Alberta Government Imposes New Restrictions

Province Imposes New Restrictions

Michelle Pinon
News Advertiser

With the COVID-19 virus spreading at an “exponential rates” the Province announced it will be implementing additional health measures and restrictions.

Premier Kenney addressed Albertans on December 8 to announce those additional measures and restrictions which he said,“were not as a first resort, but as a last resort” to protect the health care system and lives.

“Effective Dec. 8 all indoor and outdoor social gatherings, both public and private, are prohibited. Close contacts are limited to household members only. People who live alone can have up to 2 close contacts. It does not apply to co-parenting arrangements, service visits from caregivers, health or childcare providers, home maintenance and repairs and mutual support group meetings.

Effective Dec. 8 masks are mandatory in all indoor public places, places of worship, and indoor workplaces outside of the home, except when working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle or a barrier is in place

    • rental accommodations used soley for the purposes of a private residence
    • farm operations (exempt)

This workplace requirement:

  • applies to all employees, customers, visitors, delivery personnel and contractors
  • includes any location where employees are present in-person
  • includes all workplace locations where masks won’t pose a safety risk

Effective Dec. 13, working from home is mandatory unless the employer requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness. Current restrictions on child care and K-12 learning remain in effect.

Effective Dec. 13, retail services must reduce customer capacity to 15 percent of fire code occupancy or a minimum of 5 customers:

  • Curbside pick up, delivery, and online services are encouraged
  • Shop only with the people you live with
  • Shopping mall:
    • capacity limits of 15 percent include common areas and individual stores
    • food courts open for grab and go only

Retail services include: retail businesses operating within a shopping centre or mall, pet supply stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, clothing stores, computer and technology stores, hardware, automotive, sporting goods, liquor and cannabis, gift shops, and approved farmers markets.

All entertainment businesses and entities must close, including: casinos, bingo halls, gaming centres, racing centres, horse tracks, raceways, bowling alleys, pool halls, legions and private clubs and nightclubs, art galleries, libraries, museums, science and interpretive centres, amusement and water parks, children’s play centres and indoor playgrounds, theatres, auditoria, concert halls, banquet halls, conference centres and trade shows.

All indoor recreation facilities must close, including gyms and studios, fitness and recreation centres, spas, pools, indoor rinks and arenas, day and overnight camps, community halls and centres. Outdoor recreation is permitted, but facilities with indoor spaces except for washrooms will be closed.

All personal and wellness services must close. Personal services include: esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing, make-up, body, nose and ear piercing, and tattoos, artificial tanning and spray tanning, facial, eyebrow and eyelash treatments, cosmetic skin and body treatments, laser hair and tattoo removal. Wellness services include: colonic irrigation, floatation tanks, massage, and reflexology.

Regulated health services can remain open by appointment only as long as public health orders and sector guidance is followed. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services. They include: physicians, dentists, physical therapists, optometrists, hearing aid practitioners, acupuncturists and naturopaths

Professional services can remain open by appointment only: lawyers, mediators, accountants and photographers.

Social services can remain open for in-person services including: social, protective or emergency services, shelters for vulnerable persons, not-for-profit community kitchens, religious kitchens and soup kitchens.

Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges may remain open but must follow restrictions: no spa, pool or gym access, and no in-person dining (room service only.)

Mandatory restrictions on performance activities include dancing, singing, theatre and playing wind instruments.

Group physical activities, including team sports, fitness classes and training sessions, are prohibited or restricted across Alberta. Outdoor group physical activity, including team sports, must be limited to 10 people or fewer. Indoor group physical activities are prohibited unless: the group only involves members of the same household, the activity involves students at a school or post-secondary institution as part of an education program, the activity involves students at a post-secondary institution. One-to-one indoor training, such as training with a fitness trainer or coach, is not permitted.

An extensive list of the new restrictions are listed on the COVID-19 Info for Albertans website.