alberta reopen phase 2

Alberta plans to reopen a ton of services ahead of schedule for Phase 2

As it enters Phase 2, Alberta plans to reopen a ton of services ahead of schedule, including movie theatres, public libraries, team sports, outdoor events and more.

The provincial government threw a curve ball on Tuesday by announcing that it would move to the second stage of its reopening on Friday, June 12 — a week ahead of schedule.

Alberta even plans to reopen some services that were initially scheduled for Phase 3, such as gyms, fitness facilities and instrumental concerts.

As of Friday, Alberta will allow outdoor and indoor seated events of up to 100 people (e.g. weddings, funerals), and indoor social events (e.g. birthday parties) can now host a maximum of 50 people.

Physical distancing measures must still be observed for those gatherings.

The province will also expand household bubbles to 15 people.

Plays will be allowed to have 50 cast members or performers in the same space, while sports teams can have up to 50 players. These small groups do not necessarily need to keep two metres apart, per the government website.

Alberta will also scrap any maximum seating capacity on restaurants, places of worship or bingo halls.

Premier Jason Kenney said that the province has met all of the necessary requirements to reopen the services early.

"I am very happy to announce that Alberta is accelerating our relaunch strategy further to open our economy," he said, adding that the province is "well ahead of schedule."

Kenney noted that the number of active COVID-19 cases in Alberta peaked on April 30, and they have recently fallen by more than 50 per cent. The province has also ramped up testing to an average of 5,000 tests each day.

He added that public health remains Alberta's top priority, saying that the government will "continue to monitor hospitalizations and intensive care unit occupancy."

"If we stay vigilant and disciplined, if we stay dedicated — especially to protect the most vulnerable — we'll be able to continue lifting restrictions and expanding opportunities," he said.

The full list of services allowed to reopen on Friday, June 15 includes:

  • K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
  • libraries
  • more surgeries
  • wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
  • personal services (esthetics, cosmetics skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments, artificial tanning)
  • movie theatres and theatres
  • community halls
  • team sports
  • indoor recreation, fitness and sports, including gyms and arenas
  • pools for leisure swimming
  • VLTs in restaurants and bars
  • bingo halls and casinos (but not table games)
  • instrumental concerts
  • provincial campgrounds at full capacity

Alberta will still not allow regular in-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 until September 2020.

The province says that vocal concerts, major festivals and events, nightclubs, amusement parks, hookah lounges and major sporting events are also still off the table for now.

Non-essential travel outside the province is currently not recommended, and restrictions won't be lifted until Phase 3 of the relaunch strategy.

Lead photo by

John Arano

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