Bend the curve

COVID-19 cases continue rising across Alberta and the situation is critical. Stronger public health measures are now required to address the growing number of cases.

Together, these measures will help protect our health care system, keep schools and businesses open as much as possible, and protect vulnerable Albertans.

Health officials are monitoring the situation and will adjust measures if required.

New measures at a glance

Unless otherwise stated, the following mandatory restrictions come into effect Nov. 24 and will be in place for at least three weeks.

Read Order 38-2020, Order 39-2020 and Order 40-2020.
1. See list of communities under enhanced status (purple areas).
2. See list of affected communities in the Calgary metro area and the Edmonton metro area.
Measures All Alberta Enhanced (purple) Areas1 Calgary Area2 Edmonton Area2
No indoor social gatherings in any setting Yes Yes Yes Yes
Outdoor gatherings max of 10 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wedding and funeral services max of 10, no receptions permitted Yes Yes Yes Yes
No festivals or events Yes Yes Yes Yes
Grades 7-12 at-home learning Nov 30-Jan 11 Yes Yes Yes Yes
ECS-Grade 6 at-home learning after break until Jan 11 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Working from home should be considered, where possible Yes Yes Yes Yes
Places of worship at 1/3 of fire code occupancy with mandatory masking No Yes Yes Yes
Restricted access to some businesses starting Nov. 27 No Yes Yes Yes
Mandatory masks for indoor workplaces No No Yes Yes

Gathering restrictions

Alberta declared a State of 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 been banned. This ban will be enforced with $1,000 fines.

  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Nov. 24

    • No indoor social gatherings are permitted in any setting (private homes, public spaces or workplaces)
      • Indoor close contacts must be limited to people in the same household
      • People who live alone can have up to the same 2 non-household contacts for the duration of the restriction
      • Work and mutual support group meetings are not social gatherings, but attendance should be limited and public health measures followed
      • This does not apply to service visits from caregivers, health or child care providers and co-parenting arrangements
    • Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people and must not have an indoor component
      • Backyard gatherings that require movement in/out of homes are not permitted
      • Attendees should remain distanced at all times and follow public health measures
    • Festivals and events are prohibited (indoors and outdoors)

    Learn more about gatherings.

  • Weddings and funerals

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Nov. 24

    • Maximum of 10 people for wedding ceremonies or funeral services
      • This includes the officiant, bride/groom and witnesses
      • This does not include staff or organizers who are not considered an invited guest
      • This applies to any facility, including places of worship and funeral homes.
      • This includes services held indoors or outdoors, seated or non-seated.
    • Receptions are not permitted

    This measure will help limit exposure, reduce outbreaks and protect vulnerable attendees.

  • Places of worship

    Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 24

    • For faith services, the maximum in-person attendance is 1/3 of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.
    • Must hold services at their normal location, including rental spaces like a community hall.
    • Physical distancing between households must be maintained.
    • Mask use is mandatory.
    • Online services are encouraged.
    • In-person faith group meetings and other religious gatherings are not permitted in private homes while these measures are in effect.
    • Faith leaders and others speaking in front of a congregation are permitted to remove their masks while speaking provided they maintain 2 metre distance from others while doing so. Once finished speaking, the speaker must put on their mask again.
    • In-person faith group meetings conducted at a place of worship can continue but physical distancing and public health measures must be followed.
    • Indoor group performance activities conducted in a place of worship, such as choir singing and playing music, are permitted provided these are normal activities conducted as part of worship practices and not for the purpose of entertainment.

    Faith communities are often significant aspects of people’s lives, and include intimate and close contact between members. This measure will help limit exposure at these activities, reducing outbreaks and protecting vulnerable members who attend.

  • Mask requirements

    Mandatory restriction – Calgary and Edmonton areas – Effective Nov. 24

    • Masks are mandatory in all indoor workplaces, except when working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle or an appropriate barrier is in place
      • This applies to all employees, visitors, delivery personnel and contractors
      • This includes all locations where employees are present and masks won’t pose a safety risk
      • This does not change current student mask requirements in schools
  • Employers to allow working from home

    Working from home should be considered, where possible.

  • K-12 Schools

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Starting Nov. 30

    Grades 7-12 students

    • Move to at-home learning Nov. 30 to Jan. 8, except during winter break*
    • Resume in-person classes Jan. 11
    • Diploma exams are optional for rest of the school year. Students and families can choose to write an exam or receive an exemption for the January, April, June and August 2021 exams.

    Grades K-6 students

    • This includes Early Childhood Services
    • Continue in-person learning until their scheduled winter break (generally Dec. 18*)
    • Move to at-home learning after the winter break until Jan. 8
    • Resume in-person classes Jan. 11

    *Schools have different winter break schedules, check with your school for details.

    Exemption is available for students with disabilities or in outreach programs, learn more at K-12 learning during COVID-19.

  • Performance activities

    Performance activities include dancing, singing, theatre and playing wind instruments. Current restrictions for these activities in enhanced (purple) areas are as follows.

    Outdoor settings

    • Rehearsals and practices are permitted up to a maximum of 10 participants. Physical distancing and other relevant guidelines must be followed. Performances with audiences are not permitted.

    Indoor settings

    • Rehearsals, practices, and performances involving two or more are not permitted.
    • Individual practice is permitted indoors

    School settings

    • Phys Ed., band and drama classes are permitted to continue
    • Assemblies, performances, concerts, and inter-school games, activities and competitions are not permitted.

    Places of worship

    • Indoor group performance activities conducted in a place of worship, such as choir singing and playing music, are permitted provided these are normal activities conducted as part of worship practices and not for the purpose of entertainment.

    Facilities (concert halls, auditoriums, community halls)

    • Venues where these activities occur will be closed to the public minimally from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15.
    • Professionals may access for work purposes, such as practicing and rehearsals. Exemptions for practicing and rehearsing in groups may be considered for professional performance organizations. More details on the exemption process will be shared soon.

    Lessons

    • 1-to-1 in-person lessons are permitted. Virtual lessons are strongly encouraged where possible.

    Performances

    • In-person performances for audiences are not permitted. Virtual and drive-in performances are allowed.
  • Sports and group physical activities

    Group physical activities include team sports, fitness classes and training sessions.

    Indoor group physical activities are prohibited unless:

    • the group only involves members of the same household.
    • the activity involves students at a school or post-secondary institution as part of an education program
    • the activity involves students at a post-secondary institution

    One-to-one indoor training, such as training with a fitness trainer or coach, is permitted.

    Outdoor group physical activity is limited to 10 people or fewer.

    Exemption process for professional sports organizations

    • Exemptions to the restrictions on group physical activities may be considered for outfits and organizations that can demonstrate adherence to the guidance for professional sporting events (PDF, 405 KB). Criteria includes:
      • Enforcing a mandatory 14-day “quarantine-in” procedure before any practice or play occurs and using a bubble model for the duration of the event.
      • Access to dedicated facilities and transportation that are not open to the general public.
      • Conducting daily health checks on all members of the team, and private testing team members upon entry into the bubble and every five days throughout events.
      • Conducting a comprehensive risk assessment plan and implementing risk mitigation and controls before play begins.
      • To request an exemption, send your completed implementation plan to [email protected].

Business and service restrictions

Effective Nov. 27, some businesses will limit their in-person access to reduce the amount of contact between people in the community, while still allowing them to offer services.

These business restrictions apply to all communities on the enhanced list (purple areas).

Albertans are encouraged to limit in-person visits to retail locations and use curbside pick up, delivery and online services.

Read Order 39-2020 and Order 40-2020.

  • Businesses or entities closed to the public

    Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

    Recreational or entertainment businesses or entities:

    • community halls and centres
    • indoor children’s play centres and indoor playgrounds
    • theatres, auditoriums, concert halls, and community theatres
    • nightclubs
    • banquet halls and conference centres

    Festival or event businesses or entities offering any of the following activities:

    • indoor and outdoor festivals
    • concerts with the exception of drive-in events
    • exhibitions occurring in a location other than in a museum or gallery
    • tradeshows
    • sporting events or competitions
    • ‘pop up style’ indoor markets that have not been previously approved by Alberta Health Services
    • farmers’ markets that have not been previously approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Restaurants, bars, pubs and lounges open with restrictions

    Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

    Restaurants, bars, pubs and lounges will be open with restrictions if they follow all public health guidance in place including:

    • Maximum of 6 people from the same immediate household at a table and no movement between tables.
      • People who live alone can meet with up to 2 non-household contacts as long as they’re the same two throughout the duration of these restrictions
    • Only seated eating and drinking is permitted. No other services or entertainment will be allowed, including billiards, games or darts.
    • Liquor can be sold until 10 pm and food-serving establishments must close to in person-dining at 11 pm. Liquor sales apply to casinos, but casinos are not required to close at 11 pm.
    • Establishments are also prohibited from offering the following activities:
      • live performances of any kind including musical, comedic and theatrical performances
      • billiard, arcade, video or dart games

    Access to video lottery terminals in these establishments is permitted, provided they adhere to public health guidance.

    Albertans are encouraged to use take out, delivery, drive-thru and curbside pick-up options.

    Businesses with a gaming licence or Class B liquour licence, including bowling alleys, casinos, bingo halls, pool halls and indoor recreation centres, can remain open after 11pm but are prohibited from serving:

    • liquor after 10 pm
    • food or beverages after 11 pm

    Additional inspections will occur to verify that public health measures are being followed. Establishments that are non compliant may face orders and fines.

  • Businesses and services open with restricted capacity

    Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

    Most retail businesses may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.

    • Retail businesses operating within a shopping centre or mall
    • Shopping centres and malls
    • Pet supply stores
    • Grocery stores
    • Pharmacies
    • Clothing stores
    • Computer and technology stores
    • Hardware
    • Automotive
    • Sporting goods
    • Liquor and cannabis
    • Gift shops
    • Indoor farmers’ markets approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
    • Indoor markets approved by Alberta Health Services

    Some entertainment and event services may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.

    • Movie theatres
    • Museums and galleries
    • Libraries
    • Casinos, offering slots only. Table games must be closed at this time.
    • Indoor entertainment centres including amusement parks, water parks, bingo halls and racing centres.
    • Indoor fitness, recreation, sports and physical activity centres, including dance and yoga studios, martial arts, gymnastics and private or public swimming pools.
      • Facilities can be open for individual studio time, training or exercise only.
      • There can be no group fitness, group classes, group training, team practices or games.
      • Instructors can use facility to broadcast virtual fitness classes from, but there can be no group class.

    All public health guidance and physical distancing requirements must be followed.

    Albertans and businesses are encouraged to limit in-person visits and use curbside pick up, delivery and online services instead.

    See more information on reduced capacity and occupant loads (PDF, 372 KB).

  • Businesses open by appointment only

    Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

    Businesses open by appointment only are not permitted to offer walk-in services. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.

    • Personal services such as hair salons and barbershops, esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing and make-up, piercing and tattoo services,
    • Wellness services including acupuncture, massage and reflexology
    • Professional services such as lawyers, mediators, accountants and photographers
    • Private one-on-one lessons (no private group lessons permitted)
    • Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges

    These businesses must follow all current public health guidance for their sector and should consider virtual options where possible.

    Home-based businesses should follow the restrictions for the type of service they provide.

COVID-19 status map

Mandatory measures are in place for communities on the enhanced status list (purple zones). Find out the status in your area and sign up to be notified if there is a change.

View the map  Sign up for notifications

A close up of the status map

Why these measures are needed

Albertans have a responsibility to slow the virus's spread and make sure the health system can continue supporting patients with COVID-19, influenza and many other needs.

There is a time lag between when people get infected and when new cases are identified. This means the cases we see today were infected up to 2 weeks ago.

We must work together to protect each other. The greater the community spread, the more likely it will infect our loved ones most at-risk of severe outcomes, including death.

What else you should do

Albertans must continue following existing public health measures to keep everyone safe:

Calgary metro area

Communities include:

  • Airdrie
  • Calgary
  • Chestermere
  • Cochrane
  • Foothills County
  • High River
  • Okotoks
  • Rockyview County

Edmonton metro area

Communities include:

  • Beaumont
  • Devon
  • Edmonton
  • Evansburg
  • Fort Saskatchewan
  • Gibbons
  • Leduc
  • Leduc County
  • Morinville
  • Parkland County
  • St. Albert
  • Spruce Grove
  • Stony Plain
  • Strathcona County
  • Sturgeon County
  • Thorsby

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 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
  • submit a complaint to AHS public health inspectors online or call 1-833-415-9179

Submit a complaint

Complaints that require an immediate response can also be reported to your local police force through their administrative phone line.