Restaurants and hair salons just cancelled plans to reopen in Calgary and here's why
Restaurants and hair salons in Calgary will no longer reopen on Thursday, despite initially being given the green light as part of the first phase of Alberta's economic recovery plan.
On Wednesday, Premier Jason Kenney reversed the government's decision, saying that the services in Calgary and Brooks would have to remain closed until May 25.
Kenney said that these activities were singled out because they "require greater physical proximity."
"I know that many folks in Calgary and Brooks will be disappointed that reopening will take a little bit longer," he said. "But we didn't take this decision lightly."
Tomorrow, Stage 1 of #AlbertaRelaunch takes effect, with a slightly more gradual phase-in for #Calgary and #Brooks.— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) May 14, 2020
We are carefully and confidently opening up our economy to prevent a spike that would have us go backwards on all the progress we’ve made.https://t.co/kIDYXcMq12 pic.twitter.com/mLrSSwlJIo
Although Calgary restaurants and cafes won't be allowed to offer dine-in service, they can continue to offer delivery and take-out service; hair salons and barbershops will likely remain entirely closed.
The Alberta government's change of heart is due to the fact that Calgary and Brooks account for 75 per cent of the province's total COVID-19 infections, or roughly 4,750 cases.
If that case number rapidly increases, it could put a strain on the province's healthcare system.
Kenney said that Calgary restaurants and hair salons reopening next Monday is contingent on whether the province experiences "an unforeseen spike in new cases or hospitalizations."
If cases do spike, then that date could be pushed back even further.
I know yesterday’s announcement from the province to delay the opening of restaurants and hair stylists in Calgary until May 25 was surprising. I certainly understand and respect the evidence-based decision from the province, although I wish it came sooner.— Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi) May 14, 2020
While the government's decision is made in accordance with advice from Alberta health officials, many business owners are understandably disappointed by the news.
In anticipation of reopening, hundreds of Calgary restaurants have already stocked up on fresh produce that will now go to waste over the additional 11 days — potentially costing businesses thousands of dollars.
Many restaurants bought inventory thinking they would be open for business tomorrow. Because of higher COVID numbers in #yyc, opening has been delayed by the Province. If you are able, please consider ordering takeout from your favourite restaurants. Spread the word. pic.twitter.com/If1S51pF20— Druh Farrell (@DruhFarrell) May 14, 2020
Alberta has also pushed back the reopening date for funeral services and places of worship until June 1.
Retail stores, daycares, art galleries, museums, non-urgent surgeries and regulated health professions will still be allowed to reopen today as planned.
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