Alberta, Canada Releases and Commences Three-Stage Open for Summer Plan

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On May 25, 2021, Alberta released its Open for Summer Plan (Opening Plan), which eases COVID-19 restrictions in three stages.  Each stage is reached as COVID-19 vaccination targets are reached and hospitalizations decline.  

Stage 1 (entered on June 1)

Alberta’s Stage 1 reopening commenced on June 1.  The target for entering Stage 1 was:

  • Two weeks after 50% of Albertans age 12+ (born in 2009 or earlier) received at least one vaccine dose, and
  • When hospitalizations were below 800 and declining.  

In Stage 1, distancing and masking requirements remain in effect.

Activities and capacity levels at Stage 1 include:

  • Outdoor social gatherings – up to 10 people (indoor social gatherings still not permitted)
  • Outdoor physical, performance and recreation activities – up to 10 distanced people, all ages
  • Personal and wellness services – re-open, by appointment only
  • Funeral services – up to 20 people, not including facility staff, funeral clergy or organizers not considered guests (receptions remain prohibited)
  • Wedding ceremonies – up to 10 people, including officiant, bride/groom, witnesses (receptions remain prohibited)
  • Restaurants – outdoor patio dining for up to 4 household members per table, or 3 people if diners who live alone are with their 2 close contacts
  • Retail – 15% of fire code occupancy (must maintain ability to distance)

Stage 2 (expected to be in effect June 10)

Alberta’s Stage 2 is expected to be in effect on June 10.  

The target for entering Stage 2 is:

  • Two weeks after 60% of Albertans age 12+ (born in 2009 or earlier) have received at least one vaccine dose, and
  • Hospitalizations are below 500 and declining.

In Stage 2:

  • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect, and  
  • The work-from-home order is lifted but still recommended.

Activities and capacity levels at Stage 2 include:

  • Outdoor social gatherings – up to 20 people with distancing (indoor social gatherings are still not permitted)
  • Indoor recreation, entertainment and other settings (rec centres, arenas, casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, libraries, etc.) – open at 1/3 of fire code occupancy
  • Gyms and fitness studios – open for solo and drop-in activities and indoor fitness classes with 3-metre distancing
  • Funeral services – up to 20 people, indoors and outdoors (receptions permitted outdoors only)
  • Wedding ceremonies – up to 20 people, indoors and outdoors (receptions permitted outdoors only)
  • Personal and wellness services – resume walk-in service
  • Restaurants – 6 people per table maximum, indoors or outdoors
  • Retail – 1/3 of fire code occupancy (must maintain ability to distance)

Stage 3 (expected to be effective in late June or early July)

Alberta will enter Stage 3 two weeks after 70% of Albertans age 12+ (born in 2009 or earlier) have received at least one vaccine dose.

In Stage 3, all restrictions will be lifted, including the ban on indoor social gatherings.

The following will remain in place in place in Stage 3:

  • Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19, and
  • Some protective measures in continuing care settings

Bottom Line for Employers

Employers with operations in Alberta are encouraged to become familiar with the Opening Plan, the first Stage of which recently commenced.  In the meantime, until Stage 3 of the Reopening Plan, when all restrictions will be lifted, distancing and masking requirements will remain in effect.  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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