After struggling for more than a year with pandemic-inflicted restrictions, business owners are opening patios while looking ahead to an expected June 10 end of a ban on indoor dining and other public health orders.
Premier Jason Kenney is promising "bigger gatherings, indoor dining, gyms, movie theatres, and more" as long as COVID-19 hospitalizations don't rapidly rise.
There is still a long way to go before Edmontonians are comfortable venturing out, so organizations like the Old Strathcona Business Association are working to raise confidence levels. Expanded sidewalks along Whyte Avenue will welcome visitors as one way to deal with public concerns. "We saw crowding, which is something we (were) very, very concerned about last year. And we know that folks are still nervous about that," Cherie Klassen, executive director of the association, told 630 CHED Mornings with Daryl McIntyre.
The group is also reminding shoppers that masks are still required indoors and asking people to be understanding during the transition to the post-pandemic period. "The last year has not been easy, and there is still a lot to remember to do with masks, distancing and as business operations adjust, so the best thing we can all do is be patient with one another," the group urged in a web post.
A survey by Leger found that about half of Canadians were feeling at least somewhat anxious about going back to the way life was before the pandemic, the Edmonton Journal reported.
That anxiety is impacting Edmonton event planners as groups struggle to decide whether to go ahead with plans to host weddings, parties, and corporate events. "It is absolute chaos, talking to other vendors in the industry and venues," Cocktails and Details owner Jenna Fisher told Global News Edmonton.