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BREAKING: Alberta to ban outdoor dining, restrict gatherings, and slash capacity of retail stores in attempt to slow spread of COVID-19

In a press conference on Tuesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced new COVID restrictions, suggesting that fighting the pandemic may involve sacrificing one's rights.

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver BC
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In a press conference on Tuesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced new COVID restrictions, suggesting that fighting the pandemic may involve sacrificing one's rights.

Kenney delivered the remarks today with no press gallery present. "Governments must not impair peoples' rights or their livelihoods", he began, "unless it is absolutely necessary to save lives, and in this case, to prevent disaster from unfolding in [Alberta's] hospitals."

He went on to say that "Unfortunately, this is the situation that we are facing today."

Alberta's COVID numbers are the highest reported in Canada and the USA as of late, due in large part to the influx of new, more easily transmissible variants.

According to CTV News, the measures were approved by the Emergency Management Cabinet Committee, and "will apply to Albertans, businesses, and municipalities in areas with more than 50 cases per 100,000 people and with 30 or more active cases."

The outlet added that "any municipality not within those thresholds will revert back to restrictions at step zero of the provincial relaunch plan."

Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes will be moved online until at least May 25th, CTV reported, and all post-secondary education will be virtual for the foreseeable future.

"Retail businesses will have capacity slashed to 10 per cent of their fire code or a minimum of five customers", they said, adding that "workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks will be mandated to close for 10 days, with exemptions for critical workplaces."

The restrictions also involve the closing down of patio dining, along with bans on visiting "barbershops, tattoo parlors, hair and nail salons." Outdoor gatherings are also being limited to 5 people, 15 at places of worship, and 10 at funerals.

The restrictions will take effect between May 4 and May 9.

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