Since the beginning of COVID-19, the Alberta government has regularly updated the public on the latest research and data surrounding the pandemic. In a live update on Wednesday, May 13, Premier Jason Kenney announced that the province will begin to implement Phase 1 starting on Thursday, May 14. This means that a number of non-essential businesses will start to open their doors again during Phase 1 of the Alberta reopening.
Since the COVID-19 growth curve in Alberta flattened, the province has been looking at introducing a gradual relaunch strategy.
Phase 1 of this strategy entails the reopening of non-essential businesses including restaurants, pubs, hair salons, and barbershops.
While things like night clubs, events, and anything with large crowds will be off-limits for the foreseeable future, the province is beginning to lift some of the heavy restrictions.
Even locals-only camping and hiking have become available.
In a best-case scenario situation, the provincial government wanted to begin implementing Phase 1 on Thursday, May 14.
Nothing was set in stone and officials waited until the last minute to make the final call.
It looks like all the hard work paid off and according to Kenney, the province will begin to reopen tomorrow, Thursday, May 14.
This means that Phase 1 of the plan and everything that comes along with it will officially begin tomorrow.
While the relaunch strategy is beginning on Thursday, May 14, for the majority of the province, two locations, Calgary and Brooks, will have a slightly slower relaunch strategy due to a larger number of COVID-19 in the areas.
According to the slideshow presented during Kenney’s speech, retail businesses, art galleries, daycares, and museums will begin to reopen that Thursday with limited capacity in all areas including Calgary and Brooks.
By Monday, May 25, barbershops, cafes, pubs, restaurants will begin to open doors with 50% capacity will begin to reopen in the two cities.
By Monday, June 1, the province will consider more flexibly for places of worship and funeral services.
According to Kenney, the provincial numbers of COIVD-19 cases peaked on Thursday, April 23, with 336 cases. Ever since, the numbers have been slowly declining.
Even though new cases have, and will continue, to appear, the province has successfully flattened the growth curve which means that Alberta is in a good position to start phase one.
While non-essential businesses will begin to reopen, there will still be physical distancing and personal hygiene protocols in place.
Kenney noted that the province's discipline in following the rules was one reason as to why phase one was made possible.