Alberta to take first steps to open economy on Saturday

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Premier Jason Kenney detailed his government’s plan for a multi-stage relaunch that will depend on the province’s continued ability to control the spread of the coronavirus and curb the number of COVID-19 patients who need hospital care.

The first step in Alberta’s plan to reopen its economy will emphasize outdoor activities, with golf courses to open on Saturday followed by shops, bars and restaurants by mid-May.

“It feels like a lot more than 56 days since the first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus was reported here in Alberta on March 5,” Kenney said at a news conference on Thursday.

“But together Albertans have responded to the worst global pandemic in over a century with a great deal of common sense, but also making tremendous sacrifices and demonstrating great resilience.”

Although the province’s relaunch plan stated golf courses would open Monday, Kenney posted on Twitter Thursday evening that Saturday would be the open date.

Parts of the gradual relaunch plan will also begin Monday with the resumption of some non-urgent surgeries and office reopenings for dentists, physiotherapists, speech and respiratory therapists, social workers and dieticians.

Provincial parks will begin opening Monday with some boat launches available though washrooms and garbage pickup in the parks will not be immediately available. The province will open as many campsites as possible by June 1 with Alberta Parks’s online reservation system coming online May 14.

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