Premier Jason Kenney announced new restrictions for Alberta on November 24th after he declared a state of public health emergency. Alberta reported 1,115 new COVID-19 cases and there are now 13,349 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions include limits on social gatherings and less face-to-face class time for students. Premier Jason Kenney says there are to be no indoor gatherings, but people who live alone can have up to two personal contacts.
He says students in Grades 7 through 12 will transition next week to at-home learning and the school holiday break will be extended from Dec. 18 to Jan. 11.
Banquet halls, conference centres and concert venues must also close.
Kenney adds that anyone who can work from home should do so and masks will be mandatory in workplaces in Edmonton, Calgary and surrounding areas.
New public health measures
Those who do not follow mandatory restrictions could be fined $1,000 per ticketed offence and up to $100,000 through the courts.
The measures will be in effect for three weeks and re-evaluated after that.
I. Provincewide measures:
Public and private gatherings
Effective immediately, mandatory restrictions on social gatherings are in effect provincewide. These measures will be in place until further notice and include:
- No indoor social gatherings are permitted in any setting, including workplaces.
- Outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
- Funeral services and wedding ceremonies must follow all public health guidance and are limited to a maximum of 10 in-person attendees. Receptions are not permitted.
- No festivals or events.
In all schools, Grades 7-12 will move to at-home learning on Nov. 30, ending in-person classes early.
- Students in early childhood services and Grades K-6 will remain learning in-person until Dec. 18.
- All students will return to at-home learning after the winter break and resume in-person learning on Jan. 11, 2021.
- These measures are mandatory.
Diploma exams are optional for the rest of the school year. Students and their families can choose whether to write the exam or receive an exemption for the April, June, and August 2021 exam sessions.
II. Measures for regions under enhanced status:
Effective immediately, mandatory restrictions on places of worship, businesses and services are in effect in areas under enhanced status. These measures will be in place until further notice.
Places of worship:
- Places of worship are limited to a maximum of one-third normal attendance per service.
- Physical distancing between households and masking are required.
- In-person faith group meetings can continue, but must maintain physical distancing and public health measures must be followed.
Businesses and services:
Starting Nov. 27, business and service restrictions fall under three categories: closed for in-person business, open with restrictions, and open by appointment only.
These measures will remain in place for three weeks, but will be extended if needed.
Businesses that are closed for in-person service include:
- Banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, auditoria and concert venues, non-approved/licensed markets, community centres, children’s play places or indoor playgrounds,
- All levels of sport (professional, semi-professional, junior, collegiate/universities and amateur) unless given an exemption by the chief medical officer of health.
Restaurants, bars, pubs and lounges:
Open with restrictions if they follow all public health guidance in place including:
- Maximum of 6 people from the same immediate household at a table and no movement between tables. People who live alone can meet with up to 2 non-household contacts as long as they’re the same two throughout the duration of these restrictions
- Only seated eating and drinking is permitted. No other services or entertainment will be allowed, including billiards, games or darts.
- Liquor can be sold until 10 pm and food-serving establishments must close to in person-dining at 11 pm. Liquor sales apply to casinos, but casinos are not required to close at 11 pm.
Business Open with 25% Capacity:
Most retail businesses may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.
- Retail, including liquor and cannabis
- Grocery stores
- Clothing stores
- Computer and technology stores
- Farmers markets approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
- Unlicensed outdoor seasonal markets
Entertainment and event services open with 25% Capacity:
- Movie theatres
- Museums and galleries
- Casinos, offering slots only. Table games must be closed at this time.
- Indoor entertainment centres including amusement parks, water parks, bingo halls and racing centres.
- Indoor fitness, recreation, sports and physical activity centres, including dance and yoga studios, martial arts, gymnastics and private or public swimming pools.
- Facilities can be open for individual studio time, training or exercise only.
- There can be no group fitness, group classes, group training, team practices or games.
- Instructors can use facility to broadcast virtual fitness classes from, but there can be no group class.
Businesses open by appointment only:
Businesses open by appointment only are not permitted to offer walk-in services. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.
- Personal services such as hair salons and barbershops, esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing and make-up, piercing and tattoo services,
- Wellness services including acupuncture, massage and reflexology
- Professional services such as lawyers, mediators, accountants and photographers
- Private one-on-one lessons (no private group lessons permitted)
- Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges
III. Specific measures for Calgary, Edmonton and surrounding communities
Mandatory mask requirements
Effective immediately, a new mandatory mask requirement for indoor workplaces is in place for Edmonton, Calgary and surrounding areas. This includes any location where employees are present, and applies to visitors, including delivery personnel, and employees or contractors.
This measure will be in place until further notice.
All existing guidance and legal orders remain in place in all areas. Alberta Health, AHS and local municipalities continue to closely monitor the spread across the province.
— With Files From the Canadian Press