Alberta moves into full Step 2 of Path Forward (video)

Provincial Press Release March 8, 2021 @ 4:18pm published at 4:30pm

Albertans can now enjoy reduced public health restrictions while strong measures remain in place to protect hospitals and limit the spread of COVID-19.


Completing Step 2 of Alberta’s Path Forward, updated health measures are now in place for retail, hotels and community halls, performance groups, and youth sports, performance and recreation.

These changes are effective immediately. They are in addition to the Step 2 measures announced on March 1, as pressure eases on the health system and hospitalizations remain well below 450.

“Every day, we administer more vaccines and every day fewer Albertans are in hospital due to this virus. With cases stable and more vaccines arriving, it’s time to take another safe step forward. Our government is listening to the evidence and protecting both lives and livelihoods across the province.” Jason Kenney, Premier

“We continue striking a safe balance between easing restrictions and preventing cases from rapidly rising once again. The strain on our health system continues to decline, which benefits every Albertan. Proven health measures remain in place in all sectors, and we must all do our part to keep each other safe and continue driving hospitalizations downward.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“While targeted measures are being eased, we all must remain vigilant and keep going the extra mile. COVID-19 remains a serious health threat, and variants of concern can spread more easily if given the chance. Until we have more vaccine for our population, it is essential that every Albertan continues to be the vaccine for each other.” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

Indoor masking and distancing requirements will remain in place throughout this stepped approach, and some degree of restrictions will still apply to all activities within each step. New under Step 2: Hospitalization benchmark – 450 and declining Banquet halls, community halls, conference centres and hotels

  • These facilities can now open for all activities permitted under Step 1 and Step 2.

  • This includes hosting virtual meetings/conferences/events, permitted performance activities, wedding ceremonies with up to 10 individuals, and funeral services up to a maximum of 20 individuals.

  • Wedding receptions, funeral receptions or trade shows are not permitted.

Retail

  • All retail services and shopping malls must limit customer capacity to 25 per cent of fire code occupancy, not including staff. This is an increase from 15 per cent.

  • This includes individual stores and common areas.

  • Curbside pickup, delivery and online services are encouraged.


Performance activities

  • Individuals or groups can now rehearse and perform in preparation for filming or live streaming a performance, provided they adhere to public health guidance.

  • For adult performers and performance groups (over the age of 18), the following activities are permitted:

  • Individual performers or performance groups (up to a maximum of 10 individuals) can access facilities for rehearsals or filming/virtual broadcasting.

  • Larger indoor film and other performances will be allowed provided there is no audience and subject to an approved plan that follows strict new guidance, including regular lab-based PCR testing.

  • No in-person audiences are allowed for any type of performance.

  • Masks are required and three-metre physical distancing must be maintained at all times.

  • For children and youth, performance activities are permitted provided they follow the same requirements set out for youth sport, performance and recreation activities in Step 1:

  • Up to a maximum of 10 individuals with three-metre distancing between all participants.

  • No spectators or in-person audiences are allowed for any type of performance.

  • Masks are mandatory at all times.

  • Includes lessons and practices.

  • Includes youth development activities such as Scouts, Girl Guides and 4-H.

  • Performance activities include dancing, singing, theatre and playing instruments.


Youth sports and recreation

  • There is no change to the restrictions around youth sport and recreation.

  • The Step 1 restrictions around youth sports and recreation have been expanded to include members of college and university athletic programs:

  • Lessons, practices and physical conditioning activities are allowed.

  • Games are not allowed.

  • Maximum of 10 total individuals, including all coaches, trainers and participants.

  • Physical distancing must be maintained between participants at all time.

  • Participants must be masked at all times, except during the training activity.


Additional details on the current restrictions are outlined on alberta.ca.

Any decisions on Step 3 will be made on March 22, at the earliest, based on hospitalizations and the current spread of COVID-19. Metrics based on cases and growth, including variant cases, are being monitored and will also be used to guide any decisions around the need to pause further steps or potentially increase restrictions.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

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