Province enters stage 2 of reopening

·2 min read

If things go according to plan, Albertans will be enjoying more freedom as early as today.

The province looks to enter stage 2 of its Open for Summer program bringing with it lessened restrictions across the province.

Premier Jason Kenney has said that two weeks after the province meets the threshold of having 60 per cent of those 12 and older having received at least one dose of their vaccination, and hospitalizations below 500, Stage 2 would be open. Two weeks arrives Thursday.

Kenney said Tuesday that 67 per cent of eligible Albertans have been vaccinated and that there are 351 hospitalizations in the province.

Indoor recreation and entertainment facilities such as movie theatres, casinos, arenas, museums, galleries, libraries may open at 1/3 fire code occupancy under the Stage 2.

Though indoor/outdoor gyms and fitness studios will be allowed to open as well, the opening

of the Beaverlodge pool and recreation centre is still uncertain, said Rae Cook, town parks and recreation manager. Cook said the town is waiting for an announcement from the province before they make anything public.

The Crosslink County Sportsplex says on their website that they will be ready to open and welcome everyone back once they are given the green light from the province.

Restaurants will again be open to in-house dining under Stage 2, with up to six people at a table.

Wedding ceremonies will be able to have up to 20 people, although receptions will only be permitted outdoors.

Outdoor gatherings for concerts and festivals will permit up to 150 people, and outdoor fixed seating in grandstands will be permitted at 1/3 seated capacity.

Distancing and masking requirements will remain in effect during Stage 2 of the plan.

As the province looks to have fewer restrictions in July, more vaccinations are needed, said Kenney.

“We have only 100,000 bookings over the next seven days, and for us to reach the 70 per cent threshold that will trigger our full Open for Summer plan two weeks after, we need about 115,000 more people to get their first dose of the vaccine.”

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News