Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced earlier in March that the province would likely begin to reopen on Thursday, May 14. Now that we are just hours away from this coveted date, officials will be making a last-minute decision on when Alberta will reopen. Should the province start the phases as planned, things like pubs and hair salons could be open for business once more. 

On Wednesday, April 29, Kenney came out to publicly state that the province was on track to start the process “in a couple of weeks.”

As we got closer to the date, more information was released on what phase one of the reopening plan would look like. 

Non-essential businesses, including restaurants, have since received clarification as to what health and safety measures would look like upon relaunching. 

While the reopening date was set to be Thursday, May 14, officials will be leaving any final decision to the last minute. 

This Thursday date was never set in stone per se, rather it was looked at as a best-case scenario.

Even though health officials have publically stated the COVID-19 growth curve in the province has flattened, it will come down to the final hours for a more formal decision. 

The announcement is set to be made on Wednesday, May 13. 

The decision will not be taken lightly and Albertans are still expected to practice the same level of caution as before. 

Kenney noted that reopening was not an excuse to “let’er rip” and a decision to launch the plan would mean a drop in COVID-19 cases.

Officials have also been monitoring intensive health care units in hospitals to ensure the number of patients is not rising. 

Phase one of the plan would mean the reopening of non-essential businesses.

To support the businesses and customers, social distancing and personal hygiene measures will be put in place. 

This will look different depending on the business but generally speaking, no large crowds will be permitted and businesses will need to adhere to the 50% capacity rule.

Places like museums and art galleries will lift some restrictions while things like spas, nightclubs, and movie theatres will remain closed. 

Up to date information provided by the province of Alberta reads that there are 6,345 cases. This number has the potential of rising as 191,330 tests have been conducted all over Alberta. 

The latest data suggests that 73 people are currently in the hospital for the disease. 

Throughout relaunch discussions, the Mayor of Calgary openly questioned the decision and even told businesses that reopening is not mandatory and should be determined on if staff and customers can be kept healthy and safe. 

Calgary city staff also stated that now is not the time to be visiting a "homies" house

Mayor Naheed Nenshi believes there are only five main reasons as to why the people in the province should be leaving the house. Some of those reasons include getting groceries or going to work. 

Even though officials have yet to make their final decision, locals-only camping will be opening soon. 

Many hiking trails are also open for public use, although, everyone is encouraged to social distance. 

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