Today, the Albertan provincial government announced that alongside the return of some restrictions, it will become the first province in Canada to offer personal incentives for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Premier Jason Kenney was joined by Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw for the announcement. Here’s what to know.
The press release started, surprisingly, with a call to action to get vaccinated. Why is it surprising? Well, the Alberta government has been hesitant in introducing a vaccine passport, opting instead to introduce a ‘vaccine card‘ that private organizations may be able to ask for. According to Premier Kenney, it is the 1 out of 5 Alberta adults, which have not been vaccinated, that are wreaking havoc on the healthcare system. To quote Kenney directly, it is “a crisis of the unvaccinated”.
LIVE: Further actions to protect health system from COVID-19 https://t.co/aRXs4xSWpU
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) September 3, 2021
But rather than only bringing back restrictions, Alberta is introducing a different route as well. Moving forward, Alberta will be the first province to incentivize getting vaccinated. Starting today, anyone who gets a first or second dose will be eligible to receive a $100 ‘gift card’. This program will be available for anyone who receives a first or second dose between September 3rd (today) and October 14th. Were you responsible, and got your shot as soon as it was available? Well, just like us, you’re outta luck here.
On to the restrictions. Rather than try to sum it up, here are the restrictions straight from the horse’s mouth:
- The province will make masks mandatory for all indoor public spaces and workplaces starting Sept. 4 at 8 a.m. Schools are not required to implement masking but school boards will continue to set COVID-19 management policies as they deem appropriate.
- Also, as of Sept. 4 at 8 a.m., restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs, nightclubs and other licensed establishments will be required to end alcohol service at 10 p.m.
- The province strongly recommends that unvaccinated Albertans limit their indoor social gatherings to close contacts of only two cohort families up to a maximum of 10 people. (This is only a recommendation)
- It is also recommended that employers pause their plans to have staff return to work and instead continue with work-from-home measures.
For more information, you can check out the official press release right here. Stay safe out there, folks!