New Restrictions: Alberta Closes Outdoor Patios, Salons, and Moves School Online

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced strict measures meant to arrest surging COVID-19 case rates threatening to overwhelm hospitals.

Most new restrictions come into force effective May 5 and will remain in place for at least three weeks. These new measures apply to all Albertans, businesses, organizations and service providers in municipalities or areas with more than 50 cases per 100,000 people and with 30 or more active cases.

Alberta has more than 23,000 active COVID-19 infections and has the highest case rate of any jurisdiction in North America. A total of 150 infected people were in intensive care on Tuesday, slightly lower than the record 154 a day earlier.

New Measures:

 

The following mandatory public health measures will apply to all communities with more than 50 cases per 100,000 people and with 30 or more active cases:

Outdoor social gatherings – Effective May 5

  • All outside social gatherings must be limited to no more than five people.
  • This is a decrease from the previous 10-person limit.
  • Mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households.
  • All indoor social gatherings are still prohibited.

Indoor fitness – Effective May 5

  • All indoor fitness must close, including for one-on-one training.

Funerals – Effective May 5

  • No more than 10 people can attend funeral services, including participants and guests.
  • This is a decrease from the current limit of 20 people, and brings funerals in line with wedding services
  • Wedding and funeral receptions are still not permitted.

Retail – Effective May 5

  • Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10 per cent of fire code occupancy (not including staff) or a minimum of five customers.
  • The 10 per cent capacity limit at shopping malls will exclude common area square footage.
  • Curbside pick up, delivery and online services are encouraged.

Post-secondary institutions – Effective May 5

  • All post-secondary learning must shift to online learning only.

Places of worship – Effective May 5

  • Faith services are limited to in-person attendance of 15 people. This is a decrease from the previous 15 per cent capacity limit.
  • Physical distancing between households must be maintained at all times.
  • Virtual or online services are strongly recommended.
  • Drive-in services where people do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance are allowed.

Hotels/motels – Effective May 5

  • Hotels and motels can remain open but pools and recreation facilities must close.

Working from home – Effective May 5

  • Working from home remains mandatory unless the employer requires the employee’s physical presence to operate effectively.
  • Where at work for operational effectiveness, employees must mask for all indoor settings, except in work stations or where two-metre physical distancing or adequate physical barriers are in place.

Work place transmission – Effective May 5

  • Any workplace, except work camps and essential and critical services, with transmission of three or more cases will be required by health officials to close for 10 days.
  • Any workplace that does not comply will be subject to enforcement.

Schools (K-12) – Effective May 7

  • All kindergarten to Grade 12 students will temporarily shift to at-home learning, starting on May 7. Students will return to in-class learning on May 25. Exceptions will continue to be available for students with disabilities so they can continue to attend in-person classes as necessary.

Restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges and cafes – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9

  • In-person dining on patios is prohibited. Only take out or delivery services are allowed.

Personal and wellness services – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9

  • Hair salons, barbers, nail salons, estheticians, tattoos and piercing, must close.
  • Previously, these were allowed by appointment only.

Health, social and professional services – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9

  • Regulated health services, such as physicians, dentists and chiropractors, can remain open by appointment only.
  • Non-regulated health services, such as massage therapists and kinesiologists, can remain open by appointment only.
  • Professional services, such as lawyers and photographers, can remain open by appointment only.
  • Social services, such as shelters and not-for-profit community kitchens, can remain open.

Sports, performance and recreation – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9

  • All outdoor sports and recreation are now prohibited except with members of your household or, if living alone, two close contacts. This is a decrease from the current limit of 10 people.
  • This includes:
    • all group physical activities, such as team sports, fitness classes, training sessions
    • all one-on-one lessons and training activities
    • all practices, training and games
  • All indoor sport and recreation is prohibited, including youth sports.
  • All indoor performance activity is prohibited, including youth performances.
  • Professional sport organizations that have received an exemption can continue, provided protocols are strictly followed.

Restrictions for Municipalities below the regional threshold:

 

Municipalities that have fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people and/or fewer than 30 active cases will be required to return to Step 0 level restrictions.

This includes:

Outdoor social gatherings

    • All outside social gatherings must be limited to no more than 10 people
    • Mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households.
    • All indoor social gatherings are still prohibited.

Funerals

    • No more than 20 people can attend funeral services, including participants and guests.
    • This continues the current limit of 20 people, and brings funerals in line with wedding services.
    • Wedding and funeral receptions are still not permitted.

Indoor Fitness – Effective May 5

    • All indoor fitness must close, including for 1-on-1 training.

All youth and adult indoor sport, performance and recreation activities – Effective May 5

    • All youth and adult indoor sport, performance and recreation activities are prohibited.
    • All indoor recreation facilities must close. Outdoor recreation amenities can be open to public access unless specifically closed by public health order.
    • Outdoor recreation with up to 10 people is allowed.

Personal and wellness services can stay open by appointment only.

Municipalities below the regional threshold

Municipalities that have fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people and/or fewer than 30 active cases will be required to return to Step 0 level restrictions.

The following municipalities have fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people and/or fewer than 30 active cases:

    • Clear Hills County
    • I.d. No. 12 (Jasper National Park)
    • I.d. No. 13 (Elk Island)
    • I.d. No. 24 (Wood Buffalo)
    • I.d. No. 25 (Willmore Wilderness)
    • I.d. No. 349
    • I.d. No. 4 (Waterton)
    • Municipal District of Acadia No. 34
    • Municipal District of Ranchland No. 66
    • Saddle Hills County
    • Kananaskis Improvement District
    • Birch Hills County
    • City of Lloydminster
    • Special Areas No. 3
    • Woodlands County
    • Municipality of Jasper
    • Starland County
    • Municipal District of Opportunity No. 17
    • County of Two Hills No. 21
    • County of Northern Lights
    • Thorhild County
    • County of Newell
    • County of Forty Mile No. 8
    • County of Paintearth No. 18
    • Municipal District of Spirit River No. 133
    • Special Areas No. 4
    • Municipal District of Provost No. 52
    • Municipal District of Smoky River No. 130
    • Special Areas No. 2
    • Municipal District of Fairview No. 136
    • Vulcan County
    • Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9
    • Municipal District of Greenview No. 16
    • Municipality of Crowsnest Pass
    • Lamont County
    • County of Minburn No. 27
    • Town of Drumheller
    • Smoky Lake County
    • Northern Sunrise County
    • Lac Ste. Anne County
    • Flagstaff County
    • Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8

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