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A truck convoy of anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., Feb. 2, 2022.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Protesters opposed to COVID-19 public health measures who have used transport trucks and other vehicles to block a major border crossing in southern Alberta are opening up one lane of traffic in each direction, according to lawyers working with the group.

Lawyers Chad Williamson and Martin Rejman said Wednesday afternoon that despite the apparent progress in the stalemate, the protest is not over. The blockade started on Saturday in solidarity with a similar in Ottawa, which was the culmination of a cross-border convoy.

The protesters near Coutts, about a three-hour drive southeast of Calgary, and in Ottawa want governments to cancel all COVID-19 restrictions, such as vaccination passports and mask mandates.

Both groups have used tractor trailers and passenger vehicles to block traffic and impede businesses. The blockade at Coutts, which started on Saturday, closed a key border crossing used to export meat products, stranding commercial traffic in both countries.

A day earlier, Premier Jason Kenney condemned the blockade and warned it was damaging the province’s economy. He also alleged, incorrectly, that one of the protesters had assaulted an RCMP officer; a spokesman for the force said he was not aware of that happening.

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