Stop the spike

Alberta has entered a critical stage of the pandemic - the arrival of highly transmissible variants have put pressure on our health care system. Public health measures are required to protect the health system and reduce the rising spread of COVID-19 provincewide.

Additional restrictions come into effect for regions with high case rates, starting May 5. Provincewide measures continue to apply to all other areas.

These restrictions will be enforced with $2,000 fines.

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.

Expanded restrictions for high case regions

Starting May 5, additional restrictions come into effect for regions with at least 50 cases per 100,000 people, and at least 30 active cases.

These restrictions will be in place for at least 3 weeks and will be extended if necessary. Provincewide restrictions remain in effect for all other communities.

See active case rates in your region | Download affected region list (May 5)

  • Gatherings - indoor and outdoor

    Mandatory, additional restrictions for high case regions – Effective May 5

    Indoor gatherings

    • All indoor gatherings remain prohibited.

    Outdoor gatherings

    • All outdoor social gatherings must be limited to no more than 5 people and a maximum of 2 household cohorts.
    • Mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households.
  • Fitness, performance & recreation activities - indoor and outdoor

    Mandatory, additional restrictions for high case regions – Effective 11:59 pm on May 9

    Indoor activities

    • All indoor sport, performance and recreation activities for youth and adults are prohibited. (Effective May 9)
    • Indoor fitness and recreation facilities must close, including for 1-on-1 training. (Effective May 5)

    Outdoor activities

    • All outdoor sports and recreation activities are prohibited, except with members of your household, or your two close contacts if you live alone. This includes:
      • all group physical activities, such as team sports, fitness classes, training sessions
      • all one-on-one lessons and training activities
      • all practices, training and games
    • Outdoor recreation facilities can remain open unless specifically closed by public health order.

    Professional sport organizations

    • Professional sport organizations that have received an exemption can continue, provided protocols are strictly followed.
  • Retail

    Mandatory, additional restrictions for high case regions – Effective May 5

    • Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10% of fire code occupancy (not including staff) or a minimum of 5 customers.
    • Shopping mall capacity limits will exclude common area square footage.
    • Curbside pick-up, delivery and online services are encouraged.
  • Personal and wellness services

    Mandatory, additional restrictions for high case regions – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9

    • Personal and wellness services, including hair salons, barbers, nail salons, estheticians, tattoos and piercing, must close.
  • Places of worship

    Mandatory, additional restrictions for high case regions – Effective May 5

    • Faith services are limited to 15 in-person attendees.
    • Physical distancing between households must be maintained at all times.
    • Virtual or online services are strongly recommended.
    • Drive-in services where people do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance are allowed.
  • Funerals

    Mandatory, additional restrictions for high case regions – Effective May 5

    • 10-people maximum for funerals, including participants and guests.
    • Funeral receptions are not permitted.
  • Workplace rules

    Mandatory, additional restrictions for high case regions – Effective May 5

    • Any workplace, except work camps and essential and critical services, with transmission of 3 or more cases will be required by health officials to close for 10 days.
    • Any workplace that does not comply will be subject to enforcement.
    • Working from home remains mandatory unless the employer requires the employee's physical presence to operate effectively.
    • Where at work for operational effectiveness, employees must mask for all indoor settings, except in work stations or where two-metre physical distancing or adequate physical barriers are in place.

Provincewide restrictions

Gathering restrictions

The following restrictions apply provincewide. Additional restrictions may apply to communities with high case rates as indicated above.

  • Indoor social gatherings

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 8

    All indoor social gatherings are prohibited – public and private.

    • Close contacts are limited to household members only
    • People who live alone can have up to 2 close contacts:
      • these must be the same two contacts throughout the duration of the restriction
      • if the close contacts do not live alone, visits cannot be held at their home
      • single parents who only live with their children under 18 are permitted to have up to 2 close contacts

    This restriction does not apply to:

    • co-parenting arrangements
    • service visits from caregivers, health or childcare providers
      • Childcare can include providing post-partum support for new mothers. Parents are allowed to remain in the home while another person is there to provide childcare services.
    • home maintenance and repairs
    • mutual support group meetings
  • Outdoor social gatherings

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Jan. 18

    Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people maximum 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 all public health measures.

    See sport and physical activities for information on outdoor recreation.

  • Out-of-town travel and visitors

    Returning to Alberta

    • If you do not have a household in Alberta, you must not stay in other people’s homes while these restrictions are in place.
    • If you belong to the household, you are permitted to return to the home (e.g., child returning home from post-secondary).

    Visitors to Alberta

    • Out-of-town visitors cannot stay in other people's homes while these restrictions are in place, regardless of where they are coming from.

    While we appreciate this may affect travel plans to visit family, the increase in cases is very serious. These measures are required to stop the spread of COVID-19.

  • Weddings and funerals

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Revised Jan. 18

    Additional restrictions on funeral services now apply in high case regions.

    Wedding and funeral receptions are not permitted.

    Wedding ceremony and funeral service attendance is limited to:

    • 10 people maximum for wedding ceremonies
    • 20 people maximum for funeral services, with mandatory masking and 2 metre physical distancing between households

    The maximum limit:

    • includes the officiant, bride/groom and witnesses
    • does not include funeral service or facility staff, funeral clergy or event organizers who are not considered an invited guest
    • applies to any facility, including places of worship and funeral homes
    • applies to services held indoors or outdoors, seated or non-seated

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

  • Places of worship

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 13

    Additional restrictions on faith services now apply in high case regions.

    Faith services are limited to 15% of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance:

    • Physical distancing between households must be maintained
    • Mask use is mandatory

    Alternatively:

    • Virtual or online services are recommended
    • Drive-in services where people do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance are allowed

    Additional safety measures:

    • In-person faith group meetings and other religious gatherings are:
      • not permitted in private homes while these measures are in effect
      • permitted when conducted at a place of worship as long as physical distancing and public health measures are followed
    • Faith leaders and other speakers can remove their masks while speaking if there is a distance of 2 metres. The mask must be put on again once finished speaking.
    • Group performance activities, such as choir singing and playing music, are permitted if they are normal worship practices and not for the purpose of entertainment. Performers must wear masks at all times.

Business and service restrictions

The following restrictions apply provincewide. Additional restrictions may apply to communities with high case rates as indicated above.

  • Schools and post-secondary move online

    Mandatory - Provincewide - Revised May 5

    • Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools will transition to online learning, effective May 7 and will return to in-class learning on May 25.
    • Post-secondary schools will transition to online learning, effective May 5.
    • Childcare facilities can remain open.
  • Restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges and cafes (new restrictions May 9)

    Mandatory restrictions – Provincewide – Effective May 9 at 11:59 pm

    • All in-person dining, including on patios, is prohibited.
    • Restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges, cafes and food courts can open for takeout, curbside pickup and delivery only.
  • Retail

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Revised April 6

    Additional restrictions on retail services now apply in high case regions.

    Retail services and shopping malls must limit customer capacity to 15% of fire code occupancy (not including staff) or a minimum of 5 customers. This includes individual stores and common areas (see calculating occupancy limits).

    • Curbside pick up, delivery and online services are encouraged
    • Shop alone or only with the people you live with (see tips for shoppers)

    Retail services include but are not limited to:

    • Retail businesses
    • Shopping centres and malls
    • Grocery stores, markets and pharmacies
    • Clothing and sporting goods stores
    • Computer and technology stores
    • Hardware and automotive
    • Liquor and cannabis
    • Pet supply stores
    • Gift shops
  • Entertainment and recreation facilities

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Revised April 6

    Libraries must close.

    All entertainment businesses and entities must remain closed, including:

    • Casinos, bingo halls, gaming centres
    • Racing centres, horse tracks, raceways
    • Bowling alleys, pool halls
    • Nightclubs
    • Art galleries and museums
    • Science and interpretive centres
    • Amusement and water parks
    • Children’s play centres and indoor playgrounds
    • Movie theatres, auditoria and concert halls

    Facilities used for indoor recreation may open only for individual or household one-on-one fitness training and youth group physical activities. Facilities may include:

    • Gyms and studios
    • Fitness and recreation centres
    • Spas, pools, indoor rinks and arenas
    • Community halls and centres
  • Banquet halls, community halls, conference centres and hotels

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Revised April 6

    Banquet halls, community halls and conference centres can open for activities permitted under Step 0, such as:

    • wedding ceremonies up to 10 people
    • funeral services up to 20 people

    Wedding receptions, funeral receptions and trade shows are not permitted.

    Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges may remain open, but must follow restrictions – no spas or in-person dining (room services only).

  • Personal and wellness services

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Jan. 18

    Additional restrictions on personal and wellness services now apply in high case regions.

    All personal and wellness services can open by appointment only.

    • Walk-in services are not permitted.
    • Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.
    • Businesses must follow all current public health guidance.
    • Home-based businesses must follow the restrictions for the type of service they provide.

    Personal services include:

    • 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
    • hairstyling and barbering

    Wellness services include:

    • floatation tanks
    • reflexology
    • colonic irrigation
  • Health, social and professional services

    Mandatory – Provincewide – Revised May 5

    The following services can remain open by appointment only as long as public health orders and sector guidance is followed. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.

    Regulated health services can open by appointment only

    • physicians, dentists
    • physical therapists
    • optometrists
    • chiropractors
    • hearing aid practitioners
    • acupuncturists
    • naturopaths

    Non-regulated health services can open by appointment only

    • massage therapists (a prescription or referral is no longer required)
    • manual osteopaths
    • kinesiologists
    • athletic therapists

    Professional services can remain open by appointment only:

    • lawyers
    • mediators
    • accountants
    • photographers

    Social services can remain open for in-person services including:

    • social, protective or emergency services
    • shelters for vulnerable persons
    • not-for-profit community kitchens, religious kitchens and soup kitchens

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

  • Indoor fitness, performance and recreation

    Mandatory restrictions – Provincewide - Revised May 5

    Indoor fitness [Effective May 5]

    • Indoor fitness facilities must close

    Indoor sport, performance and recreation [Effective May 9]

    • Indoor sport, performance and recreation activities are not permitted.
    • Team sports are not permitted
    • No sports games, competitions, team practice or league play of any kind is allowed.

    Performance activities include dancing, singing, acting, playing a musical instrument, and any rehearsal or theatrical performance.

  • Outdoor fitness, performance and recreation

    Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Revised May 5

    Additional restrictions on outdoor sport and recreation activities now apply in high case regions.

    Group activities

    Adult indoor group physical activities, including team sports, fitness classes and training sessions, are prohibited or restricted across Alberta.

    • Games and competitions in outdoor team sports where 2 metre distancing cannot be maintained at all times (such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, slo-pitch and road hockey) are also prohibited.
    • Outdoor training for team sports is permitted for individuals and groups of 10 or fewer, provided 2 metre distancing is maintained.
    • Outdoor fitness training is allowed, as are physically distanced group fitness classes with a maximum of 10 participants.
    • Outdoor group physical activity must be limited to 10 people or fewer.
      • Keeping the activity to members of the same household is strongly recommended.
      • Members of different households must maintain 2 metre distancing at all times.
    • Individual sports and activities such as running, cycling, dirt biking and golfing (disk and regular) are allowed.
    • Outdoor recreation amenities can be open to public access unless specifically closed by public health order.
      • Outdoor pools, tennis courts, pickleball courts, croquet pitches, running tracks and bicycle tracks or velodromes can be open.
      • More than 10 people may use an outdoor recreation amenity at the same time (for example, public access to an outdoor running track) as long as physical distancing is maintained between households.

    One-on-one training

    • One-on-one training with a fitness trainer or coach is not allowed.

    Performance

    Youth may participate in outdoor group performance activities and youth development activities (such as Scouts, Girl Guides and 4H).

    • Maximum of 10 participants.
    • Participants must be 18 years old and under (except coaches, trainers or instructors).
    • Physical distancing must be maintained at all times (3 metres indoors and 2 metres outdoors).
  • Working from home

    Mandatory – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 13

    Working from home is mandatory unless the employer requires the employee's physical presence to operate effectively.

  • Public health orders and exemptions

    Public health orders

Financial support

Canada’s COVID-19 economic response plan

Financial support programs are available to help people, families and businesses facing hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Find a program

Small- and medium-enterprise relaunch grant

Funding is available for small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 to offset a portion of their costs.

Learn more

Why restrictions 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 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

Continue following existing public health measures to keep everyone safe:

  • Stay 2 metres apart from others
  • Wear a mask in public spaces, indoor workplaces and places of worship
  • Practice good hygiene: wash your hands often and cover coughs and sneezes
  • Monitor your symptoms every day
  • If sick, stay home, get tested, and follow mandatory isolation requirements while waiting for results:
    • if positive, isolate for 10 days or until symptoms are gone, whichever is longer
    • if negative, stay home until you're better
  • Download and use the ABTraceTogether contact tracing app when out in public

Enforcement

If you violate a public health order, you may be subject to a $2,000 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
  • request service from AHS public health inspectors online or call 1-833-415-9179

Submit a request online