Westerner Days could be in line to have patrons in attendance this summer as the province teased reducing COVID-19 capacity limits on outdoor events. File photo by ADVOCATE staff

Westerner Days could be in line to have patrons in attendance this summer as the province teased reducing COVID-19 capacity limits on outdoor events. File photo by ADVOCATE staff

Province provides hope for attendance at summer events

The province has given a positive update to organizations that hold summer events.

In a letter to “performance-related stakeholders” dated April 9, regarding clarity on outdoor events this summer, Alberta Health raised the possibility of events going ahead in late July without capacity restrictions.

“While we have signalled that with the advancement of vaccinations, we are anticipating the ability to remove restrictions to enable a more normal level of operations by the summer, we acknowledge that the economic challenges you are facing require the inclusion of an audience as soon as possible,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw wrote in the letter.

Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan confirmed the authenticity of the letter Friday.

“We are helping performance groups get a sense of what the future could possibly hold, but no final decisions have been made,” he said in an email.

“This includes any future decisions around specific timing and capacity limits at in-person events.”

The letter includes an outline of when attendance will be possible at events. In April and early May, no in-person fans are allowed but in late May, 15 per cent of fixed capacity to a maximum of 100 people could be allowed.

In late June, there could be up to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 500 people outdoors and 15 per cent capacity to 100 people indoors.

The province has been steadfast in its belief that any Albertan who wants a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive one vaccine shot by the end of June.

With that, in the letter, Hinshaw said that in late July, the province will be able to remove capacity restrictions at performance-based events.

“As noted, this is contingent upon the state of cases and associated pressures on the public health care system as well as progress on immunizations,” Hinshaw added in the letter.

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