Premier Jason Kenney announced on Tuesday, May 4 that in order to divert disaster in the province, stronger health restrictions must be implemented in order to Stop the Spike.
As the premier put it, he started with the hardest announcement first;
Starting Friday, May 7, and for three weeks, until Tuesday, May 25, (after the long weekend) all K-12 students in the province will move to at-home learning.
Starting immediately, and for the next three weeks:
- all post-secondary learning will move to online
- workplaces with outbreaks will close for 10 days
- all retail stores will drop to 10 per cent capacity or a minimum 5 customers
- outdoor gatherings will drop from ten people to five
- places of worship currently at 15 per cent capacity will be limited to 15 people (as was the case last spring)
- funeral attendance will drop from 20 people to 10
Effective Sunday, May 9
- personal and wellness will close for three weeks which includes hair, tanning, and nail salons
- in-person dining including outdoor patios close
- outdoor sports and recreation limited to close contacts only
- youth and adult performance will close
- dentists and lawyers available by appointment only
- indoor fitness remains closed
The fine for not following the rules will double from $1000 to $2000.
The province is also implementing a tougher enforcement protocol for repeat offenders.
There will be zero tolerance for those who endanger the health of others while the vast majority of people follow the rules.
Those who can work from home must do so and masks are mandatory in the workplace.
A full list of the measures can be found at alberta.ca/stopthespike
Premier Kenney asks, "If you can stay home, please stay home, at least for the next three weeks."
The good news is the vaccine is arriving faster and officials are hopeful that the three-week pause and reset will allow for the vaccinations to catch up and once and for all beat the virus.