Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced updated health measures Monday which are now in place for retail, hotels and community halls, performance groups, and youth sports as part of Step 2 of Alberta’s reopening plan. (File photo by Government of Alberta)

Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced updated health measures Monday which are now in place for retail, hotels and community halls, performance groups, and youth sports as part of Step 2 of Alberta’s reopening plan. (File photo by Government of Alberta)

COVID restrictions for retail, sports and performers further eased

Occupancy in stores and malls boosted to 25 per cent from 15 per cent

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced on Monday health restrictions will be lifted further as COVID cases continue to fall.

Retail sales and shopping malls can boost their customer numbers to 25 per cent from 15 per cent of fire code occupancy. The rule changes apply to individual stores and common areas such as food courts.

As well, restrictions are being eased for college and university athletic programs. Lessons, practices and physical conditioning will be allowed for up to 10 participants including coaches. Physical distancing must be observed and masks worn except during the training activity.

“We continue striking a safe balance between easing restrictions and preventing cases from rapidly rising once again,” said Shandro.

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Red Deer cases continue to decline

COVID restrictions around child and youth performances such as dancing and theatre are also being loosened to allow for rehearsing. Three-metre physical distancing and mandatory masking will be required and a maximum of 10 participants. Spectators are still prohibited. Groups such as Scouts, Girl Guides and 4-H clubs can also hold their activities using the same restrictions.

For adult performers, the same restrictions apply. However, larger indoor film productions and other performances will be allowed as long as there is no audience and a COVID plan is submitted, including regular testing.

Conference centres, banquet and community halls and hotels can now open for activities, such as virtual meetings, conferences and events, wedding ceremonies with up to 10 people. Funeral services can have up to 20 people.

However, wedding receptions, post-funeral receptions and trade shows are still not prohibited.

Shandro said moving to Step 3 will not be discussed until March 22 at the earliest based on hospitalizations and the spread of COVID.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said that while the situation is improving Albertans must remain vigilant so infection numbers don’t spike again. The variants have proven to spread more easily, further emphasizing the need for caution.



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