Sorry, Calgary, you'll need to wait your turn. The Alberta government has officially come out to confirm that parts of the province will reopen as of Thursday, May 14. Though, this date does not include Calgary or Brooks. According to Premier Jason Kenney, Calgary's reopening will take a little longer and is actually on a different schedule than the rest of the province.
During a live meeting on Wednesday, May 13, Kenney addressed the public about beginning Phase 1 of the relaunch strategy.
This phase includes the reopening of non-essential businesses including restaurants, pubs, hair salons, and museums.
Of course, with reopening these establishments comes a number of health and safety protocols including face masks, personal and staff hygiene requirements, and social distancing.
At the conference, Kenney was excited to announce that starting Thursday, May 14, almost every part of the province will be relaunching.
Out of every Alberta city, town, and municipality, Calgary and Brooks were named as the only two locations that would not be reopening at the same speed as others.
This means that as of Thursday, every part of the province, except Calgary and Brooks, can begin to relaunch every non-essential businesses included in Phase 1.
For Calgary, a more staggered approach is being taken. That means as of the opening day on Thursday, art galleries daycares, retail businesses, and museums will begin to reopen in the city with a limited capacity.
You will also be able to book some non-urgent surgeries in the city which are set to resume at a gradual pace.
While the rest of the province may be visiting hair salons and barbers, this will be put on hold in Calgary until Monday, May 25.
In a slide show presented by Kenney, the premier notes that this slightly slower relaunch strategy is due to larger numbers of COVID-19 cases in the area.
“This is consistent with the regional approach we said might be required when we first announced our relaunch plan a couple of weeks ago,” said Kenney.
Starting on Monday, May 25, barbershops, cafes, pubs, and hair salons will begin to open their doors but will need to have a 50% capacity and follow instructions that have been laid out by the provincial government.
These health and safety protocols include, but are not limited to, wearing a mask, social distancing for staff and customers, reducing capacity in restaurants, allowing time for proper and thorough cleaning, and the removal of any items that may be touched frequently.
Once this second step of Phase 1 has proven to be successful, on Monday, June 1, additional resources will open in Calgary including day camps and summer school.
Additional flexibility will also be provided for places of worship, funeral services, and in-person post-secondary courses.
“These businesses and organizations will have a little extra time to prepare for safe reopening while our public health experts continue to monitor the data in those communities,” said the premier.
On the provincial website, there is information for businesses on how to get their establishments open in the safest way possible.
For all of the province, things like festivals, major sporting events, gatherings of more than 15 people, movie theatres, and night clubs will remain closed until Phase 1 has proven to be successful.
There is currently no estimated date for when Phase 2 could begin.