Alberta Announces COVID-19 Relaunch Plan

Stage one of Alberta’s relaunch strategy is proceeding as planned. Calgary and Brooks can reopen hair salons, and restaurants and pubs at 50% seating capacity on May 25 due to a decline in active COVID-19 cases.

Alberta announced is relaunch strategy, which consists of three phases. The timing for moving through the phases of the plan depends on several key elements:

  • Hospitalization and infection rates staying low;
  • Respecting all guidelines issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta;
  • Enhancing COVID-19 testing capacity within Alberta;
  • Using technology to trace contacts and quickly identify and notify those at risk;
  • Support for individuals who test positive so they can isolate;
  • Stronger international border controls and airport screening;
  • Public use of masks in crowded spaces and mass transit;
  • Strong protections for the most vulnerable, including individuals in long-term care; and
  • Rapid response teams to deal with future outbreaks.

The following restrictions have been lifted, followed by the implementation of reopening stages provided the criteria above are met.

May 1, 2020

  • Vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas on public lands and parks will open.
  • Access to boat launches will open in select provincial parks.

May 4, 2020

  • Alberta Health Services will resume some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries.
  • Dental and other health-care workers such as physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, respiratory therapists, audiologists, social workers, occupational therapists, dietitians and more will be allowed to resume services, so long as they follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.
  • Golf courses can open with restrictions, including keeping clubhouses and pro shops closed.

May 14, 2020

  • Alberta Parks’ online campground reservation system opens for bookings at select campgrounds from June 1, 2020 onward.

Beginning May 14. Stage one permits some businesses and services to reopen and resume operations, so long as individuals follow public health restrictions, including maintaining two metres of physical distancing.

Majority of Alberta

May 14, 2020

  • Retail businesses like clothing, furniture and book stores.
  • All farmers’ market vendors.
  • Hairstyling and barber shops.
  • Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen for table service at 50% capacity.
  • Some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries to resume gradually.
  • Museums and art galleries.
  • Daycares and out-of-school care, with occupancy limits.
  • Day camps, including summer school, with occupancy limits.
  • Places of worship and funeral services, if they follow sector-specific guidance.
  • Alberta Parks’ online campground reservation system opens for bookings at select campgrounds from June 1, 2020 onward.

Calgary and Brooks

May 14, 2020

  • Retail businesses, such as clothing, furniture and bookstores. All vendors at farmers markets will also be able to operate.
  • Museums and art galleries.
  • Daycares and out-of-school care with limits on occupancy.
  • Some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries will resume gradually.
  • Regulated health professions can offer services as long as they continue to follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.

May 25, 2020

  • Hairstyling and barber shops.
  • Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars will be permitted to reopen for table service only at 50 per cent capacity.

June 1, 2020

  • Day camps, including summer school, with limits on occupancy.
  • Post-secondary institutions will continue to deliver courses; however, there will be more flexibility to include in-person delivery once the existing health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
  • Places of worship and funeral services, follow sector-specific guideline.

Continued restrictions for all areas of Alberta

  • Visitors to patients in health care facilities continue to be limited.
  • No attendance at businesses, facilities, or events with close physical contact (including festivals, major sporting events and concerts).
  • Movie theatres, pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, gyms and nightclubs remain closed.
  • Non-essential travel is not recommended and those living in Calgary and Brooks are encouraged to wait until local services upon and not to travel to access services in other areas of Alberta.
  • Working remotely is advised where possible.

All businesses in Alberta that are permitted to reopened under stage one will be required to follow general and industry specific guidelines, which can be found here, and will be carefully monitored for compliance with all public health orders. Business owners who are permitted to reopen have an obligation to ensure they can do so safely and in accordance with the applicable guidelines and all public health orders.

Date to be determined. The timing of stage two depends entirely on the success of stage one, the capacity of the health care system, and limiting the rate of infections, hospitalizations and intensive care cases.

Additional businesses and services may open, but individuals must continue to maintain two metres of physical distance, and follow other public health guidelines in place.

Continued restrictions

  • Visitors to patients in health care facilities continue to be limited
  • Movies theatres, pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, gyms, and nightclubs remain closed
  • Arts and culture festivals, concerts and major sporting events continue to not be permitted
  • Non-essential travel is not recommended
  • Requirement to maintain two metres of physical distancing remains in place

Date to be determined. The timing of stage three will be determined as stage two progresses. Individuals must continue to maintain two metres of physical distancing.

Restrictions

  • Requirement to maintain two metres of physical distancing remains in place

The Alberta government plans to release more information on its blueprint for economic recovery in the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime, Dr. Hinshaw recommends Albertans to wash their hands, stay home when sick, maintain physical distance, stay socially connected, and to take care of their friends and family.

Albertans are encouraged to stay informed, as the timing of the staged reopening strategy is a moving target.

The Alberta government and Dr. Hinshaw are looking at whether some businesses can be moved to an earlier stage.

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