Canada: Alberta Will End Mandated Vaccine Passports at Midnight

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    During a press conference on Tuesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney laid out his three-step plan to end coronavirus restrictions in the Canadian province. On the issue of vaccine passports, the premier said the QR code system for vaccinated citizens will still be in place for businesses that wish to enforce it, though they will not be required to do so.

    When asked why he will continue to allow businesses to discriminate based on vaccinated status, the premier cited the “free market.”

    Despite his allowing businesses to use the QR code system, the premier did say that he hopes coronavirus restrictions can be rolled back over the next few months as Canadians learn to live with the virus.

    “Now is the time to begin learning to live with COVID,” said Kenney. “These restrictions have led to terrible division.”

    “We cannot remain at a heightened state of emergency forever. We have to begin to heal,” he added.

    On a more positive note, the premier did say that his three-stage approach will remove “nearly all restrictions for children, including the mask mandate in schools (kindergarten to Grade 12) over the coming weekend,” according to The Star.

    “Kids aged 12 and under also won't have to abide by the general mask mandate in Alberta, though the general mandate will still apply for everyone else,” added the outlet.

    During the first stage, which begins at midnight, restaurants will still have to follow government-mandated closing times as well as dining capacity. Venues that can hold between 500 to 1,000 people will also still be subject to capacity limits.

    If hospitalizations continue to decrease, Kenney said that the province will then move into stage two in three weeks when nearly all remaining coronavirus restrictions will be lifted, such as the general mask mandate, capacity limits, and work-from-home orders. After the final stage, Albertans would be relatively back to normal provided the healthcare system did not feel pressured.

     

    Earlier on Tuesday, Kenney said that he made the case to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to extend the exemption for unvaccinated truckers in response to the “Freedom Convoy” protest in Ottawa.

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