lifenow

What you need to know about planning a gathering in Stage 2

Story by Stacie Gaetz

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Photos by iStock

Stage 2 of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy means that many people who were forced to postpone important events because of the COVID-19 pandemic can now plan their milestone gatherings.

However, it can be difficult to navigate all of the information to determine what is permitted and what is not.

Whether you are planning a birthday, graduation, wedding or funeral, we are here to help you understand what your event should and should not include.

According to alberta.ca, you can enjoy many more indoor and outdoor activities as long as you follow all public health orders, including gathering sizes and physical distancing of two metres, and avoid high-risk or prohibited activities.

“Events and gatherings can also be larger on Friday (June 12) and beyond… with specific guidance in place,” said Premier Jason Kenney during a press conference on June 9.

“These include… indoor and outdoor seated meetings including wedding and funeral ceremonies, plus entertainment and sports, conferences and other events with a maximum of 100 people.”

Kenney added that all of these activities must comply with Alberta’s public health guidelines including physical distancing, frequent cleaning and use of face coverings where appropriate.

He thanked Alberta residents for doing their part in making the relaunch successful.

“We are still months from anything that will feel like the normal lives we all took for granted just a few weeks back, but as we begin to look to the future, I would like to thank you for your strength and adaptability, which has allowed our province to respond so effectively.”

High Risk Activities:

Activities that are considered high risk, even with physical distancing in place, include:

  • sharing food, drinks or utensils
  • sharing equipment
  • close-range conversations
  • direct physical contact or touch with people outside of your household

If you are planning to have live music at your event, you should know that singing is considered a high-risk activity.

According to alberta.ca, gatherings that include singing – ideally soloists or small groups – should take as many of the following precautions as possible:

  • keep singers completely separate from the audience and each other by livestreaming individuals singing separately
  • limit the number of people singing in the same place to the fewest possible
  • have people sing facing away from others or otherwise creating separation using a barrier such as Plexiglas
  • use pre-prepared audio or video recordings
  • have singers wear facemasks while singing

There is no evidence to determine exactly what a safe distance would be between singers and others, but greater distances can reduce risk.

Reduce the Risk:

  • Exclude people who have any symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat (even if they appear mild or resemble a cold)
  • Reduce the number of participants or change the venue to allow for physical distancing
  • Stagger the time of arrivals and departures from gatherings
  • Increase access to handwashing stations or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning of surfaces that are touched often
  • Promote personal protective practices (coughing and sneezing etiquette, hand hygiene)
  • Cancel, postpone, reschedule or explore virtual attendance, especially for people at greater risk, such as people age 60 years or older, and those with chronic medical conditions

Off Limits:

Activities that are not permitted in Stage 2 include:

  • gatherings larger than permitted
  • major festivals and concerts, large conferences, trade shows and events
  • major sporting events and tournaments
  • vocal concerts
  • amusement parks
  • indoor children’s play places
  • nightclubs

For more information on what is permitted or restricted, click here.