Alberta 'will consider' relaxing indoor social gathering restrictions for Christmas: Kenney
With December just days away, many Albertans may be wondering if they'll be able to welcome their family over for the holidays.
Though Albertans can currently gather at bars, pubs, coffee shops and restaurants as long as the business is participating in the province’s vaccine passport program, restrictions on indoor social gatherings at people's homes remain in place.
"We've been asking people since the fourth of September not to gather indoors with more than two households – and maximum 10 people – and we thank folks that have carefully followed those rules," Premier Jason Kenney said during a Monday news conference.
Those restrictions are in place for those who are vaccinated; people who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 are currently not permitted to attend indoor social gatherings.
"We want to make sure that the rules that are in place are rules that the majority of people will follow," the premier added.
Kenney said although no decisions have been made, his government is working to address the upcoming Christmas season.
"As long as ICU pressure continues to abate, we may be in a position to consider something as we move closer to the holidays," Kenney said.
"One key trigger that I've articulated is getting our total ICU pressure below our baseline of about 173 beds. We've made good progress on that thanks to the diligence of Albertans. We are today at, I believe, just over 200 total ICU patients and about 70 with COVID-19.
"So we're now at 115 per cent of ICU capacity and the numbers have been trending in a positive direction, so if that continues – and if we don't see alarming evidence about severe outcomes from Omicron – we will consider some kind of potential modest relaxation of gatherings."
Kenney said he will be speaking on the topic again "at some point in the near future."