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Province announces full move into Step 2

The Government of Alberta says the province is moving fully into Step 2 of the Path Forward.

That means updated health measures are now in place for retail, hotels and community halls, performance groups, and youth sports, performance and recreation.

New under Step 2: Hospitalization benchmark – 450 and declining

Banquet halls, community halls, conference centres and hotels

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  • These facilities can now open for all activities permitted under Step 1 and Step 2.
  • This includes hosting virtual meetings/conferences/events, permitted performance activities, wedding ceremonies with up to 10 individuals, and funeral services up to a maximum of 20 individuals.
  • Wedding receptions, funeral receptions or trade shows are not permitted.

Retail

  • All retail services and shopping malls must limit customer capacity to 25 per cent of fire code occupancy, not including staff. This is an increase from 15 per cent.
  • This includes individual stores and common areas.
  • Curbside pickup, delivery and online services are encouraged.

Performance activities

  • Individuals or groups can now rehearse and perform in preparation for filming or live streaming a performance, provided they adhere to public health guidance.
  • For adult performers and performance groups (over the age of 18), the following activities are permitted:
    • Individual performers or performance groups (up to a maximum of 10 individuals) can access facilities for rehearsals or filming/virtual broadcasting.
    • Larger indoor film and other performances will be allowed provided there is no audience and subject to an approved plan that follows strict new guidance, including regular lab-based PCR testing.
  • No in-person audiences are allowed for any type of performance.
  • Masks are required and three-metre physical distancing must be maintained at all times.
  • For children and youth, performance activities are permitted provided they follow the same requirements set out for youth sport, performance and recreation activities in Step 1:
    • Up to a maximum of 10 individuals with three-metre distancing between all participants.
    • No spectators or in-person audiences are allowed for any type of performance.
    • Masks are mandatory at all times.
    • Includes lessons and practices.
    • Includes youth development activities such as Scouts, Girl Guides and 4-H.
  • Performance activities include dancing, singing, theatre and playing instruments.

Youth sports and recreation

  • There is no change to the restrictions around youth sport and recreation.
  • The Step 1 restrictions around youth sports and recreation have been expanded to include members of college and university athletic programs:
  • Lessons, practices and physical conditioning activities are allowed.
  • Games are not allowed.
  • Maximum of 10 total individuals, including all coaches, trainers and participants.
  • Physical distancing must be maintained between participants at all time.
  • Participants must be masked at all times, except during the training activity.

The province says any decision on Step 3 will be determined on March 22 at the earliest.

278 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the province over the last 24 hours, along with 6 additional deaths reported.

Written by Tina Karst, MyLethbridgeNow.com

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