Coronavirus: Edmonton patio restrictions eased as city awaits more provincial guidance on relaunch

Starting next week, the guidelines around patio expansions in Edmonton will be eased as a way to help small businesses increase capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the city’s emergency advisory committee meeting Wednesday afternoon, interim city manager Adam Laughlin said starting on May 19, rules around patio expansions for local businesses will be relaxed.

“This will support businesses in increasing maximum capacity in safe ways and will add to the vibrancy of our city this summer,” Laughlin said.

The rules will be relaxed until the end of the year, Laughlin said, while acknowledging there are a number of space configuration and traffic implications that still need to be worked out.

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“The key message in this is that success of this activity depends on the shared accountability between the city, businesses and Edmontonians. Each of us play a role for this concept to work and we must all play our part,” Laughlin said.

“The city will develop guidelines that establish clear expectations and requirements for businesses. We will provide ongoing support to answer questions and help create the conditions for success.”

Also Wednesday, Laughlin announced the three remaining city-owned off-leash dog parks — Paisley, Manning Village and Alex De Couteau — will open on Saturday.

“We expect that there will be good compliance with physical distancing requirements in these locations like we’ve seen at the other dog parks,” Laughlin said.

During the meeting Wednesday, the mayor and councillors said they are still waiting for more guidance from the provincial government when it comes to a plan to relaunch the economy.

The Alberta government is scheduled to announce Wednesday afternoon if it will move forward with the first stage of its plan to gradually ease restrictions that were brought in to limit the spread of COVID-19.

It’s also been recommended that the city extend its local state of emergency by another week.

More to come…

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