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Coronavirus: Calgary extends cancellation of all public events until August 31

Click to play video 'City of Calgary extends ban on public gatherings to Aug. 31' City of Calgary extends ban on public gatherings to Aug. 31
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi announces a ban on public gatherings until Aug. 31.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi announced on Friday the city will be extending the cancellation of all public events until Aug. 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The city had previously cancelled all city supported events until June 30,” Nenshi said.

“Today I’m announcing with great sadness that we’re extending that ban until Aug. 31. That means 166 events that we look forward to each year will no longer be with us.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: All City of Calgary public events cancelled until June 30

One of those 166 cancelled events includes the city’s largest event of the summer, the Calgary Stampede. On Thursday, officials announced the event was cancelled for the first time in more than 100 years.

Click to play video 'City-run summer camps cancelled in Calgary due to COVID-19 risk' City-run summer camps cancelled in Calgary due to COVID-19 risk
City-run summer camps cancelled in Calgary due to COVID-19 risk

The city’s announcement comes one day after Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, stated that the mass gathering ban would remain in place until the end of the summer.

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The current provincial ban applies to groups of 15 or more, and also to all one-time or annual summer events, including arts and culture festivals, agricultural fairs and rodeos, major sporting championships and industry conferences.

Click to play video 'Ban on gatherings means city run summer camps are cancelled: Nenshi' Ban on gatherings means city run summer camps are cancelled: Nenshi
Ban on gatherings means city run summer camps are cancelled: Nenshi

Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) chief Tom Sampson said the city’s events cancellation also applies to all private events scheduled in Calgary.

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“We’re cancelling permits for third-party events scheduled to take place in the city until Aug. 31,” Sampson said.

The city said the order will be re-evaluated in August. ​

Click to play video 'Cancellation of 2020 Calgary Stampede another hit for economy' Cancellation of 2020 Calgary Stampede another hit for economy
Cancellation of 2020 Calgary Stampede another hit for economy

Sampson also noted the need for more enforcement in Calgary as the pandemic continues.

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He said the city has received a large amount of COVID-19 complaints related to business operations.

“We’re working to enforce the local state of emergency regulation and the public health orders out there,” Sampson said.

“Business licensing has had over 500 complaints through 311 in relation to COVID-19.”

READ MORE: City of Calgary looks to help businesses modify operations amid COVID-19 pandemic

Sampson said the city has issued 134 written warnings to businesses and issued a violation ticket in relation to improper licensing.

“A business was selling hand sanitizer out of the back of a vehicle in a parking lot,” he said.

“Anyone who purchased that should not use it.”

Click to play video 'Nenshi says there were many reports of people doing ‘bad stuff’ last weekend' Nenshi says there were many reports of people doing ‘bad stuff’ last weekend
Nenshi says there were many reports of people doing ‘bad stuff’ last weekend

He also added that more enforcement will be seen in parks and outdoor areas across the city, noting that tickets will be given out to those who ignore the physical distancing regulations.

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“We’re getting to the point where enforcement will unfold,” he said.

“We’ll also be providing increased education to citizens through a new ambassador program.”

More information on the city’s response to the physical distancing health order can be found on its website.