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Calgary officials react to provincial COVID-19 relaunch strategy: ‘We’re still under a state of local emergency’

Click to play video: 'Nenshi reminds citzens that May 14 in phased reopening is not a guarantee' Nenshi reminds citzens that May 14 in phased reopening is not a guarantee
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi reminds citizens that the May 14 phase one re-opening plan put forth by the province depends on the actions of Albertans. – May 1, 2020

On Friday afternoon, Calgary officials addressed the province’s phased relaunch strategy for Alberta’s economy.

The plan was announced on Thursday and claims that some businesses could reopen as soon as May 14.

However, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi noted that while some rules may be changing, cooperation with physical distancing regulations is still needed from residents amid the pandemic.

“The May 14 date is aspirational,” Nenshi said.

“We need to even re-double our discipline so the province will be able to make some moves as early as May 14.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Alberta phased relaunch strategy will see some restrictions eased Friday

Nenshi noted that the city still has strict rules in place that must be followed amid the pandemic to allow the province to execute this plan.

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“We’re still under a state of local emergency here in Calgary,” Nenshi said.

“There are still critical rules, you must maintain physical distancing… and if you must be in a group, it has to be less than 15 people.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Personal care businesses, outdoor sport facilities ordered to close in Calgary

Nenshi, along with the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) deputy chief Sue Henry, noted some changes will be happening in the city in light of this new strategy to both public golf courses and outdoor recreation facilities.

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Calgary outdoor recreation and organized sports

Henry noted that changes to outdoor recreation will be taking place in Calgary.

She said that while all playgrounds and skate parks in the city remain closed to the public, the playing of certain sports will now be allowed in the city — with specific modifications.

Henry said sports, including singles tennis, singles badminton, singles pickleball and kayaking can be played in outdoor facilities as long as residents modify the game to not touch or handle the same ball or device as their opponent.

“It’s great to hear the province’s plan laid out… but we need to maintain the progress that we’ve achieved so far,” Henry said.

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“We [Calgary] still have approximately 67 per cent of the provincial [COVID-19] cases.”

Calgary public golf courses 

The provincial relaunch plan stated that golf courses across Alberta can open on May 2, with restrictions including keeping clubhouses and pro shops closed.

On Friday, Henry said that the city is still determining the official re-opening date for public golf courses in Calgary.

“Our teams are working hard to respond to the Alberta announcement regarding golf courses,” she said.

Click to play video: 'City of Calgary golf courses will not open immediately' City of Calgary golf courses will not open immediately
City of Calgary golf courses will not open immediately – May 1, 2020

“We’re working hard to determine if and when and under what conditions we can open public golf courses.”

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Henry added that private golf courses in the city will be “making their own decisions” on when to re-open in light of Thursday’s provincial announcement.

READ MORE: Alberta golf courses deemed non-essential service: ‘It could be devastating for the industry’

The city also noted on Friday that parking within the Fish Creek Provincial Park will be re-opening, but due to seasonal operations, the Glenmore Reservoir is currently closed to the public.

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