Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the province will implement a proof of COVID-19 vaccination program, and reimpose gatherings limits as the province’s hospitals run out of capacity due to a surge in COVID-19 patients.
The province also declared a state of public health emergency on 15 September.
“We could be out of staff and intensive care beds within the next 10 days,” Kenny said.
“Unless we slow transmission, especially among unvaccinated Albertans, we will not be able to provide adequate care to everyone who becomes ill.”
The province is also seeking help from other provinces to use their intensive care beds and staff to help treat COVID-19 patients.
Alberta had opposed the Vaccine Passport System, which has been implemented in other provinces, which requires people to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before being allowed to use non-essential services.
Kenny said he was reluctant to approve “the sanctions waiver program”.
“Now that the number of unvaccinated patients is increasing in our hospitals, this is the only responsible option we have now,” he said.
New restrictions will be implemented in the province from 20 September, requiring people to show proof of vaccination when entering non-essential businesses such as retail shops and restaurants.
An opt-out program is available for businesses that do not wish to use a proof-of-vaccine system. The program allows businesses to operate at reduced capacity with away regulations and restrictions.
Other restrictions requiring reduced capacity at private social gatherings, including weddings and funerals, come into force on 16 September.
Kenny offered an apology for moving too quickly from a pandemic to an endemic province.
“We were wrong in talking about moving it from epidemic management to endemic management in July and August,” he said.
“I know we all hoped this summer that we could once and forever put COVID behind us, that was definitely my hope and I said it very clearly,” he said . “It’s clear now that we were wrong, and I apologize for that.”
However, he said he did not regret lifting the ban and ending the intrusion in people’s lives.
“I also think it’s important to understand, at least in this society that you can’t make a serious intrusion into people’s lives on a permanent basis. And so no, I’m going to call for the easing of public health restrictions over the summer, backed by data. I do not apologize for this decision.
With files from the Canadian Press
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times