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Exemptions granted for post-secondary convocation ceremonies in Alberta

University of British Columbia students attend spring convocation in Vancouver in a May 20, 2015, file photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck) University of British Columbia students attend spring convocation in Vancouver in a May 20, 2015, file photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
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EDMONTON -

Alberta post-secondary institutions have been granted an exemption from public health guidelines to host indoor convocation ceremonies.

As of Oct. 7., indoor convocation ceremonies can be held in the province so long as all attendees show proof of vaccination prior, physically distance from members of different households, and wear face masks for the duration of the event.

The exemption was signed and authorized by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

According to the exemption letter, Hinshaw had received several requests from post-secondaries to host indoor graduation ceremonies “without implementing certain public health measures,” including allowing maximum facility capacity, speakers at an event not needing to wear a mask while at a podium, permitting group performances, and post-ceremony receptions.

Currently, public health restrictions limit indoor social gatherings to members of two households, with a maximum of 10 vaccine-eligible people, and prohibit indoor social gatherings for unvaccinated people.

Those rules will no longer apply to convocation ceremonies.

The exemption to restrictions permits indoor seated or standing dining for post-convocation ceremony receptions, but only if people are seated or gather at a standing table with members of their cohort.

The exemption can be terminated or modified by the chief medical officer of health at any time without notice. 

Correction

A previous version of this article stated public health restrictions limited indoor social gatherings to a minimum of 10 vaccine-eligible people. In fact, Alberta's current rules restrict indoor social gatherings to a maximum of 10 vaccine-eligible people. 

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