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Alberta is ready for relaunch


With strict safety guidelines in place, Albertans can and should confidently support Alberta businesses as the province gradually relaunches the economy.


“As we continue to carefully relaunch our economy, the safety of Albertans remains our top priority. Alberta businesses have demonstrated great resilience through this pandemic. Now it is time to show them our support. I encourage all Albertans to go out and support local businesses in a safe and responsible way. We all have a role to play in supporting our province’s economic well-being, while remaining vigilant in the fight against COVID-19. With care and common sense, we will be able to move steadily and safely through the stages of our relaunch strategy.” Jason Kenney, Premier

Stage one of Alberta’s relaunch strategy puts safety first as restrictions are gradually lifted. Calgary and Brooks will see a slightly more gradual reopening, taking into account higher case numbers in these two communities, to balance public safety with the need to get businesses open and services restored for Albertans.

“Thanks to the sacrifices Albertans have made, much of the province has been successful at flattening the curve. Yet, I know the idea of relaunching our economy evokes strong emotions for many of us. It is OK to feel anxious, but we must move forward for our collective health and well-being. Shop specifically for what you need, not just to browse. Take appropriate precautions, stay home if you are sick and look out for each other. Together, we can successfully move forward in a gradual and thoughtful manner.” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health

With enhanced testing capacity and contact tracing ability, along with a rapid response plan in place in the event of possible outbreaks, the province is ready to take the first incremental steps to reopen some businesses and services.

Stage one – all areas of Alberta except cities of Calgary and Brooks

  • With increased infection prevention and control measures to minimize the risk of increased transmission of infections, some businesses and facilities can start to resume operations on May 14 in all areas except the cities of Calgary and Brooks:

  • 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.

  • Hairstyling and barbershops.

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

  • Day camps, including summer school, will be permitted 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, if they follow specific guidance already online.

  • The resumption of some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries will continue gradually.

  • Regulated health professions are permitted to offer services as long as they continue to follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.

  • In Calgary and Brooks, the relaunch will be gradual over 18 days due to higher COVID-19 case numbers in these communities.


Stage one – cities of Calgary and Brooks Opening May 14:


  • 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.

  • The resumption of some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries will continue gradually.

  • Regulated health professions are permitted to offer services as long as they continue to follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.


Opening May 25:

  • Hairstyling and barbershops.

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


Opening June 1:

  • Day camps, including summer school, will be permitted 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, if they follow specific guidance already online.


The new alberta.ca/bizconnect web page provides business owners with information on health and safety guidelines for general workplaces, as well as sector-specific guidelines for those able to open in stage one. Businesses allowed to reopen during stage one will be subject to strict infection prevention and control measures, and will be carefully monitored for compliance with public health orders. It will be up to each business operator to determine if they are ready to open and ensure all guidance has been met.


Physical distancing requirements of two metres remain in place through all stages of relaunch and hygiene practices will continue to be required of businesses and individuals, along with instructions for Albertans to stay home when exhibiting symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat. Albertans are also encouraged to wear non-medical masks when out in public places where keeping a distance of two metres is difficult.

Still not permitted in stage one:

  • Gatherings of more than 15 people unless otherwise identified in public health orders or guidanc.

  • 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.

  • Services offered by allied health disciplines like acupuncture and massage therapy.

  • Visitors to patients at health-care facilities will continue to be limited; however, outdoor visits are allowed with a designated essential visitor and one other person (a group of up to three people, including the resident), where space permits. However, physical distancing must be practised and all visitors must wear a mask or some other form of face covering.

  • In-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 students.


Recommendations:

  • Travel outside the province is not recommended.

  • Remote working is advised where possible.

  • Encourage Albertans in Calgary and Brooks to wait to access services upon reopening in their communities rather than travelling for services.

  • Albertans are encouraged to download the ABTraceTogether mobile contact tracing app and use it when in public.



Progression to stage two will be determined by the success of stage one, considering health-care system capacity, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) cases, and infection rates.


For more information, visit alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy.

Quick facts

  • Relaunch stages will include an evaluation and monitoring period to determine if restrictions should be adjusted. Triggers that will inform decisions on the lessening or tightening of restrictions include hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy.

  • Confirmed cases, the percentage of positive results and the rate of infection will be monitored on an ongoing basis to inform proactive responses in localized areas of the province.

  • Decisions will be applied at both provincial and local levels, where necessary. While restrictions are gradually eased across the province, an outbreak may mean that they need to be strengthened temporarily in a local area.

  • The most important measure Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise physical distancing and good hygiene.

  • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, and disposing of tissues appropriately.


Provincial Press Release May 13, 2020 @ 5:03pm


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