Several of Alberta’s COVID-19 public health restrictions are easing Monday, giving people more opportunities for activities outside their homes.
The eased restrictions are contingent on hospitalizations and are the first of a four-step approach to reopening the economy.
The first stage hinges on COVID-19 hospitalizations being fewer than 600 patients. Officials are also closely watching cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the U.K, and the N501Y.V2, first identified in South Africa, which have been detected in 71 infections in Alberta as of Friday.
Restaurants and bars
Albertans will once again be able to dine in at restaurants and bars, however, there are still restrictions on guest numbers and hours.
A maximum of six people are allowed at a table together, and they all must be from the same home. For those who live alone, two close contacts may dine together.
Establishments also have to collect contact information from one person from each dining party. Tables and those sitting at them must be kept two metres away from each other.
Liquor service has to stop at 10 p.m. and in-person dining has to finish by 11 p.m.
Entertainment like VLTs, pool tables and live music are still restricted.
Fitness and sports
The Alberta government announced Saturday that it had added “limited school and minor sport training” as well as dance and gymnastic classes to the eased restrictions starting Monday.
Group fitness and sports are still prohibited in Alberta, but as of Monday, one-on-one training for things like fitness and dance classes, or ice skating, as long as appointments are made.
Strict guidelines are also placed on those activities, including:
- Those in one-on-one sessions can’t interact with others and if there is more than one session happening in a facility, they must be at least three metres apart
- Trainers must be professional, certified and/or paid trainers who are actively providing instruction and correction
- Trainers have to wear a mask during sessions, however, clients don’t have to wear them while exercising
- Clients are not allowed to interact with other clients, a rule that also applies to trainers
- Clients also can’t “cycle through” multiple trainers, like a circuit
Some children’s sports and performance activities are allowed to resume.
Post-secondary institutions and K-12 schools can also use off-site facilities to support curriculum-related educational activities.
What you still can’t do
All other existing restrictions are still in effect, meaning social gatherings inside, outside your own household, are still off-limits. You also can’t eat at a restaurant or bar with anyone outside your household cohort or your two designated contacts if you live alone.
Capacity limits on retail shopping stores and centres are also still restricted, and personal wellness services like haircuts and tattoos are still only permitted if appointments are booked.
People can still gather in groups of up to 10 people as long as they’re outside and are maintaining two metres distance from each other.
Masks are also still mandated by law across the entire province in indoor public places.
If Alberta’s COVID-19 hospitalizations dip below 450, the province will initiate Stage 2 of the reopening process, which is expected to ease restrictions on retail businesses, banquet and community halls, conference centres and hotels and will allow more flexibility with indoor fitness and children’s sports and activities.
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