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No in-person dining, retail limited to 15 per cent capacity as Alberta moves back to Step 1 of reopening plan

Last Updated Apr 6, 2021 at 7:00 pm MDT

Summary

In-person dining restricted, retail services limited to 15 per cent capacity


Unsupervised and group fitness now prohibited, one-on-one training with trainer allowed


Libraries closing until further notice, gatherings of 10 people outdoors still allowed


EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — As cases continue to rise in Alberta and variants of concern take hold, the province will be moving back to Step 1 of its reopening plan.

This means no in-person dining, retail services will be limited to 15 per cent capacity, and fitness services will, once again, be limited to one-on-one training with a trainer.

Restrictions on restaurants will go into effect as of Friday at noon. All other restrictions will be in effect as of Wednesday.

Pickup and delivery services will remain unaffected.

WATCH: Kenney, Shandro join Dr. Deena Hinshaw for provincial COVID-19 update

While indoor dining has been completely shutdown, Premier Jason Kenney said outdoor patios will still be open for bars and restaurants.

As for children’s sports and performing lessons, practices and conditioning may continue with restrictions.

Performance activities that include dancing, singing, acting, and playing a musical instrument will not be allowed going forward.

Libraries will also be closed until further notice.

Gatherings of up to 10 people outdoors will still be allowed.

Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta is now seeing a third wave of COVID-19, driven mainly by the more contagious and dangerous variants.

The province has averaged about 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day during the Easter long weekend, and the death total has now surpassed 2,000 in the province.

On Tuesday, the province recorded 931 new cases of COVID-19, 676 of which are variants of concern.

There are now 328 people in hospital for COVID-19 treatment, including 76 people in the ICU. Three additional deaths were reported Tuesday.

The premier says vaccines continue to be our best hope for returning to normal.

Kenney announced some changes to help speed up the vaccine rollout, as the province approaches 750,000 doses administered so far.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll be able to say that almost a quarter of Albertans have achieved immunity, either by the vaccine or natural immunity through infection,” said Kenney. “By the end of May, that will be almost half of our population, and by the end of June it’ll be almost two thirds with some level of protection, and by mid-September, we project, if Albertans take us up on the vaccines as I hope they will, that almost three-quarters of Albertans will have a good degree of immunity.”

Kenney also outlined some things Albertans can possibly look forward to as immunity in the province rises.

With around 48 per cent immunity:

  • Higher capacity limits
  • Larger gatherings allowed

 

With around 64 per cent immunity:

  • No restrictions in place
  • Fairs/festivals can continue
  • Masking and distancing encouraged

 

With 72 per cent immunity:

  • Full recovery
  • No masking
  • No isolation

 

The premier says more details on the province’s path to recovery will come later this month.

Kenney also said the province will be ramping up its vaccine strategy.

“Starting (Wednesday) we will open bookings up for all individuals in the Phase 2B category, which means every Albertan over the age of 16 with an underlying health condition can book an appointment,” said Kenney.

He says currently about 150,000 Albertans are eligible to book in for a vaccine under Phase 2B, and with this immediate expansion, about half a million more Albertans will be able to book in.

Kenney added that anyone without a chronic health condition between the ages of 55 and 64 will be able to book in for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Alberta will also be launching a series of Rapid Flow Through Clinics this week.

The province is targeting large facilities that can safely accommodate large volumes of people who can be vaccinated in a short amount of time.

Kenney added that participating pharmacies will soon be allowing walk-in appointments to get a vaccine. He says more information will be shared next week.