As businesses prepare to reopen as part of Alberta's relaunch strategy, resources are available to help keep you, your staff, and your customers safe.
By working together, we can ensure our sacrifices to slow the spread of COVID-19 are not wasted. Continue acting responsibly by following public health and physical distancing measures and using good hygiene and disinfecting practices.
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.
As businesses prepare to reopen, it's important to take measures to protect employees and customers:
- practice good hygiene and thorough cleaning and disinfecting
- use Health Canada approved hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers for use against COVID-19 (search products by DIN number)
- conduct a hazard assessment to identify existing and potential hazards related to COVID-19
- understand the basic requirements of occupational health and safety (OHS) laws
- aid physical separation through barriers (Plexiglas), signage, floor markings and traffic flow controls to limit people in a space
- use personal protective equipment and wear it properly:
Personal protective equipment
Connect to PPE suppliers using the websites below. The government is not responsible for products or prices offered on these sites.
Alberta-based businesses that manufacture PPE can find out how to help at Alberta Bits and Pieces.
Alberta's relaunch strategy
A staged plan to gradually reopen businesses, resume activities and get people back to work, while putting safety first.
Stage 2 allows more businesses and services to resume operations starting June 12.
Restricted and non-restricted services
The list of businesses and sectors currently permitted to or restricted from providing services at locations accessible to the public.
Workplace rule changes
Temporary changes to employment standards, occupational health and safety, and workers' compensation to help businesses manage the rapidly changing conditions caused by COVID-19.
Commercial tenancy support feedback
Commercial tenants and landlords can share their experiences to help us understand the challenges they faced with developing payment schedules, paying rent or meeting other financial obligations during the pandemic.
The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers up to $5,000 in funding for eligible small- and medium-sized businesses, cooperatives and non-profits to offset a portion of their relaunch costs.
Businesses and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit, including implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission such as physical barriers, purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies, paying rent and employee wages, replacing inventory and more.
Application intake is now open. Additional program details including eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found on the program webpage.
Protecting commercial tenants
The Commercial Tenancies Protection Act ensures eligible commercial tenants will not face rent increases or be evicted for non-payment of rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new measures help address shortfalls in the current Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and give eligible business owners peace of mind as they reopen and help with Alberta's economic recovery.
Banks and credit unions
- Business members should contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation.
- ATB small business customers can:
- apply for a payment deferral on loans and lines of credit for up to 6 months
- access additional working capital for ATB customers
- Other ATB business and agriculture customers can access support on a one-on-one basis.Further solutions are being considered at this time.
Corporate income tax changes
Alberta corporate income tax balances owing on or after March 18, 2020, or instalments due between March 18, 2020 and September 30, 2020, may be deferred until September 30, 2020 to increase access to cash so employers can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.
Due dates for filing corporate income tax returns have been extended to:
- June 1, 2020: for returns due after March 18, 2020 and before June 1, 2020
- September 1, 2020: for returns due in July, July or August 2020
Education property tax deferral
Education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.
Collection of non-residential education property tax for businesses will be deferred for 6 months, or both municipal and education property tax are deferred for a shorter time that is of equivalent benefit.
- Municipalities are expected to set education property tax rates as they normally would, but defer collection.
- Commercial landlords are encouraged to pass savings on to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments to help employers pay their employees and stay in business.
- Businesses capable of paying their taxes in full are encouraged to do to so. This will assist the province in supporting Albertans through the pandemic.
- Taxpayers should contact their municipality directly for information for details on their municipality’s approach to education property tax deferrals.
Tourism levy deferral
Hotels and other lodging providers are permitted to keep tourism levy amounts collected between March 1 and December 31, 2020. Providers that have already remitted amounts collected after March 1, 2020 are entitled to a refund.
A deferral of tourism levy remittances remains in place until August 31, 2020 for unpaid amounts that became due to the government on or after March 27, 2020, but are not eligible for the additional assistance described above.
Utility payment deferral
Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments until June 18, 2020 to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19, such as those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.
Call your utility provider directly to arrange for deferral on all payments until June 18, 2020.
WCB premium payment deferrals
Small, medium and large private sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021.
- For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50% of the 2020 premium when it is due in 2021 – saving businesses $350 million.
- Large employers will have their 2020 WCB premium payments deferred until 2021, at which time their premiums will be due.
Employers who have already paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.
Federal government programs
The federal government offers a range of programs to support businesses, including:
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
- Canada Emergency Business Account
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (now accepting applications)
Questions about reopening
Why are businesses reopening in stages?
Alberta's three-stage relaunch strategy was created to balance the continued need to slow the spread of COVID-19, with the need to reopen the economy and get people back to work.
Our decisions on what businesses can open and what stays closed were made based on the advise of Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, with the health and safety of Albertans as the main priority.
As we move through the stages, we will closely monitor each action to guard against a second wave of the virus. There may be times we need to step back, but we will move forward together.
Do businesses have to reopen if they're allowed?
No. It will be up to each business operator to determine if they are ready to open and ensure all guidance have been met.
Businesses allowed to re-open during stage one will be subject to strict infection prevention and controls, and will be carefully monitored for compliance with public health orders.
If you have questions about how relaunch may apply to your business, please review information on the website and if it’s not there, email BizConnect@gov.ab.ca.
Who do I contact if I think my business should open in a different stage?
If you have questions about how relaunch may apply to your business, please review information on the website and if the information is not there, email BizConnect@gov.ab.ca.
When will travel restrictions be lifted?
Non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended. This recommendation will not be lifted until Stage 3.
Travel restrictions, airport screening and mandatory isolation measures will also remain in place until the later stages of relaunch.
What is allowed to reopen in Stage 2?
- K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
- Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
- Personal services (esthetics, cosmetics skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatment artificial tanning)
- Indoor recreation, fitness, and sports, including gyms and arenas
- Movie theatres and theatres
- Community halls
- Team sports
- Pools for leisure swimming
- VLTs in restaurants and bars
- Casinos and bingo halls (but not table games)
- Instrumental concerts
What events and gatherings can be larger in Stage 2?
Maximum 50 people:
- Indoor social gatherings – including wedding and funeral receptions, and birthday parties
Maximum 200 people:
- Audience-type community outdoor events – including festivals, firework displays, rodeos and sporting events, and outdoor performances
Maximum 100 people:
- 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 and physical distancing in place):
- Worship gatherings
- Restaurants, cafes, lounges and bars
- Bingo halls
(updated June 30)
What is not allowed to open in Stage 2?
- Regular in-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 – classes will resume September 2020
- 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
- Hookah lounges (permitted for food and drink only)
- Major sporting events and tournaments
- Non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended – this recommendation will not be lifted until Stage 3 of the relaunch strategy
Why wasn’t my business or service included in Stage 2?
The decisions about which businesses to include for Stage 2 were based on Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.
Businesses and services that will have to wait to Stage 3 to resume operations were chosen due to a number of public health factors, such as large gathering sizes and close proximity between patrons.
When will a date and guidance for Stage 3 be released?
There is no current date set. 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. See Alberta's Relaunch Strategy for more information.
Questions about a safe and healthy relaunch
What are the guidelines for serving meals to homeless people?
The guidance for emergency shelters and short-term and long-term transitional beds/units for Albertans facing family violence or homelessness and precarious housing is to stagger mealtimes to reduce crowding and enable physical distancing in shared eating facilities.
- Stagger the schedule for use of common/shared kitchens
- Provide bagged meals for clients to take away
- Stagger meals to specific cohorts/groups and floors
Each shelter in Alberta is unique and these guidelines are provided to help each site come up with their own plan to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, see Shelter Guidance: Preventing, Controlling and Managing COVID-19.
Does the guidance replace or change OHS requirements?
No. Employers should continue to meet existing occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements.
OHS questions and concerns can be directed to the OHS Contact Centre online or by phone at 1-866-415-8690 (in Alberta) or 780-415-8690 (in Edmonton).
What kind of PPE does my business need?
Businesses should conduct a hazard assessment to identify existing and potential hazards related to COVID-19.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary when physical distancing of 2 metres or physical barriers cannot be maintained by administrative and engineering controls (like barriers or partitions, floor markings, limiting the number people in your business at one time).
Examples of PPE include gloves, eye protection, gown, face protections, procedure/surgical masks or NIOSH-N95 masks.
Masks must be worn properly to be effective. Find out how at alberta.ca/masks.
Businesses can purchase PPE by visiting the following procurement websites:
Can I legally require customers and/or staff to wear masks?
While there are no public health orders mandating the use of masks, businesses are responsible for determining appropriate measures to protect the health of staff and patrons.
This may include requirements for staff and patrons to wear masks if a business owner determines this step is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Is it mandatory for employees to return to work if a business reopens?
If an employer has met all the requirements to resume operations, an employer can recall employees from a temporary layoff. If the employee does not return to work, the employment will be deemed terminated by the employee.
From a health and safety perspective, workers may suggest it is unsafe to return to work. Employees do have the right to refuse work – but this must be for a specific task/activity, and would not normally allow for workers to refuse to attend work.
For detailed information, contact:
What happens if an employee refuses to return to work after a temporary layoff?
An employer may request an employee, who is on a temporary layoff, return to work by providing the employee with a recall notice.
If an employee fails to return to work within 7 days of being served with the recall notice, the employee is not entitled to termination notice or termination pay if the employer decides to terminate the employee’s employment as a result of the employee’s failure to return to work.
Can coworkers carpool?
Yes, carpooling is permitted.
If you carpool, it's recommended to maintain physical distancing as much as possible, stagger seating and practice good hygiene. Anyone feeling unwell must stay home.
Preventative hygiene measures should also be followed, including:
- avoid touching your face
- wear a mask
- stay as far away from other passengers as possible
- sanitize hands when leaving the vehicle
- frequently sanitize commonly touched vehicle surfaces, such as door handles, seatbelt buckles, steering wheel, dashboard
Questions about restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars
Have the restrictions for restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars changed as part of Stage 2?
Guidance on restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars has changed in the following ways:
- Maximum occupancy limits have increased.
- There is no cap on capacity for restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, as long as there is a 2 metre distance or appropriate barriers between dining parties.
- Some bar activities are now permitted, including billiards and darts.
Please refer to the guidance for restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars for information on risk mitigation.
When can Royal Canadian Legions – billiards, pool, darts, etc. – open?
These are permitted to open. Some bar activities, such as billiards and darts, are permitted.
Please refer to guidance for restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars.
Are comedy clubs and live music included in Stage 2?
Comedy clubs and live instrumental music performances are included in Stage 2.
Vocal concerts will not be allowed in Stage 2.
When is live entertainment in pub and lounges reopening?
Live entertainment will be allowed to resume in pubs and bars in Stage 3.
Are food trucks allowed to operate?
Yes. Please refer to guidance for restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars.
I’m a bar owner with VLTs – can VLT’s operate?
VLTs are allowed to operate as part of Stage 2. Prior to re-starting gaming operations, retailers are to submit an operational plan to AGLC detailing how they plan to meet the chief medical officer of health’s guidelines within their VLT area. More information is available in guidance for VLT retailers.
Will all games be available for play at casinos (slot machines, poker, blackjack, etc.)?
No. Table games will be able to resume for Stage 3. For more information, please refer to guidance for casinos and RECs.
What process are bingo halls required to follow to ensure the screens are safe to play?
For information on risk mitigation, please refer to our guidance for bingo halls.
Questions about personal and wellness services
What personal services will be allowed to be open under Stage 2?
Personal service providers must continue to comply with requirements in the personal services regulation and standards. Operators are encouraged to call their local public health inspector with questions about compliance with the regulation and standards.
Personal and cosmetic enhancement services include, but are not limited to:
- 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
Details are available in guidance for personal services (PDF, 329 KB).
What wellness services will be allowed to open under Stage 2?
Wellness services include, but are not limited to:
- massage therapy
- floatation/sensory deprivation
- energy healing
Details are available in guidance for wellness services (PDF, 310 KB).
Does this include meditation centres?
Meditation centres can resume operations. Please refer to the general workplace guidance for advice on risk mitigation.
Is massage therapy a personal service and allowed to happen in Stage 2?
Yes, massage therapy is considered a wellness service that is included in Stage 2 of relaunch.
More information is available in guidance for wellness services (PDF, 310 KB).
Do customers need to wear PPE for wellness services, such as massage therapy and for personal services such as pedicures?
For wellness and personal services, clients are encouraged to wear masks for their appointments. It is recommended that you ask clients to bring their own mask and have a supply of masks on hand. Mask changes may be necessary during services that are longer in duration. Masks should be changed if they become damp.
Businesses should conduct a hazard assessment to identify existing and potential hazards related to COVID-19 to help determine what type of controls, including the use of PPE, should be used.
A physical barrier (such as a clear acrylic sheet) should be placed between staff and clients when services are provided in a face-to-face manner (e.g., manicures, microderm abrasion, make-up application).
Barriers can be modified to allow hands to pass underneath but prevent droplet transmission.
Where barriers are not possible, it is expected that the worker wear a mask (non-surgical masks at a minimum).
More information is available in:
Can hair salons, barbers and personal services reopen?
Hair salons and barbers
Hair salons and barbers were permitted to gradually resume operations as part of Stage 1, with increased infection prevention controls in place.
Stylists and barbers have regulated training and certification standards in place to keep themselves and their clients safe.
Hair salon and barbershop owners and workers should follow the general and sector specific guidance, and must continue to comply with regulations.
Can make-up artists resume work?
Yes. Please refer to the guidance for personal services (PDF, 329 KB) on ways you can mitigate the risk to yourself and customers.
I run a laser clinic – can I reopen and under what guidelines? What PPE do I need?
Yes, laser clinics are permitted to operate. Please refer to the guidance for personal services (PDF, 329 KB) on ways you can mitigate the risk to staff and clients.
Businesses should conduct a hazard assessment to identify existing and potential hazards related to COVID-19 to help determine what type of controls, including the use of PPE, should be used.
Our family wellness centre includes a physiotherapy business – can that open before the fitness parts? What PPE do I need?
Physio-therapy as well as indoor fitness facilities and activities can resume operation. Please refer to guidance for personal services (PDF, 329 KB).
What PPE is required for esthetics (such as manicures, body waxing and makeup) and personal services (such as tattoos)?
In addition to any industry-specific PPE required as part of the personal services regulation and standards, we recommend either a physical barrier or the use of face masks for any services provided in a face-to-face manner.
For more information, refer to guidance for personal services (PDF, 329 KB).
The town is interested in operating summer day camps - can we provide this within the community centre?
Yes, provided the current restrictions on indoor and outdoor gathering sizes are followed. See guidance for day camps for more information.
When can AA/NA groups have a meetings in the community centres or church halls?
These meetings can resume, but must follow the current restrictions on indoor gathering sizes. Other mitigations, such as physical distancing, are strongly encouraged. For risk mitigation suggestions, please refer to general relaunch guidance.
Questions about sport, physical activity and recreation
Can sports leagues mix cohorts?
Where sports and activities cannot be modified to maintain distance, the number of contacts between different participants should be limited. This is done by playing within set cohorts (e.g., mini-leagues, with a fixed number of participants). A cohort is defined as a closed, small group of no more than 50 individuals who participate in the same sport or activity, and remain together for the duration of Stage 2.
Mini-leagues should not exceed 50 people. This number includes those participants, officials, coaches and trainers who cannot maintain 2 metres of distance from others at all times. This number does not include parents and spectators.
Cohorts or mini-leagues should remain together during Stage 2 of Relaunch and only play within the same geographical region (e.g., within a county, town or quadrant of a city).
For more information, see guidance for sport, physical activity and recreation – Stage 2 (PDF, 540 KB) .
What kind of fitness and physical recreation facilities are now open?
Pools, arenas, community centres, indoor gyms, indoor fitness centres, indoor studios and recreation centres that offer or provide access to sport, physical activity and recreation registered programming will be open as part of Stage 2. Examples include:
- Public gyms
- Private gyms
- Crossfit gyms
- Mobile/at home personal training
- Sports camps
- Gymnastics clubs
- Dance organizations and training
- Yoga/hot yoga
- Pilates studios
- Boxing/martial arts/MMA
- Spin classes
- Zumba/dance fitness
- Seniors’ fitness classes
- Municipal recreation centres
- Climbing walls
- Squash and racquet ball courts
- Indoor tracks
- Weight rooms
- Ice arenas
- Multi-use gymnasiums, fieldhouses and community centres
For more information, please refer to the guidance for indoor sport, physical activity and recreation (PDF, 663 KB).
What kind of facilities are open as indoor recreation entertainment?
Indoor interactive attractions and entertainment venues include:
- Trampoline parks
- Bowling alleys
- Billiard halls
- Mini-golf courses
- Laser tag
What kind of pools and aquatic activities are allowed to resume?
Indoor and outdoor pools are allowed to resume operations. This also includes hotel, motel, apartment and condo pools, provided that a responsible person is available to ensure compliance with the guidance for swimming pools and whirlpools (PDF, 335 KB).
Aquatic sports, diving, lane swimming, swimming camps and lessons, drop-in swimming, leisure aquatic features (such as lazy rivers, water slides and wave pools) are permitted to resume in Stage 2.
Whirlpools, hot tubs, dry saunas and steam saunas will remain closed until Stage 3.
What does outdoor recreation (entertainment) include?
Activities that take place outdoors, that are not prohibited by the current public health orders, can resume with physical distancing, gathering limits and enhanced protection controls in place.
- Boot camps/organized group fitness – Outdoor fitness classes were permitted starting in Stage 1 of relaunch. More information is available in guidance for outdoor fitness.
- Outdoor theatre (Shakespeare in the Park, etc.) is permitted to resume as part of Stage 2. Please refer to guidance for live music dance and theatre.
- Walking tours can resume, provided current restrictions on outdoor and indoor gathering sizes are followed.
I am an independent dance instructor – am I allowed to start teaching private lessons?
Yes. For risk mitigation, please refer to guidance for indoor sport, physical activity and recreation (PDF, 663 KB).
Can fitness (yoga, exercise) classes in seniors centres resume? If so, what are the guidelines?
While these types of classes are permitted, consideration should be given to how to appropriately include or accommodate vulnerable persons such as seniors and people with compromised immune systems (such as offering virtual methods of engagement, live streaming etc.).
Can trail rides and carriage rides begin? What about equestrian camps?
These activities are all permitted to resume.
Are sleepover camps permitted?
Sleepover camps are not permitted in Stage 2.
Where do escape rooms fall into the relaunch strategy?
Escape rooms are able to resume as part of Stage 2. Please refer to the general relaunch guidance for risk mitigation.
Can bowling alleys open? If so, what about leagues and tournaments? Are there special precautions that players need to take?
Yes, bowling alleys can resume operations. Leagues and tournaments are permitted, but we precautions are strongly recommend. For more information, please refer to guidance for indoor sport, physical activity and recreation.
Can pottery studios (and paint your own pottery businesses) open?
Yes. Businesses can resume operations, provided risk mitigation is in place. Please refer to the general relaunch guidance.
What stage can mini golf open and what restrictions must be followed?
Mini golf is permitted to resume. For indoor mini golf, more information is available in the guidance for indoor recreation entertainment.
What are the restrictions for sports events/leagues/tournaments?
All aspects of organized sport, physical activity and recreation may proceed (programming, training, practice and competition).
For those activities where participants are unable to adhere to physical distancing, cohorts of a total of 50 individuals should be formed (mini-league).
Sports events, leagues and tournaments must comply with requirements in the Guidance for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation.
While small events and leagues may resume, tournaments are discouraged in Stage 2 given the small cohort number and the restriction on extra-regional play.
Questions about places of worship
What specifically is changing for places of worship? Why is there no limit on attendance?
Places of worship will no longer have a capacity cap for worship services but must maintain 2 metres of distance between attendees not from the same household or cohort family.
This is to make sure people can access locations across the province and continue with their faith practices, while also reducing the risk of COVID-19.
We also recognize that places of worship are structured environments with respected leaders who will work with their congregation to ensure measures are in place.
Attendance caps have been removed with the knowledge that each faith community’s leadership will be responsible for ensuring that measures are taken to prevent spread within their community.
Is communion allowed?
Yes. Please review the guidance for places of worship for precautions and other risk mitigation.
Are church choirs allowed?
Congregational singing is discouraged, and we recommend places of worship consider a soloist or instrumental music instead.
For more information, please refer to the guidance for places of worship.
Are funerals services allowed?
Funeral services are permitted but must follow the maximum capacity limit for indoor and outdoor gatherings.
For more information, please refer to the guidance for funeral homes (PDF, 310 KB).
Do I need to wear PPE when I attend my place of worship?
You are encouraged to wear a non-medical mask. Non-medical masks should be provided to staff and volunteers who are unable to maintain two-metre physical distance from congregants.
Can my church resume its bingo operations for fundraising?
Can my church/synagogue/mosque resume social and fellowship activities?
These activities are permitted but must follow the current restrictions on indoor and outdoor gathering sizes. Additional precautions are also strongly encouraged to limit the risk of infection. For more information, please refer to guidance for places of worship.
Questions about outdoor events
For drive-by events such as graduations and performances at parks – can people get out of their vehicles?
To help limit the risk of transmission for attendees, Alberta Health recommends staying in the vehicle at all times at drive-in, driveby and drive through events.
Unless otherwise identified in public health orders, the following gathering restrictions are in place for events where attendees are able to leave their vehicle (to purchase something at concessions or attend other activities or settings outside of their vehicles): up to a maximum of 100 individuals with physical distancing between attendees is strongly encouraged.
For more information, please refer to guidance for outdoor events, graduations.
What are the recommendations for parades?
It is recommended that parades be postponed during Stage 2.
If parades occur, for the municipality/organizer:
- Chose a route where physical distancing can be facilitated between performers/participants and the audience, as well as between audience members
- Consider multiple parades at different locations in the municipality
- Consider virtual options for audience and participants/performers
- Ensure routes are appropriately blocked off and all traffic lights are disabled to facilitate physical distancing
- Encourage audience members to wear masks and bring their own hand sanitizer
- Encourage clapping and non-aerosolizing noise makers; discourage signing and chanting
- Encourage attendees to download the ABTraceTogether app
For the performers/participants it is recommended that:
- Performers/participants remain inside decorated vehicles/bicycles
- Items/candies are not distributed to the audience
- if not in vehicles, formations that enable physical distancing of 2m between individuals not from the same household/cohort and the audience are used (e.g., marching/walking, dancing)
- slogans or phrases are spoken, not yelled; canned music is played rather than live wind music played or singing
- there is greater than 2 meters between each group – care should be taken while the parade is on to maintain this distance
- masks are worn
For the audience:
individuals should maintain at least 2 metres of distance from other individuals not from the same household.
- A maximum of 100 individuals are permitted an outdoor gathering
- A maximum of 100 spectators are permitted for seated/audience settings.
For additional risk mitigation recommendations, please refer to guidance for outdoor events and guidance for public rallies, marches and demonstrations.
- Chose a route where physical distancing can be facilitated between performers/participants and the audience, as well as between audience members
What are the recommendations for BBQs?
It is recommended that Albertans keep their core cohort group small, and limit the number of different people they are in contact with for prolonged periods of time.
Consider having households bring their own food; don’t share tongs or serving utensils between households.
For events in Stage 2, with 2 metres of distance maintained between members of different households, the following capacity restrictions apply:
- A maximum of 100 individuals are permitted an outdoor gathering, including attendees, staff, and volunteers.
- A maximum of 100 spectators are permitted for seated/audience settings.
What are the recommendations for street hockey?
It is recommended that Albertans keep their core cohort
group small, and limit the number of different people they are in contact with for prolonged periods. Casual games of street hockey should be limited to those who are part of a core cohort. For more organized road or ball hockey:
- Create mini-leagues that do not exceed 50 people
- Cohorts or mini-leagues should remain together during Stage 2 of Relaunch and should not play other mini-leagues
- Appoint a person who is responsible to make sure public health measures are followed
- While 2 meters of distance is unlikely to be maintained during a game of street hockey, physically distance as much as possible while playing, as well as before and after games
- Consider wearing non-medical masks
While it appears that the risk of transmission may be less in an outdoor setting, public health guidance should be followed to minimize the risk.
To help limit your risk and plan activities, practices or games, consider the following:
- Can the activity be modified to reduce the sharing of equipment?
- Can the activity be modified to increase opportunities for physical distancing?
- Can activities, practices and games play be shortened or performed with fewer participants?
For additional guidance, please refer to guidance for sport, physical activity and recreation — Stage 2.
What are the restrictions for fire pits?
The use of fire pits is determined by municipal governments and people are encouraged to check with their local municipality about permitted use.
Outdoor gatherings can have up to a maximum of 100 people in attendance, as long as there is 2 metres distance between individuals who are not from the same household or cohort.
What are the restrictions for yard/garage sales?
There are no provincial restrictions on yard or garage sales. People should check with their municipal government for details on any restrictions in place. Anyone hosting a yard or garage sale should follow the COVID-19 general relaunch guidance.
Questions about indoor events
What are the restrictions for graduation ceremonies?
Public access to facilities where graduation ceremonies are usually held (e.g. auditoriums, high schools) is allowed, but the indoor gathering limit of 50 people is still in place. Virtual or drive-in ceremonies are an alternative to traditional in-person graduations.
Graduation ceremonies should comply with requirements in the guidance for graduation ceremonies.
What are the restrictions for using community halls?
Meetings and other events can resume in community halls. The indoor gathering limit is 50 people during Stage 2, as long as 2 metres physical distance is maintained between individuals who are not in the same household/cohort. Please refer to general relaunch guidance for risk mitigation suggestions.
What are the restrictions for theatres?
Theatres and other venues are expected to comply to the extent possible with requirements set out in the guidance for live music, dance and theatre.
What is the maximum number of people allowed in a fitness room in a condominium/apartment complex?
Participants are expected to maintain a distance of 2 metres in lobbies, change rooms, multi-purpose rooms, free-weight areas. For high intensity physical activity (e.g., rows of treadmills and elliptical machines), consider physical barriers or at least three metres distancing between equipment. Exceptions to physical distancing can be made for those who are from the same household.
For more information, please refer to the guidance for sport, physical activity and recreation — Stage 2.
What are the guidelines for cohorts being together in bars, restaurants, and food courts?
No more than 6 individuals are allowed to sit at larger tables in these settings. It is recommended that only members of the same household or cohort family be seated together at a table. Please refer to guidance for restaurants, cafes, pubs and Bars.
What are the occupancy numbers and cohorts together for events in churches, community halls and wedding receptions?
Worship services do not have capacity limitations as long as 2 metres of physical distance is maintained between cohorts.
Meetings and other events can resume in common areas and must follow the current recommendations for physical distancing and limits on indoor gathering sizes.
In Stage 2, with 2 metres of distance maintained between members of different households or cohort families, the following capacity restrictions apply:
- A maximum of 50 individuals are permitted an indoor gathering, including attendees, staff, photographers and volunteers.
- A maximum of 100 spectators are permitted for indoor seated/audience.
Please refer to the following guidance for additional risk mitigation recommendations:
Questions about sectors
I can’t find guidance for my sector, where can I go for info?
Is there a maximum number of cohorts teachers can belong to?
Albertans should only belong to one core cohort and still need to keep it small and safe as possible.
When participating in other types of cohort groups, you should:
- interact outdoors if possible – it’s safer than indoors
- avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places and close contact settings
- keep the cohort in your local community or neighborhood to reduce geographic spread
- be healthy and not show any COVID-19 symptoms (see the full symptom list)
- have not travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days
- have not been in close contact with a case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- keep track of where you go, when you are there and who you meet
- this will be helpful if someone is exposed to COVID-19
Those who are at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 (for example, seniors or those who have underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) may wish to form smaller cohorts, and/or only cohort with people who have no sports, recreation or child care cohorts to minimize exposure potential.
For more advice on forming cohorts, see guidance for cohorts (PDF, 370 KB) .
Can events have live music on a stage?
Live performance activities such as playing non-wind instruments, and dancing may proceed if physical distancing is possible.
At this time, group singing and wind instrument playing (including woodwind and brass) as well as singing and wind instrument performances should not take place.
Wherever possible, music, dance, and theatrical performances should be moved to outdoor settings to reduce the risk of transmission.
See guidance for live music, dance and theatre for more information.
Are day camps allowed to operate?
Day camp programs may operate in cohorts of 50 people. This includes both staff and children.
A cohort is defined as a group of children and staff members assigned to them who stay together throughout the day.
Staff members, parents or guardians and children must not attend the program if they are sick.
Staff must ask parents and guardians to check the temperatures of their children daily before coming to the program.
For more information, refer to Guidance for Day Camps.
Can car washes and home cleaning services operate?
Car washes are not specifically listed as a restricted service. They are safe to continue operations.
Home cleaning businesses are included on the list of non-restricted services. They are able to operate.
See full list of restricted and non-restricted services.
When can driver training and road tests begin?
As driver and motorcycle training businesses are not specifically prohibited to operate, they may operate in accordance with all public health orders related to business, including physical distancing. Operators must continue to be in full compliance with any requirements and regulations for driver training.
Road tests are being prioritized to manage demand within available PPE supplies. Limited road testing is being conducted to support commercial drivers, including school bus drivers, and health-care workers.
Alberta Transportation is working to resume road tests for all classes of driver’s licences. Protocols, including the use of PPE, have been established to allow road tests to be conducted in a manner that helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. As PPE supplies are increasingly available, more tests for more licences will be made available.
Albertans can visit Driver’s Road Tests for more information and how to apply online for road tests.
Can home tutoring reopen?
Yes. The use of masks by both the student and tutor in situations where physical distancing isn’t possible is strongly encouraged.
Can a school band play their instruments together outside?
Conductors, instructors, musicians, technicians, and production crew members who are not cohorting should maintain two metres of physical distance from each other at all times.
At this time, group singing and wind instrument playing (including woodwind and brass) as well as singing and wind instrument performances should not take place. These are considered high-risk activities for COVID-19 spread because infected individuals who participate are more likely to spread infection through their respiratory droplets or aerosols
Learn more in guidance for live music, dance and theatre.
Are there guidelines for youth orchestras?
Not at this time. We recommend following the general precautions for protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 and referring to the general workplace guidance for additional advice.
What are the restrictions for movie theatres?
Movie theatres must set up processes and infrastructure to support 2 metres of distance to be maintained between patrons or households (groups of patrons attending together should be reminded that distancing should be maintained between people outside the same household or cohort family) in the lobby, concession area and theatre rooms.
A maximum of 100 people are permitted per theatre room, as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
For additional risk mitigation, please refer to the guidance for movie theatres.
What are the restrictions for multiplex centres that offer a variety of activities?
For risk mitigation and other recommendations for these kind of facilities, please refer to the guidance for indoor sport, physical activity and recreation.
What are the recommendations for libraries?
Ensure attendees are aware of practices in place by posting signage in highly visible locations or displaying messages on digital screens that outline:
- Physical distancing requirements (2 metres)
- Prohibitions on attendance by attendees who are sick or isolating
- Hand hygiene
- Coughing and sneezing etiquette
- Cleaning and disinfection practices.
Please refer to the guidance for libraries.
Will library services like children’s story time sessions be permitted?
One-on-one library services may continue with appropriate physical distancing and barriers. For adult in-person, group programming (e.g., book clubs, fundraisers, classes, workshops):
- Physical distancing (2 metres) must be applied for participants not from the same household
- Consider limiting the number of participants
- Consider hosting online or virtual activities
Programming for children may operate in adherence with the guidance for day camps.
Where to go for info and advice
What do I do if a business doesn't comply with health orders and guidance?
Businesses allowed to reopen in Stage 1 and 2 are subject to strict infection prevention and control measures, and will be carefully monitored for compliance with public health orders.
If Albertans are concerned that businesses are not following public health orders, they can:
- remind the business owner or operator that not following public health orders is against the law and puts people at risk
- submit a complaint online to AHS public health inspectors
- call 1-833-415-9179 to submit a complaint by leaving a message when prompted
Complaints that require an immediate response can also be reported to your local police force through their administrative phone line. Please do not call municipal 911 services.
Where can I find current COVID-19 info and stats?
Alberta's chief medical officer of health issues frequent updates on the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta and COVID-19 case numbers are updated daily.
Where can I get small business advice?
Talk to a small business advisor at Business Link to get free advice, coaching and information on COVID-19 resources and supports.
Connect with a business strategist
Submit your question online or contact them directly.
If you have questions about relaunch that aren't addressed on this page, please email the Biz Connect team.
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