Stage 3 of the Open for Summer Plan

Alberta's Open for Summer Plan safely eased restrictions in 3 stages as vaccination targets were reached and hospitalizations declined.

Starting July 29, Alberta will begin safely bringing COVID-19 measures in line with those used for respiratory viruses, while keeping strong measures in place to protect Albertans.

General guidance is available to assist Albertans and businesses in following best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Translated resources

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Stage 3 restrictions and upcoming changes

  • Masking

    Mask use in public indoor settings is no longer required except when:

    • working in or visiting any continuing care facility, as well as any facility operated by AHS, Covenant or their contracted service providers
    • using public transit, including ride share vehicles, taxis, motor coaches and shuttles

    Municipalities and businesses are free to set masking requirements as they see fit. For example, businesses may require staff and/or customers to wear masks inside their place of business.

    While masking is no longer required in most situations, it is important to support those who may wish to continue wearing masks.

    Starting August 16

    Mask use for public transit, including ride share vehicles, taxis, motor coaches and shuttles will no longer be required.

    • Individuals may chose to continue to wear masks in certain settings.
    • Businesses and municipalities are free to set masking requirements as they see fit.

    Learn more about masking, including how to wear and care for your mask.

  • Isolation and quarantine requirements

    Alberta’s requirements for isolation (if you have symptoms) and quarantine (if you have been exposed to COVID-19 through a close contact) remain in place.

    Provincial quarantine rules for returning international travellers have been lifted, but federal requirements remain in place.

    For more information, see COVID-19 travel requirements.

    Starting July 29

    • Close contacts of an individual with COVID-19 will no longer be legally required to quarantine, unless directed to do so by local public health.
    • Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and confirmed cases will still be required to isolate.
    • Hotel rooms for isolation will be available on a reduced basis.

    Starting August 16

    • The 10-day isolation period following a positive test result will no longer be mandatory, but will be strongly recommended.
    • Isolation hotels and quarantine support will no longer be available, as these requirements will be removed.

    For more information, see isolation and quarantine requirements.

  • Testing

    Starting July 29

    • All asymptomatic COVID-19 testing will no longer be recommended.
    • Testing will continue to be available provincewide for individuals who are symptomatic.

    Starting August 16

    • In general, Albertans who feel unwell or who have COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and limit contact with others until they are back to normal. Testing will no longer be recommended for those with mild symptoms for whom a result will not change their treatment.
    • Testing will be available for Albertans with symptoms when it is needed to help direct patient care decisions.
      • This testing will be available through assessment centres until August 31, and after that will be in primary care settings including physicians’ offices. For those with severe illness requiring urgent or emergency care, testing will be available in acute care and hospital settings.
      • COVID-19 testing will also be offered as needed in high-risk settings, such as in continuing care.
    • 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.

    For more information, see symptoms and testing.

  • Contact tracing and case investigation

    Starting July 29

    • All 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.

    Starting August 16

    • Public health will focus on investigating COVID-19 cases that require hospitalization and deaths due to COVID-19.
  • Outbreaks

    Starting July 29

    • 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.

    Starting August 16

    • Outbreak management and identification will continue to focus on high-risk locations.
    • If respiratory outbreaks are identified, daycares and schools will be supported with measures that would be effective for any respiratory virus.
  • Health care and congregate care settings

    Alberta’s move to Stage 3 does not change requirements in the existing public health orders for acute care.

    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.

Lifted restrictions

All other public health measures have been lifted. This includes all restrictions on:

  • social gatherings – there are no longer capacity limits on either indoor or outdoor gatherings
  • recreation, performance and entertainment activities
  • business closures and capacity restrictions
  • large events, including concerts, sporting events, exhibitions and festivals
  • Additional guidance for businesses and event organizers

    In Stage 3, businesses can resume the same operations and level of activity as they were able to do before the pandemic began.

    See guidance documents to learn more.

  • Assessing personal risk

    With the removal of most mandatory restrictions, Albertans are encouraged to assess and manage their personal risk during the final stages of the pandemic. 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.

    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.

    Consult your physician or primary health care provider if you want input on assessing your personal risk of severe outcomes or to assist in determining your personal risk level.

    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

    As we enter Stage 3 and mandatory restrictions are lifted, Albertans face a period of adjustment. Although the easing of restrictions is welcome, re-opening will impact everyone differently, and may bring increased anxiety for some.

    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

  • Mask exceptions

    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.

Alberta's Open for Summer Plan

This 3-stage roadmap outlined how restrictions were eased while protecting the health-care system as our vaccination rates increased.

  • Stage 1 reopening started June 1

    Stage 1: Two weeks after 50% of Albertans 12+ (born in 2009 or earlier) have received at least one dose, and hospitalizations are below 800 and declining. Took effect June 1.

    • Places of worship – 15% of fire code occupancy (effective May 28)
    • Outdoor social gatherings – up to 10 people (indoor social gatherings still not permitted)
    • Outdoor physical, performance and recreation activities – up to 10 distanced people, all ages
    • Personal and wellness services – re-open, by appointment only
    • Funeral services – up to 20 people, not including facility staff, funeral clergy or organizers not considered guests (receptions remain prohibited)
    • Wedding ceremonies – up to 10 people, including officiant, bride/groom, witnesses (receptions remain prohibited)
    • Restaurants – outdoor patio dining for up to 4 household members per table, or 3 people if diners who live alone are with their 2 close contacts
    • Retail - 15% of fire code occupancy (must maintain ability to distance)
    • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect
  • Stage 2 reopening started June 10

    Stage 2: Two weeks after 60% of Albertans 12+ (born in 2009 or earlier) have received at least one dose, and hospitalizations are below 500 and declining. Took effect June 10.

    • Outdoor social gatherings – up to 20 people with distancing (indoor social gatherings still not permitted)
    • Indoor recreation, entertainment and other settings (rec centres, arenas, casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, libraries, etc.) – open at 1/3 of fire code occupancy
    • Gyms and fitness studios – open for solo and drop-in activities and indoor fitness classes with 3 metre distancing
    • Funeral services – up to 20 people, indoors and outdoors (receptions permitted outdoors only)
    • Wedding ceremonies – up to 20 people, indoors and outdoors (receptions permitted outdoors only)
    • Places of worship – 1/3 of fire code occupancy
    • Personal and wellness services – resume walk-in service
    • Post-secondary – resume in-person learning
    • Restaurants – 6 people per table max, indoors or outdoors
    • Retail – 1/3 of fire code occupancy (must maintain ability to distance)
    • Youth activities (day camps, overnight camps, play centres) – resume with restrictions
    • Youth and adult sports – resume with no restrictions, indoors and outdoors
    • Outdoor public gatherings (concerts/festivals) – up to 150 people
    • Outdoor fixed seating facilities (grandstands) – 1/3 seated capacity
    • Work from home order is lifted but still recommended
    • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect
  • Stage 3 reopening started July 1

    Stage 3: Two weeks after 70% of Albertans 12+ (born in 2009 or earlier) have received at least one dose. Took effect July 1.

    • All restrictions lifted, including ban on indoor social gatherings.
    • Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures in continuing care settings remain.
    • The general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but masking may still be required in limited and specific settings.

Get vaccinated

Sustained reopening will require Albertans to get fully vaccinated with 2 doses during the summer to prevent future spread. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and save lives.

Everyone born in 2009 or before (turning 12+) can get their first and second doses now.

Book your shot

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