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‘We are not there yet’: Mayor Nenshi cautious on Alberta reopening strategy

Despite reopening plans being announced yesterday Mayor Naheed Nenshi advises Calgarians to remain cautious.

On Wednesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the post-pandemic reopening plans for Alberta. Premier Kenney said Albertans must stick to public health measures and continue to get vaccinated for further relief from restrictions.

“If large numbers of Albertans keep getting vaccinated and keep following all the public health orders and guidelines in the meantime, we’ll reopen in just a matter of weeks,” he said.

Alberta will have to meet certain vaccination-plus-hospitalization rates in order to reach Stages 1 through 3.

Not in the clear yet: Mayor Nenshi

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said while he’s glad to see a plan in place, Calgarians still aren’t completely in the clear yet.

“I’m happy to see the targets and goals in place, however, I want to remind people that we are not there yet. We have to earn the easing of restrictions. We want to make sure that we are driving the number of cases down,” he said.

“We have to make sure that we get the vaccine plus two weeks before we really start to let our guard down.”

He also said that he will take into careful consideration what happens when the province lifts all public health measures once stage 3 of the reopening plan is met. For example, Calgary has a mask mandate until December 2021.

“There are a whole series of options here such as lift the mask mandate when the province lifts the health restrictions or keep them completely in place,” he said.

“For example, what are we going to do about public transit where physical distance is not really possible. Certainly these are things that we will be thinking about over the next three or four weeks.”

As the city edges closer to Stampede season, Mayor Nenshi maintains that getting people vaccinated is the key factor in making the reopening process go smoothly.

“There’s a lot of embers in the fire right now and ultimately I want anyone who wants to get that dose be able to get it safely and efficiently,” he said.