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.
COVID-19 relaunch status map and notifications
As Alberta reopens, some regions may need to put additional measures in place to address local outbreaks. Learn more about the regional relaunch status in your area and sign up to be notified if there is a change in your area.
Key measures to watch and timing
Thanks to Albertans, the health care system continues to be able to cope with COVID-19.
The plan to move forward requires careful monitoring and respecting all guidelines outlined by the chief medical officer of health.
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.
As public health measures are relaxed, we will evaluate, monitor and adjust course as needed.
Decisions will be applied at both provincial and local levels. An outbreak may result in enhanced health measures being implemented in a local area.
Enhanced infection prevention and control measures, including physical distancing requirements of at least 2 metres, will remain in place throughout all stages.
For more details:
- Alberta's Relaunch Strategy (updated June 9, 2020)
- View the COVID-19 status map and sign up for local notifications
- Get workplace guidance for reopening
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, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following 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
- pools for leisure swimming
- VLTs in restaurants and bars
- bingo halls and casinos (but not table games)
- instrumental concerts
- provincial campgrounds at full capacity
- trade shows
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 (updated June 30)
- 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 (updated June 30)
- No cap on the number of people (with public health measures in place):
- worship gatherings
- restaurant, cafes, lounges and bars
- bingo halls
- 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
- social gatherings that exceed above listed maximums
- regular in-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 – classes will resume September 2020
- indoor vocal concerts (as singing carries a higher risk of transmission)
- major festivals and concerts, large conferences, trade shows and events (as these are non-seated social events and/or vocal concerts)
- amusement parks
- indoor children’s play places
- hookah lounges (permitted for food and drink only)
- major sporting events and tournaments
- non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended – this won't be lifted until stage 3 of the relaunch strategy
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
Conditions for relaunch
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
Guidance for relaunch
When reopening, businesses should become familiar with general and sector-specific guidance documents and implement measures to comply with public health requirements to reduce the risk of COVID-19 among staff and customers.
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.
Help us, help you
How we can cut red tape to help your business save time, create jobs and reduce costs?
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.