EMERGENCY: Alberta has declared a Public Health Emergency to protect the health care system from COVID-19. Indoor social gatherings are the top source of transmission. All indoor social gatherings have now been banned. This ban will be enforced with $1,000 fines. Learn more
Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy puts safety first while we gradually reopen businesses, resume activities and get people back to work. With strict safety guidelines in place, Albertans can and should confidently support Alberta businesses as we relaunch the economy.
While we face a long road to recovery, our collective efforts have helped slow the spread of COVID-19. We must ensure the sacrifices we've already made are not wasted. To be successful, we must stay vigilant to slow the spread: follow public health measures, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, and continue acting responsibly.
State of public health emergency
New mandatory public health measures take effect starting Nov. 24, including gathering limits, business restrictions, school learning changes and mask requirements. Find out what you need to do.
The plan to move forward requires careful monitoring and respecting all guidelines outlined by the chief medical officer of health.
As public health measures are relaxed, we will evaluate and adjust course as needed. An outbreak may result in enhanced health measures being implemented in a local area. Decisions will be applied at both provincial and local levels.
Enhanced infection prevention and control measures, including physical distancing requirements of at least 2 metres, will remain in place throughout all stages.
PANDEMIC RESPONSE (Prior to May 14)
During the pandemic response, the strongest public health guidelines to manage COVID-19 and foundational elements to support relaunch were put in place.
STAGE 1 (May 14 - June 11)
Stage 1 allowed some businesses to resume operations starting May 14 with enhanced infection prevention and controls in place. The cities of Calgary and Brooks reopened more gradually due to higher case numbers and fully entered Stage 1 as of June 1.
Lifted restrictions – Stage 1
- retail businesses like clothing, furniture and book stores
- all farmers' market vendors
- hairstyling and barber shops
- cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen for table service at 50% capacity
- some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries to resume gradually
- museums and art galleries
- daycares and out-of-school care, with occupancy limits
- day camps, including summer school, with occupancy limits
- post-secondary institutions will continue course delivery, with flexibility for in-person delivery once the existing public health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted
- places of worship and funeral services, if they follow sector-specific guidance
- dog parks and playgrounds, unless restricted by municipal authorities
With strong testing data showing low infection rates and the health care system experiencing low hospitalization and ICU cases, Alberta is ready to proceed to Stage 2 starting June 12.
STAGE 2 (Starting June 12)
Business operators, sport and recreation services can determine if they are ready to open and ensure all guidance for workplaces is met.
What can open with restrictions
- K-12 schools with guidance
- more surgeries
- wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
- personal services (esthetics, cosmetics skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments, artificial tanning)
- movie theatres and theatres
- community halls
- team sports
- indoor recreation, fitness and sports, including gyms and arenas
- indoor and outdoor pools for leisure swimming and indoor and outdoor hot pools/whirlpools
- VLTs in restaurants and bars
- hookah lounges
- bingo halls and casinos (but not table games)
- indoor and outdoor instrumental and vocal concerts
- provincial campgrounds at full capacity
- trade shows
- indoor children’s play centres and outdoor playgrounds
Events and gatherings can be larger in stage 2
- 50 people maximum: indoor social gatherings, including wedding and funeral receptions, and birthday parties
- 200 people maximum for audience-type community outdoor events, such as festivals, firework displays, rodeos and sporting events, and outdoor performances
- 100 people maximum for other outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events, including wedding ceremonies, funeral services, movie theatres, indoor arts and culture performances and other indoor spectator events where people remain seated
- No cap on the number of people (with public health measures in place):
- worship gatherings
- restaurant, cafes, lounges and bars
- bingo halls
- exhibits and trade shows
- More flexibility for ‘cohort’ groups – small groups of people whose members do not always keep 2 metres apart:
- households can increase their close interactions with other households to a maximum of 15 people
- performers can have a cohort of up to 50 people (cast members or performers)
- sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players (mini leagues)
- people can be part of a sports/performing cohort and a household cohort at the same time
Still not approved in stage 2
Unless an exemption has been provided, the following are still not permitted:
- social gatherings that exceed above listed maximums
- major festivals and concerts, large conferences and events (as these are non-seated social events)
- amusement parks
- major sporting events and tournaments
The success of Stage 2 will determine when Alberta progresses to Stage 3. Factors are active cases, health-care system capacity, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) cases, and infection rates.
STAGE 3 (Timing TBD)
- fully reopening all businesses and services, with some restrictions
- larger gatherings permitted (number of people to be determined)
- arts and culture festivals, vocal concerts and major sporting events will be permitted with restrictions
- nightclubs will reopen, with restrictions
- industry conferences can resume, with restrictions
- no restrictions on non-essential travel
- physical distancing restrictions will be maintained
COVID-19 status map
Some regions may need to put additional measures in place to address local outbreaks. Find out the status in your area and sign up to be notified if there is a change.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 among staff and customers, businesses should follow general and sector-specific guidance documents and implement measures to comply with public health requirements.
Alberta Biz Connect
Support is available to help businesses and non-profits reopen and resume operations safely.
Restricted and non-restricted services
The list of businesses and sectors currently permitted to or are restricted from providing services at locations accessible to the public.
Conditions for relaunch
Each stage of relaunch depends on our ability to keep infection numbers low. Health measures we are watching include hospitalizations and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) occupancy. Confirmed cases will be monitored in real time to inform proactive responses in localized areas of the province.
To ensure a safer reopening, the following elements are in place:
- enhance our nation-leading testing capacity at the highest level in Canada
- robust and comprehensive contact tracing, aided by technology, to quickly notify people who may have been exposed
- support for people who test positive to enable effective isolation and contain spread
- stronger international border controls and airport screening, especially for international travellers
- rules and guidance for the use of masks in crowded spaces, like mass transit
- strong protections for the most at-risk, including those in long-term care, continuing care and seniors lodges
- a rapid response plan in the event of possible outbreaks of COVID-19
Do your part
We’re confident Albertans will face relaunch and recovery with the same focus, discipline and resilience they have shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
We need to guard against complacency and be patient.
Our individual actions are the strongest tool we have to protect our health care system and each other as we work to relaunch our economy.