Alberta lifting COVID-19 restrictions, ending vaccine passport program
Canadian province Alberta has announced it will lift a number of COVID-19 restrictions, including ending its vaccine passport program among residents, The Edmonton Journal reports.
Speaking at a news conference, Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney said the previous restrictions imposed by the provincial government have served their purpose since the omicron variant spread of the virus had peaked in recent weeks.
Starting Wednesday, capacity limits of under 500 for venues, libraries and places of worship will end, according to The Edmonton Journal.
On Monday, Alberta will end its mask mandate for school children and children under the age of 12 in a particular setting.
“The threat of COVID-19 to public health no longer outweighs the hugely damaging impact of health restrictions on our society,” Kenney said.
Kenney also said the provincial government target date for the second phase of lifting measures is March 1, where the province plans to end restrictions on indoor mask mandate, working from home requirements, venue capacity limits, social gathering limits and health screenings for children participating in activities
“I very much hope that today’s long-awaited announcement gives a sense of optimism,” Kenney added.
Kenney also said it is unclear whether the third phase of lifting restrictions will happen, adding the third phase will remove virus restrictions in senior citizens living communities, The Edmonton Journal reported.
This comes as province officials reported 1,667 new virus cases on Tuesday, as the test positivity rate in the province is 36 percent.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Alberta has reported 3,686 coronavirus-related deaths, The Edmonton Journal noted.