On Friday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that Albertans would be sent $100 if they received either their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the CBC, the $100 will come in the form of a debit card, and will be available starting on Friday for those who register online. It will be available until October 14.
"If you just haven't gotten around to it, for the love of God, please get vaccinated now," Kenney urged in a news conference. "And if you do, we will now pay you $100. Today, we are announcing that Alberta will be the first province to offer a personal monetary incentive to step up and do the right thing."
In addition, the province has instituted an indoor mask mandate, which starts on Saturday. People entering indoor public spaces and workplaces will be required to wear a mask.
Also beginning on Saturday is the ending of alcohol sales in places like bars, restaurants, and pubs at 10 pm.
It is also strongly urged that employers cease their return to work plan in favor of working from home again, and people should limit indoor social gatherings "to close contacts of only two cohort families, up to a maximum of 10 people."
Kenney said that cases and hospitalizations are on the rise due to the delta variant, which is mostly spreading amongst unvaccinated persons.
70 percent of Albertans ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated, Kenney said.
"But the bad news is that we still have 30 per cent of the eligible population without full vaccine protection — that is to say, without two doses. And the delta variant is ripping its way through this group at an aggressive rate."
Kenney said that the highly contagious variant has spread across the province and the country during the summer "and caused severe outcomes at much greater rates in unvaccinated adults."
"This is true even among younger adults, as an example. Since July, the first unvaccinated people between the ages of 20 to 59 have had 50 to 60 times higher risk of hospitalization than those who were vaccinated," said Kenney, who added that unvaccinated people make up 80 percent of all hospitalizations since July 1.
Alberta is currently leading the country in number of daily COVID-19 cases and active cases, according to the CBC. On Thursday, Alberta reported 1,339 new cases of COVID-19, with 12,868 active cases across the province.