Overview

Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, largely in unvaccinated Albertans. New measures to protect the health care system, stop the spread, and increase vaccination rates come into effect starting September 16.

Getting vaccinated makes us all safer. A one-time incentive of $100 is available for Albertans 18+ who get their first or second dose between September 3 and October 14.

Translated resources

COVID-19 resources are available in عربي, 中文, हिंदी, 한국어, فارسی, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Af-Soomaali, Español, Français, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt and اردو on alberta.ca/CovidTranslated.

Restriction exemption program

Starting September 20, discretionary businesses and events must follow one of these 2 options:

  1. Implement the Restrictions Exemption Program requiring proof of vaccination or negative test result to continue operating as usual, or
  2. Follow business capacity and operating restrictions as outlined on the page below.
  • Business requirements

    Businesses that choose to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program must continue to follow indoor mandatory masking requirements, but can operate without capacity or operating restrictions if they require people aged 12 and over to show one of the following:

    • proof of vaccination
      • partial vaccination (one dose) accepted September 20 to October 25 if received 2 weeks before time of service
      • full vaccination (two doses) required after October 25
    • proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of service (tests from AHS or Alberta Precision Laboratories not allowed)
    • documentation of a medical exemption

    Businesses do not need to apply for the program. Audits and enforcement will occur to ensure rules are followed.

    The Restriction Exemption Program would not apply to:

    • businesses or entities that need to be accessed for daily living
    • employees of businesses participating in the program
    • children under 12
  • Proof of negative test

    To enter spaces participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, people aged 12 and older can show proof of a negative test result.

    • Tests must be privately-paid COVID-19 PCR or rapid tests completed within 72 hours.
    • Tests must not be from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories.
  • Proof of vaccination

    To enter spaces participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, people ages 12 and older can provide proof of vaccination or documentation of a medical exemption.

    • Sept. 20 to Oct. 25: proof of a single dose is considered acceptable as long as the dose was given more than 2 weeks before the time of service.
    • After Oct. 25: proof of double vaccination is required.

    Find out how to access your records

    Book your vaccination

Business restrictions

  • Sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities

    Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 16 and 20

    Adult (over 18) sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities (Sept 20)

    • The following restrictions apply unless the facility or program implements the restrictions exemption program:
      • Indoor group classes and activities are not permitted.
      • Indoor competitions are paused except where vaccine exemptions have been granted.
      • Indoor one-on-one training and solo activities are allowed with 3 metre physical distancing.
      • Outdoor activities can continue with no restrictions.

    Youth (under 18) sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities (Sept 16)

    • Indoor group classes, training, and competitions are permitted, but participants are required to:
      • screen for symptoms
      • maintain 2 metres distancing, except youth while engaged in physical activity
      • wear a mask, except youth while engaged in physical activity
    • Spectator attendance is restricted to 1/3 fire code capacity, attendees are limited to a single household or 2 close contact if living alone and must be masked and maintain 2 metres physical distancing.
    • Outdoor activities can continue with no restrictions.

    Day and overnight camps (Sept 16)

    • Day camps required to maintain physical distancing between participants and masking indoors.
    • Overnight camps must follow cohort models.
  • Restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and nightclubs

    Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 20

    The following restrictions apply to businesses that do not implement the restrictions exemption program.

    • Indoor dining is not permitted.
    • Outdoor dining only with a maximum of 6 people per table (one household or 2 close contacts for those living alone)
    • Liquor sales and consumption restrictions apply (sales end at 10pm, consumption by 11pm).
  • Retail, entertainment, and recreation facilities

    Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 16 and 20

    Indoor retail, entertainment, and recreation facilities (Sept 20)

    • The following restrictions apply to any indoor facility that does not implement the restrictions exemption program.
      • Capacity restricted to 1/3 fire code occupancy.
      • Attendees must be with household members only, or 2 close contacts if they live alone.

    Outdoor events and facilities (Sept 16)

    • Fully outdoor events and venues have no capacity restrictions (excluding washrooms), but must maintain 2 metres distancing between households or 2 close contact for those living alone.

Gathering restrictions

  • Social gatherings (indoor and outdoor)

    Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept 16.

    Indoor social gatherings

    • Vaccinated: Indoor private social gatherings are limited to a single household plus one other household to a maximum of 10 vaccine-eligible, vaccinated people and no restrictions on children under 12.
    • Unvaccinated: Indoor social gatherings are not permitted for vaccine-eligible people who are unvaccinated.

    Outdoor social gatherings

    • Outdoor private social gatherings limited to a maximum of 200 people, with 2 metre physical distancing at all times.
  • Places of worship

    Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 16

    • Capacity limited to 1/3 fire code occupancy.
    • Masks are mandatory.
    • 2 metres physical distancing between households, or 2 close contacts for those living alone.
  • Weddings and funerals

    Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 20

    • Indoor wedding ceremonies and funeral services are permitted with up to 50 people or 50% of fire code occupancy, whichever is less.
    • Indoor wedding and funeral receptions are prohibited, unless the hosting facility implements the restrictions exemption program.
    • Outdoor ceremonies, services and receptions are permitted with up to 200 people and must follow liquor sales and consumption restrictions (sales end at 10pm, consumption by 11pm), unless the hosting facility implements the restrictions exemption program.

Masks, schools, and work from home

  • Masks and physical distancing

    Mandatory restriction – Effective Sept. 4 and 16

    • Masking and physical distancing are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and workplaces. This measure extends to places of worship as of September 16.
    • Employees must mask in all indoor work settings, except while alone in work stations.
  • Schools (K to 12)

    Mandatory measure - Effective Sept. 16 

    • Mandatory masking for students in Grades 4 and up, plus staff and teachers in all grades.
      • Schools that implement an alternate COVID safety plan can be exempted from mandatory masking.
    • Elementary schools to implement class cohorting.
    • Indoor sports, fitness, recreation, and performance activities are permitted in schools, with requirements to maintain 2 metre physical distancing where possible.
      • Masks and distancing are not required by youth under 18 while engaged in physical activity.
      • Spectator attendance restricted to 1/3 fire code capacity and limited to households or 2 close contacts for those living alone. Attendees must be masked and distanced.
  • Working from home

    Mandatory measure - Effective Sept. 16

    • Mandatory work-from-home measures are in place unless the employer has determined a physical presence is required for operational effectiveness.
    • If employees are working on location, they must mask in all indoor settings, except while alone in work stations.

Testing, tracing and isolating

  • Testing

    Measures in effect

    • COVID-19 testing for Albertans with symptoms remains available at assessment centres.
    • Asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended.
    • A wastewater baseline testing program will be launched to provide area trend information and monitor variants of concern. More details will be released in the coming weeks.
  • Isolation and quarantine requirements

    Measures in effect

    • Isolation is still legally required for people who have COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive.
    • Quarantine is no longer legally required for close contacts positive cases, unless directed to do so by local public health officials.
    • International travellers must still follow federal travel requirements.
    • Isolation hotels and quarantine supports are no longer available.
  • Contact tracing and case investigation

    Measures in effect

    • Individuals with positive tests will continue to be notified.
    • Contact tracers will not notify close contacts of positive cases, but will ask that individuals do so when informed of their positive result.
    • Contact tracers will continue to investigate cases in high-risk settings, such as acute and continuing care.
  • Outbreaks

    Measures in effect

    • Outbreak management and identification will focus on high-risk locations, including continuing and acute care and high-risk workplaces.
    • Community outbreaks with a surge in cases leading to severe outcomes will be addressed as needed.
  • Health care and congregate care settings
    • Existing public health orders for acute care remain in place.
    • Licensed supportive living, long-term care and hospice settings have begun easing restrictions as part of a 2-phase approach. These changes come into effect as soon as facility operators are able to make the necessary changes, but have until July 31 to fully implement all of Phase 1.

    For more information on current restrictions in these settings, see protecting residents at congregate care facilities.

Guidance

General guidance is available to help Albertans and businesses follow best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Additional guidance for businesses and event organizers
  • Assessing personal risk

    Albertans are encouraged to assess and manage their personal risk. It is reasonable for people to continue using precautions that will serve their needs.

    Risk factors

    When assessing your personal risk, it is important to consider your setting, individual health and wellness factors, and comfort level. Consult your health care provider if you want help assessing your personal risk of severe outcomes or determining your personal risk level.

    Factors that increase COVID-19 risk:

    • You are not fully vaccinated yet.
    • You regularly interact with children 11 and under who cannot be vaccinated yet.
    • You attend crowded indoor spaces.
    • You have risk factors for severe health outcomes from COVID-19.

    Factors that lower COVID-19 risk:

    • You are fully vaccinated.
    • You mostly socialize outdoors, instead of indoors.
    • You have a small social circle.
    • You can normally maintain distancing from other people.

    Additional precautions

    The best thing you can do to support your health and reduce the risk to the broader community is to get vaccinated. Vaccines are our best protection against COVID-19 and the safest and most effective way to protect against infection and severe illness.

    Additionally, all Albertans should:

    • practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
    • stay home when they are sick

    If you have risk factors as described above, it is reasonable to consider additional precautions such as:

    • avoiding or limiting time spent in crowded indoor places
    • minimizing close contact with anyone showing cold-like symptoms
    • continuing to use a face mask
  • Mental health supports

    We encourage Albertans to access supports that are available, if and when they are needed, and to respect how others are adjusting in this time of transition. For additional guidance, see mental health support (PDF, 270 KB).

Public health orders and exemptions

  • Public health orders and exemptions

    Public health orders

    Exemptions

  • Mask exceptions

    In the specific settings where a mask is required, anyone unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition will require a medical exception letter from an authorized health professional.

    The medical exception letter may be presented when in a public setting if requested by enforcement officials, or retrospectively in court if a ticket is issued.

    See mask requirements for more information.

  • Promoting safe public spaces

    Public Health Order 30-2021 clarifies that large gatherings can be held on public land for political purposes (rallies, public demonstrations, protests, etc.).

    To help protect health, masking and physical distancing requirements are in place.

    As with other activities in general, participants at these gatherings are subject to enforcement actions if public health measures are not followed.

Get vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and save lives.

Everyone born in 2009 or before (turning 12+) can book their first and second doses now. Some people most at risk of severe illness can now get a third dose.

Book your shot Get the facts

Enforcement

If you violate a public health order, you may be subject to a $1,000 fine. Additionally, you can be prosecuted for up to $100,000 for a first time offense.

If you are concerned someone is not following public health orders, you can:

  • remind them that not following orders is against the law and puts people at risk
  • request service from AHS public health inspectors online or call 1-833-415-9179

Submit a request online

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