Tuesday at midnight, Alberta’s vaccine passport system will came to an end. Premier Jason Kenney announced this will be the first public health restriction lifted in a phased approach.
Kenney plans for Alberta’s mask mandate to be lifted next Monday for children. All indoor masking regulations are set to be eliminated for March 1. Capacity limits will be stopped for all events under 500 people.
He credited the end of the restriction exemption program to strong vaccination rates as well as drops in the Omicron variant spread and hospital rates stating. “Our approach to COVID must change as the disease changes,” Kenney said.
Alberta currently has 1,623 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 129 in intensive care units. Premier Kenney denies that his decision was influenced by the recent ‘freedom convoy’ protests.
Beginning Feb. 14, Saskatchewan is set to end negative test or proof-of-vaccination requirements. Premier Scott Moe announced he will also be ending self-isolation for testing positive and indoor mask requirements by the end of the month. He said his decision was influenced by a “blend” of science and people across the province.
Quebec and Prince Edward Island are also taking a phased approach to COVID-19 restrictions. Quebec plans to end most regulations—with the exception of mask rules and the vaccination passport—by March 14. Prince Edward Island is aiming for the beginning of April to lift gathering limits and mandatory masking requirements.
“This not a declaration that COVID is over, or that COVID will disappear and that we are standing here and saying, ‘Mission accomplished,’” said P.E.I. Premier Dennis King during a conference Tuesday. “COVID is with us and it will be with us.
“I think we are at a point … when the epidemiology and the trends across the country, the region, and the province kind of allows us to look a little more firmly at our long-awaited return to a life without COVID restrictions.”
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