Alberta Limit Gatherings to 15 People Due to COVID-19

Alberta has announced that effective today, people are prohibited from attending gatherings of more than 15, and they must observe two metres of social distancing.

According to the news release, workplaces that have not been ordered to close can continue to have more than 15 workers on a worksite as long as those businesses maintain public health measures, including two-metre social distancing, hygiene enforcement and processes that ensure that any person who is ill does not attend these spaces.

The 15-person limit does not apply to certain services or facilities, including grocery stores, shopping centres (access is prohibited to retail stores), health care facilities, airports, the legislature, other essential services.

Public transit is also exempted from the 15-person limit provided 2 metres of social distancing is observed.

Albertans are mandated to main social distancing at

  • open spaces such as trails, fields and parks
  • public and private gatherings where people are brought together in a single room or space at the same time, including funerals, weddings and other formal and informal events

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, “These are aggressive measures and we don’t take them lightly. We need to do everything we can to flatten the curve and keep people healthy. I strongly encourage all Albertans to stay close to home as we are all in this together. Our collective action will protect our family, friends and neighbours.”

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Gatherings allowed with less than 15 people include:

  • conferences
  • workshops
  • worship gatherings
  • family events, such as weddings and funerals
  • social gatherings outdoors

Gathering are to be cancelled even if there are fewer than 15 people, if the event:

  • includes any attendees travelling from outside of Canada
  • has, as its focus, attendees that are members of critical infrastructure or critical service roles (e.g. healthcare workers, first responders,
  • electric/power workers, telecommunications)
  • includes attendees from demographic groups at greater risk of severe disease, such as people 60 years of age or older and individuals with chronic medical conditions
  • has attendees participating in activities that promote disease transmission (e.g. singing, cheering, close contact, sharing food or beverages, buffet-style meals)
  • is in a space that does not allow for recommended social distancing (at least 6 feet between attendees)

On March 25th, Alberta Government announced that individuals will be fined at least $1,000 per occurrence if they failed to follow Alberta’s Public health orders. Courts have the power to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations.

If you are aware of any businesses violating these orders should submit a complaint online immediately.

More details are available here.

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