Alberta Ends Vaccine-Passport Program


CALGARY — Effective Feb. 9, the Alberta government has put an end to its vaccine-passport program. The government also laid out a three-step plan to further loosen other restrictions in a news conference Tuesday.

In step one, effective Feb. 9, the sale of food and beverages and eating while seated at entertainment venues will be permitted. However, restrictions on closing times, alcohol service, table capacity in restaurants and interactive activities will remain. Capacity limits will be removed for all businesses, venues and facilities except for those with a capacity of 500 to 1,000, which will be limited to 500 and those with a capacity of more than 1,000, which will be limited to 50 per cent. In addition, mask mandates will no longer be required for children in any setting, including school.

In step two, effective Mar. 1, capacity limits for all venues, limits on social gatherings, the provincial mask mandate and the mandatory work from home will all be removed.

In step three (date TBD), mandatory isolation becomes only a recommendation and COVID-19 measures in continuing care will be removed.

“The last two years have taken a significant toll on Albertans’ overall health, social and economic well-being,” said Premier Jason Kennedy at the news conference. “Now that we are through the worst of the fifth wave and have achieved high vaccination rates, it is time to shift to a balanced approach where we are able to live with COVID-19 and return to normal.”

Saskatchewan will follow suit and end its vaccine-passport program on Feb. 14. Other current public-health orders, including masking in indoor public spaces and self-isolating after contracting COVID-19, will remain in effect until the latest public-health order expires at the end of the month.

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