We all learned at a pretty young age that good behaviour was to be rewarded, but it will never get old. Especially when we can collectively celebrate the win and man, will we be celebrating. Today, in lieu of case numbers falling dramatically, Premier Jason Kenney announced that officials are beyond ready to ease COVID restrictions in Alberta as part of a 3 stage ‘Open For Summer’ plan.

This plan will see ALL restrictions lifted in a matter of weeks, and yes, you read that right. Welcome to the beginning of the end! 

As we’re sure you remember, earlier this May ‘hotspot’ cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Lethbridge were ordered to shut a variety of things down, from restaurants and gyms to outdoor gatherings and schools.

Though this sucked big time, it was probably the right thing to do because now, weeks later (with a little help from our friends, Moderna and Pfizer) the province is stronger and healthier than we have been in over a year.

For this reason, Alberta will now implement its MAJOR reopening plan, with stage one effective Tuesday, June 1st when the province is expected to see a 50% vaccination rate.

Stage one will include the following:

  • Places of worship – 15% of fire code occupancy (effective May 28)
  • Outdoor social gatherings – up to 10 people (indoor social gatherings still not permitted)
  • Outdoor physical, performance and recreation activities – up to 10 distanced people, all ages
  • Personal and wellness services – re-open, by appointment only
  • Funeral services – up to 20 people, not including facility staff, funeral Clery or organizers not considered guests (receptions remain prohibited)
  • Wedding ceremonies – up to 10 people, including the officiant, bride/groom, witnesses (receptions remain prohibited)
  • Restaurants – 4 people per table max, outdoors, households only or 2 close contacts for those living alone
  • Retail – 15% of fire code occupancy (must maintain the ability to distance)
  • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect
Photo Via Unsplash Nicole Herrero

Stage two will begin 2 weeks later when at least 60% of Alberta is vaccinated and include:

  • Outdoor social gatherings – up to 20 people with distancing (indoor social gatherings still not permitted)
  • Indoor recreation, entertainment and other settings (rec centres, arenas, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, libraries) – open at 30% of fire code occupancy
  • Gyms and fitness studios – open for solo and drop-in activities and indoor fitness classes with 3-metre distancing
  • Funeral services – up to 20 people, indoors and outdoors (receptions permitted outdoors only)
  • Wedding ceremonies – up to 20 people, indoors and outdoors (receptions permitted outdoors only)
  • Places of worship – 1/3 of fire code occupancy
  • Personal and wellness services – resume walk-in service
  • Post-secondary – resume in-person learning
  • Restaurants – 6 people per table max, indoors or outdoors
  • Retail – 1/3 of fire code occupancy (must maintain the ability to distance)
  • Youth activities (day camps, play centres) – resume with restrictions
  • Youth and adult sports – resume with no restrictions, indoors and outdoors
  • Outdoor public gatherings (concerts/festivals) – up to 150 people
  • Outdoor fixed seating facilities (grandstands) – 1/3 seated capacity
  • Work from home order is lifted but still recommended
  • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect

Finally, Alberta will see the last step in its Open For Summer plan. With a 70% vaccination rate, expected at the end of June or early July:

  • All restrictions lifted, including a ban on indoor social gatherings
  • Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures in continuing care settings remain

This is wild and honestly, we can hardly believe that it’s actually happening, but it is. We made it and are only weeks away from what will surely be the best summer ever.

For more information on case numbers, COVID restrictions, or anything else, please visit the official Alberta Government website here. As always, be safe, be kind and be ready, Alberta. The end is near!