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Province increases outdoor gathering limit to 200

Last Updated Jun 30, 2020 at 12:49 pm MDT

A crowd gathers at one of seven stages set up for the Calgary Folk Fest on July 29, 2017. (PHOTO: Tom Ross, 660 NEWS)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Just in time for Canada Day, the provincial government is further easing restrictions on outdoor gatherings.

The limit has now been increased from 100 to 200 people, meaning events like community festivals, fireworks displays, rodeos, outdoor concerts and sporting events can go ahead.

However, all public health measures, including physical distancing, remain in place.

There is still a limit of 100 people for certain outdoor events including wedding ceremonies, funeral services and indoor spectator events where people are seated.

The limit of 50 people for indoor social gatherings remains.

While the City of Calgary welcomes the change it said it will not change its application process for large events.

However, city staff are looking to adjust its approvals and will soon be able to allow for, and permit when appropriate, events that meet the updated gathering restrictions for audience-type community outdoor events.

“As restrictions, legislation and guidelines change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to discuss with Alberta Health Services and all City partners, to adapt our application process. Check Calgary.ca for the most up to date information,” the City said in a statement.

“At this time The City is accepting applications for drive-in and drive-thru events that meet Alberta Health Services and City restrictions, legislation and guidelines. The City will issue permits to successful applicants.”

This change comes in the wake of the one day increase in new COVID-19 cases. On Monday, 71 new cases were reported, the largest increase since mid-May.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw pointed out earlier this week gatherings like barbecues are contributing to the rising numbers.

She suggested if you want to celebrate Canada Day and your yard isn’t big enough to stay six feet apart, you should head to a local park instead.