A few hours after public health measure faded into thin air, Greg Beshard was ushering in a crowd of 800 to the Union Hall.
After close to 16 months of canceled concerts, the venue’s promoter and the owner were looking forward to a sell-out at an upcoming weekend party.
He started making plans in June, soon after premier Jason Kenney announced re-opening dates.
As businesses in Edmonton opened up on day one with nearly no restriction in place, the experience could not eb likened to time traveling to pre-COVID days.
Union Hall made plans to limit admittance to just under 70 percent of capacity to start with, so that the crowd eases slowly back to normal life. They plan to follow measures all the same with stable being sanitized every half hour, Beshard said. Hand sanitizers will be everywhere, while masks will be recommended, but not a must.
At a recent news conference, Travis Toews, finance minister, stated that the July 1st reopening in Alberta is instrumental in the province’s economic recovery and growth.
It would also help if the government allowed international flights to land in the city, Traci Bednard, Edmonton International Airport spokesperson, said.
She noted that international flights are picking up slowly, with at least 1000 persons flying every day. Passengers will be required to have their masks on at all time, this is according to federal requirements.
Businesses in the Ritchie Market area are proceeding with caution. Members of staff at the Blind Enthusiasm and Biera restaurant agreed to keep their masks on for the moment according to the owner Greg Zeschuk.
He said that customers are different in terms of how they feel about masks and being in public, so his business is doing its best to offer options to those who would prefer to cluster or maintain social distancing.