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Most provinces move forward with reopening plans

Last Updated Jun 7, 2021 at 8:48 pm MDT

CALGARY — Alberta is set to enter its second reopening phase on Thursday — which will allow dining inside a restaurant with six people.

While Manitobans cannot take a walk outside with their parents unless they live with them.

“One more case when your ICU’s are full is a problem. You have to control the flow as much as you can when you’re in a situation where you can’t handle more cases,” said Dr. Dan Gregson, an infectious disease expert from the University of Calgary.

Other provinces, can.

Montreal entered the second phase of its reopening Monday, Ontario is set to start phase one Friday, while B.C. is eyeing next week for its phase two.



But start dates aren’t the only differences between re-opening plans across Canada.

For example, the step one plan for both Ontario and B.C. includes meeting ten people outdoors—but B.C.’s also allows five people indoors, while Ontario’s doesn’t.

Meanwhile, one of the first things Quebec did was loosen restrictions in large event spaces.

“Provinces are going to make recommendations based on the number of cases and what they can cope with in terms of infectious in the hospitals,” said Gregson. “My recommendations are based on what I would recommend for you as an individual. Unless you’ve had two doses of the vaccine, you should play it cautious. And that would mean avoiding indoor settings where other people aren’t masked.”

Some Canadian researchers are looking at Israel—where the World Health Organization reported no new cases over a 24-hour span this weekend.

That country — with its aggressive vaccine campaign — has been reopening in phases from Feb. 7 to June 1, enough to hold its annual pride parade last week.

Gregson says this gives hope for the future — but Canada can’t compare.

“In Isreal, I think about 59 per cent of the people have both doses. We’re looking at just over 60 per cent having one dose.”

He says our approach follows the U.K. – where the Delta variant now threatens to delay the lifting of restrictions.

“I think we can watch what’s going on in the U.K. now and try to be cautious until we know what’s going on with this new variant.”