Alberta Releases Its Official Plan To Lift 'Damaging' COVID-19 Restrictions & It Starts Today

The province is opening up.

Western Canada Editor
Alberta Releases Its Official Plan To Lift 'Damaging' COVID-19 Restrictions & It Starts Today

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney released his government's plan to lift "damaging" COVID-19 restrictions and scrap the province's vaccine passport system, the Restrictions Exemption Program.

In a live address on Tuesday, February 8, Kenney said that the province's proof-of-vaccination system ends at midnight, while rules that require students to wear masks in Alberta schools will end on Monday, February 14.

Children under age 12 will also not have to wear masks anywhere starting on the same date.

Capacity limits in large facilities and entertainment venues (for more than 500 people) remain in place, but food and beverages are now allowed in customers' seats.

Capacity limits for locations not covered under the vaccine passport system have now been removed.

Step 2 of the province's reopening plan starts on March 1 if hospitalizations are trending downwards.

If that goes ahead, all restrictions are lifted for large venues and entertainment venues, indoor and outdoor gatherings and mandatory work-from-home requirements.

People will also not be required to wear a mask in indoor settings.

A date for Step 3 of the province's reopening plan is yet to be decided depending on hospitalization rates.

When that comes into effect, COVID-specific continuing care measures will be removed as well as mandatory isolation.

As of Tuesday, February 8, there were 28,265 active COVID-19 cases being reported by the province. Of those cases, 1,623 people are in hospital and 129 are in intensive care.

The province's easing of restrictions was first teased during a Facebook Live with the premier last week. In that address, Kenney's response to people who say that it is too soon to ease restrictions in Alberta was that it is "all too risky."

Daniel Milligan
Western Canada Editor