In response to the government of Alberta’s announcement on Feb. 8, Blackfalds Town Council has approved removing of the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) from the Abbey Centre and Community Centre as of Feb. 9.
“Adopting REP was one of the more difficult decisions we’ve had to make to keep our facilities open to as many people as possible, and although we knew this measure would be temporary, I recognize this was difficult for many,” stated mayor Jamie Hoover. “I’m happy that we’ve reached the point where the Government of Alberta is allowing us to welcome everyone back to our facilities regardless of vaccinations status.”
The Step 1 ease of restrictions came into effect after the announcement and updates were made including, the Restrictions Exemption Program were removed, along with most associated restrictions. Capacity limits are now extended to all large facilities and entertainment venues, but food and beverage consumption is now allowed in seats. Interactive activities, liquor service, and operating hour restrictions remain in place for food-serving entities.
“We are excited to see familiar faces back in these facilities and are looking forward to some exciting events in the future,” added director of emergency management, Ken Morrison. “We would like to remind all, (that) face masks will continue to be required in these facilities unless consuming food or drink or under the age of 13. Hopefully, we will see further restrictions lifted by March 1 when the province moves into Step 2.”
Step 2 will include removing remaining school requirements and youth screening activities for entertainment and sport activities removed. Capacity on all large venues and entertainment venues and mandatory work-from-home requirements will be lifted. Indoor masking will also no longer be required.
The Alberta Junior Hockey League has also rescinded REP, so residents and visitors are welcome to take part in the Blackfalds Bulldogs hockey games without needing proof of vaccinations.