows and events (as these are non-seated social events and/or vocal concerts)
• Amusement parks
• Hookah lounges (permitted for food and drink only)
• Major sporting events and tournaments
Non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended. This recommendation will not be lifted until Stage 3 of the relaunch strategy.
The government is quick to point out that the success of Stage 2 will determine when Alberta progresses to Stage 3. Factors are active cases, healthcare system capacity, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) cases, and infection rates.
For more information, visit alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy.