The reopening plan states that it would be two weeks after reaching 70 per cent that Stage 3 would commence. Restaurants, bars and retail outlets will once again be able to run at full capacity.
Additionally, the general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but masking may still be required in some settings. "These were both individuals in their 80s, with multiple co-morbidities, both of whom were in hospital before contracting COVID". "We will keep administering first and second doses as quickly as possible so we're not just open for summer, but open for good".
Alberta will lift its remaining COVID-19 health restrictions on July 1, becoming the first province or territory in Canada to do so.
The province is also speeding up the timeline for when Albertans can get a second dose and everyone age 12 and up is now eligible.
Stage 2 began on June 10, two weeks after 60% of eligible Albertans had received at least one dose of vaccine and with COVID-19 hospitalizations below 500 and declining. Those who received their first dose in June can book their second shot as soon as four weeks have passed. Albertans will have a choice on which vaccine they receive for a second dose.
Appointments can be booked through the Alberta Health Services online booking tool, by calling Health Link at 811 or through participating physicians' offices or pharmacies.
The number of active cases has decreased 61 per cent since Stage 1 launched in June, Kenney said.
As of Thursday, 70.2 per cent of eligible Albertans had received at least a single dose of vaccine. Proof of vaccination will only be required to claim the prize. "No more advisories against non-essential travel".
"It's a lot of anxiety and disbelief and an "I'll believe it when I see it" kind of feeling", he said. "Last year was not a normal year, we didn't play tournaments, had to play in small cohorts so (we) didn't have our regular group".
"We're going to see an increase in cases but what that translates into is really the question".
The CBC quoted University of Alberta medicine professor emeritus Noel Gibney, co-chair of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association's Pandemic Response Committee, warning the government to expect conditions that could lead to a fourth wave and advising preparation for a return to COVID-19 restrictions.
But Paukert says not playing ball comes with its own set of risks.
He all but said "Mission Accomplished", as in George W. Bush's famously premature announcement of victory in Iraq - "we did it!"
"Instead, we'll get back to doing things we all love, the things that make summers so special in Alberta".