Lethbridge businesses, organizations reopen to the public under Stage 2

Thursday marks the reopening of Stage 2 of Alberta’s “Reopen For Summer” three-part plan. With that, many of Alberta’s COVID-19 public health restrictions have been eased.

Alberta’s “Open for Summer Plan” is moving ahead with more COVID-19 public health restrictions being lifted provincewide. Included in Stage 2 is the reopening of in-person dining, with up to six people per table. 

Jesse Dixon, General Manager of Hudsons Canada’s Pub in Lethbridge, says they are excited to be reopening again to the public.

“What we’re expecting is a busy environment, full rooms, both of our patios [open now], so whether it’s rain or shine we’ll be able to have people in the building, people can come out and visit with their friends.”

All prior COVID-19 protocols will remain in place for people dining in restaurants. Also on the list is the reopening gyms and fitness centres. However, the Cor Van Raay YMCA has chosen to hold off, with a grand re-opening set for July 2. 

“With Stage 2 restrictions, we’re looking at booking our fitness areas as well as holding group fitness classes,” says JoAnna Dautel, General Manager of YMCA Lethbridge. “In the pool we will have lane swim available, public swim will be available to 1/3 fire code occupancy, so we will still use our booking system. The gymnasium will be holding drop-in activities and rentals for families.” 

Dautel adds, the pool is expected to open on July 2 and summer camps are set to go ahead. To book a spot, visit LethbridgeYMCA.ca.

Along with the reopening of indoor recreation centres, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and spray parks are able to open including Stan Siwik Pool. Henderson pool is expected to open in late June  to early July.

“We’re still working out the fine details about what the capacity will be at Henderson,” says Sunni Belle, General Manager with Canadian Recreation Excellence, a contracted company that operates the City of Lethbridge’s pools.

“Right now, we are going to open similar to last year, so you would book online to reserve your spot, you’ll come in for your swim time, you’ll be asked to leave at the end of your swim and then another group will enter,” added Belle.

Stan Siwik is the first pool in Lethbridge to open. Belle says the reason Stan Siwik was chosen to open is because it can house all the programming needed, including staff.

Dixon adds, restaurants and pubs around Lethbridge are expected to be busy over the next few weeks, with the added benefit of sporting events being broadcasted. 

“NHL playoff hockey, UFC, NASCAR, all that stuff is coming up and we’re going to be able to showcase it. We can also add in entertainment parts like ‘Name That Tune’ bingo, Trivia Nights and hopefully get some DJs going as we move into July.”

The following is a list of public health measures being eased as part of Stage 2:

  • Outdoor social gatherings – up to 20 people with distancing (indoor social gatherings still not permitted)
  • Indoor recreation, entertainment, and other settings (rec centres, arenas, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, libraries) – open at 30% of fire code occupancy
  • Gyms and fitness studios – open for solo and drop-in activities and indoor fitness classes with three-metre distancing
  • Funeral services – up to 20 people, indoors and outdoors (receptions permitted outdoors only)
  • Wedding ceremonies – up to 20 people, indoors and outdoors (receptions permitted outdoors only)
  • Places of worship – 1/3 of fire code occupancy
  • Personal and wellness services – resume walk-in service
  • Post-secondary – resume in-person learning
  • Restaurants – six people per table max, indoors or outdoors
  • Retail – 1/3 of fire code occupancy (must maintain the ability to distance)
  • Youth activities (day camps, play centres) – resume with restrictions
  • Youth and adult sports – resume with no restrictions, indoors and outdoors
  • Outdoor public gatherings (concerts/festivals) – up to 150 people
  • Outdoor fixed seating facilities (grandstands) – 1/3 seated capacity
  • Work from home order is lifted but still recommended
  • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect

In order to reach the third and final stage of lifting restrictions, 70 per cent of Albertans need to be at least partially immunized.

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