February 8, 2022

-Global News

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is scheduled to provide information on the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday evening.

The premier promised a “careful and prudent plan to lift damaging restrictions.” The plan is tied to hospitalization numbers declining, the premier said in a message on Twitter.

On Monday, there were 1,542 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, down slightly from 1,584 people on Friday.

The ICU numbers remained unchanged between Friday and Monday’s reports, with 118 people in Alberta’s ICUs with COVID-19.

Kenney promised the Restrictions Exemption Program — also known as a vaccine passport — would be lifted this week in a tweet on Friday. He doubled down on that promise while appearing on the Roy Green Show on Saturday.

“It will be data-based. It will be cautious, but it will be moving us back to getting our life back to normal to the greatest extent possible,” Kenney said.

“We will be making decisions and releasing a plan to lift almost all public health measures. We will be releasing that plan early (next) week, and it will start with lifting the proof of vaccination program.”

Alberta isn’t the only province looking to start lifting some restrictions, Saskatchewan’s premier announced Tuesday the mask mandate there will end at the end of the month and vaccine passports will no longer be required as of Monday.

Regina infectious disease expert Dr. Alex Wong feels it’s too soon for any province to be making these changes.

“Those of us on the medical side want measures and proof of vaccine programs to continue for as long as possible in order to spur as much vaccine uptake as we can. However we understand the realities of the Prairies,” he said.

Kenney is scheduled to speak at 5 p.m.