Canada – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on Tuesday announced the end to his province’s Covid vaccine passport system, effective tonight at midnight.
Proof of vaccine to enter bars, restaurants and entertainment venues will end at midnight.
Mask mandates for children and schools ends February 14, the premier announced.
“It is clear that we passed the peak of our current infections about three weeks ago and are now seeing the result as COVID-related hospital admissions are declining,” Kenney said at a news conference.
“It has always been the government’s approach to keep public health measures in place only so long as they are absolutely necessary to protect public health and our health-care system throughout the pandemic.”
— Sammy Hudes (@SammyHudes) February 9, 2022
As of midnight Tuesday, Albertans will no longer need to show their QR code to dine in restaurants or sit at entertainment venues.
Premier Jason Kenney announced the three-step plan to ease public health measures in the province on Tuesday. As he’d previously promised, the restrictions exemption program — Alberta’s version of the vaccine passport — was first to go.
At midnight, capacity limits will be removed for smaller venues, including libraries and places of worship with a capacity of less than 500. Food and beverage consumption will be allowed in venues where audiences are seated.
Facilities with a capacity of 500 to 1,000 will continue to be limited to 500, while facilities with capacity for 1,000-plus people will be limited to 50 per cent.
Step 2 comes into effect on March 1, if hospitalization numbers continue to trend down. Those changes include:
- Any remaining provincial school requirements (including cohorting) will be removed.
- Screening prior to youth activities will no longer be required.
- Capacity limits will be lifted for all venues.
- Limits on social gatherings will be removed.
- Provincial mask mandate will be removed.
- Mandatory work from home removed.
The timing of Step 3 will be determined by hospitalization rates, Kenney said. This phase will see COVID-specific measures in continuing care removed and mandatory isolation becoming a recommendation only.
Coutts border blockaders were not happy with premier Jason Kenney’s announcement today and demanded he lift all restrictions permanently.
Coutts border blockaders were not happy with the announcement by Jason Kenney today, updates sure to come soon.
— Syd Fizzard (@SydFizzard) February 9, 2022
Alberta is the latest Canadian province to lift Covid restrictions.
Earlier Tuesday, Saskatchewan announced it will end its vaccine passport system on Monday, February 14.
The province’s mask mandate will also be lifted at the end of February.
“We want things to be as normal as they can,” Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said on Tuesday.