Stage 2 of re-opening from pandemic has started

By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer
The Alberta government has begun Stage 2 of its plan to loosen health guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
On June 9, the provincial government announced Stage 2 of the Open for Summer Plan will take effect, two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus received at least one dose of vaccine and with COVID-19 hospitalizations well below 500 and still falling.
“We continue to be able to re-open thanks to Albertans who protect each other every day. We can keep up this progress if Albertans continue to book their first and second-dose appointments and follow public measures, such as masking, maintaining a safe distance and staying home when feeling even slightly unwell,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.
Officials will continue to monitor the progress of Alberta’s vaccine rollout while keeping a close eye on hospitalization numbers and COVID-19 transmission in the province.
Restrictions eased in Stage 2, effective June 10 are:
• Outdoor social gatherings increase to 20 people, with distancing.
• Indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies may occur with up to 20 attendees. Receptions are permitted outdoors.
• Indoor and outdoor funeral services remain unchanged with up to 20 people permitted. Receptions are permitted outdoors.
• Restaurants may seat tables with up to six people, indoors or outdoors.
• Dining parties are no longer restricted to households only.
• Physical distancing and other restrictions still apply.
• Retail capacity increases to one-third of fire code occupancy.
• Capacity for places of worship increases to one-third of fire code occupancy.
• Gyms and other indoor fitness facilities open for solo and drop-in activities with three-metre distancing between participants and fitness classes may resume with three-metre distancing.
• Indoor settings may open with up to one-third of fire code occupancy, including indoor recreation centres.
This includes arenas, cinemas, theatres, museums, art galleries and libraries.
• Indoor and outdoor youth and adult sports resume.
• Youth activities, such as day camps, overnight camps and play centres, may resume.
• Personal and wellness services can resume walk-in services.
• Post-secondary institutions can resume in-person learning.
• The work-from-home order is lifted but still recommended.
• Outdoor fixed seating facilities can open with one-third seated capacity.
• Public outdoor gatherings increase to 150 people, such as concerts and festivals.
Indoor masking and distancing requirements remain in place throughout Stage 2. Some restrictions continue to apply to activities within each step.
Stage 3 is expected to begin in late June or early July. This is dependent on all Albertans continuing to get vaccinated and following the public health measures in place.
Albertans can track the province’s vaccination progress on