The provincial government held a news conference this morning to speak about the vaccine rollout in Alberta and the introduction of stronger COVID-19 restrictions.

Every Albertan over the age of 12 by Monday will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“This is a major milestone in our vaccine rollout,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

He said it’s been a long road and he thanked Albertans for their patience.

Starting tomorrow Albertans born in 1991 or earlier will be able to book their vaccine.

He said they are staggering the bookings to save on frustration and ease the booking process.

Kenney said the province is the first district to offer the vaccine to people 12 years and older no matter where they live. He says if they receive the vaccine shipments they expect that they anticipate they will be complete by June.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro spoke about additional health measures.

“The best vaccine is the one that is available right now,” said Shandro. He touched on the fact that an Albertan has died because of a rare blood clot related to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He said people should talk to a health care professional if they have questions.

In terms of restrictions, Shandro said the measures are tough and they are absolutely necessary.

“Last week we set a record for ICU admissions,” he said.

He said today there are almost 24,000 active cases in the province. All outside social gatherings are limited to 5 people, indoor gatherings are restricted. All indoor fitness is prohibited. All post-secondary schools are going online, and funerals are limited to 10 guests.

Workplaces with three or more positive cases will be required to close for 10 days. Except for situations where the closure would be against the public interest.

Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools will shift to online learning from May 7 to May 25.

Starting on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. patio and outside dining must stop. Personal services like hair salons and barbers must close. All outdoor sports and recreation are restricted to members of households or two close contacts for those who live alone.

“All of these new restrictions will be in place for at least three weeks,” said Shandro.

“These measures will help us bend down the curve and get to the end of the pandemic,” he said.

“We will get this final wave of COVID under control,” he said.