‘Cautiously optimistic’: Alberta businesses hope 3rd COVID-19 reopening will be the last


Cautious optimism: the feeling many Alberta businesses are experiencing as they breathe yet another sign of relief when looking ahead at their third reopening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — one they hope will be the last.

Premier Jason Kenney presented a three-stage plan for reopening the province by the summertime, which includes lifting nearly all of the province’s COVID-19 public health measures by mid-July.

The reopening will move in stages, the first two dependent on vaccinations and hospital numbers, with the third being contingent only on the number of people who have gotten their shot.

In Stage 1, outdoor dining can once again resume on patios, retail businesses will have capacity increased to 15 per cent, and personal wellness services can open on an appointment-only basis.

Restaurants can reopen to indoor dining under Stage 2, and gyms and fitness centres can also welcome clients again, with physical distancing. Personal wellness services will be able to bring back walk-in services.

Once the province moves into Stage 3, “almost all the health restrictions will be gone,” Kenney said, including the mandatory mask order, and restrictions on gatherings.

Ben Leon, co-founder and managing director of The Dandy Brewing Company in Calgary, said considering the steps those in the hospitality industry have already taken, it’s a good time to start the process of reopening.