Golf and camping: Alberta’s emergence from COVID shutdown includes the outdoors

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has released its plan for easing restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. The gradual approach begins Friday with access to parking lots and staging areas in parks and at some boat launches.

Premier Jason Kenney says Albertans will have to move forward “with care and common sense” and abide by any public health orders and guidelines that remain in place.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at the Rideau Club in Ottawa on Thursday, March 12, 2020. SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Early Action

May 4:

 Alberta Health Services to resume some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries 

 Dentists, physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, respiratory therapists, audiologists, social workers, occupational therapists and dieticians allowed to offer services. Must abide by guidelines set out by their professional groups.

— Golf courses to reopen. Clubhouses and pro shops to remain closed.

 Government working to make as many campsites as possible available by June 1. Online reservations to begin May 14. Group and comfort camping not allowed. Access restrictions to campground showers, picnic and cooking shelters.

First Phase

May 14:

— Retail businesses, such as clothing, furniture and bookstores, to reopen gradually.

 Vendors at farmers markets to be allowed to operate.

 Personal services such as hairstyling and barber shops to open doors, as well as museums and art galleries.

 Daycares and out-of-school care to operate with limits on occupancy.

— Summer camps with limits on occupancy. Could include summer school.

 Cafes, restaurants with no bar service to reopen at half capacity.

 Not permitted in first phase: Gatherings of more than 15 people, arts and culture festivals, major sporting events, and concerts. Movie theatres, theatres, pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, gyms and nightclubs to remain closed. Schools to remain closed.

Non-essential travel, especially outside the province, not recommended. Remote working is advised where possible.

Second Phase:

Timing to be determined by success of previous stage, capacity of the health-care system and contained or reduced rate of infections, hospitalizations and ICU cases.

— Potential kindergarten to Grade 12 classes, with restrictions.

 Personal services such as artificial tanning, esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments, massage and reflexology.

 Larger gatherings in some situations.

 Movie theatres and theatres with restrictions.

 Visitors to patients at health-care facilities will continue to be limited.

Third Phase

Timing to be determined by success of earlier stages.

 Fully reopening all businesses and services with limited restrictions.

 Larger gatherings permitted (number of people to be determined).

 Revival of arts and culture festivals, concerts and major sporting events with some restrictions.

 Nightclubs, gyms, pools, recreation centres and arenas to reopen with restrictions.

 Resuming industry conferences with restrictions.

 No restrictions on non-essential travel.

The Canadian Press

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