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 are in effect for regions with high case rates. 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

Additional restrictions are in effect for regions with at least 50 cases per 100,000 people, and at least 30 active cases. These restrictions remain in place for at least 3 weeks, even if a community moves below the threshold, and will be extended if necessary.

Provincewide restrictions remain in effect for all communities, including those with lower active cases.

See active case rates in your region

Gathering restrictions

The following restrictions apply provincewide, including communities with lower active cases. Additional restrictions may apply to communities with high case rates when indicated.

  • Indoor social gatherings

    Mandatory - Reviewed May 5

    Provincewide restriction

    • All indoor 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 can have up to 2 close contacts

    Restrictions do not apply

    • Co-parenting arrangements
    • Home maintenance and repairs
    • Mutual support group meetings
    • 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
  • Outdoor social gatherings

    Mandatory - Effective May 5

    Outdoor gatherings have attendance limits depending on active cases in your area.

    High case area restriction

    • 5 people maximum (2 household cohorts maximum is encouraged)

    Lower case area restriction

    • 10 people maximum

    Additional safety measures for all areas

    • Mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households.
    • Outdoor gatherings must not have an indoor component (movement in/out of homes is not permitted).
  • Funerals

    Mandatory - Effective May 5

    Funeral attendance limits depend on active cases in your area.

    High case area restrictions

    • Funeral receptions - prohibited
    • Funeral services - 10 people maximum, including participants and guests

    Lower case area restrictions

    • Funeral receptions - prohibited
    • Funeral services - 20 people maximum not including facility staff, funeral clergy or organizers not considered guests

    Additional safety measures for all areas

    • Mandatory physical distancing between households remain in effect
    • Mask use is mandatory
    • Maximum limits apply to:
      • any facility, including places of worship and funeral homes
      • services held indoors or outdoors, seated or non-seated
  • Weddings

    Mandatory - Revised May 5

    Provincewide restriction

    • Wedding receptions - prohibited
    • Wedding ceremonies - 10 people maximum including the officiant, bride/groom, witnesses and any photographers/videographers

    Additional safety measures for all areas

    • Mandatory physical distancing between households remain in effect
    • Mask use is mandatory
    • The maximum limit applies to:
      • any facility, including places of worship
      • ceremonies held indoors or outdoors, seated or non-seated
  • Places of worship

    Mandatory - Effective May 5

    Faith service attendance limits depend on active cases in your area.

    High case area restrictions

    • 15 in-person attendees maximum

    Lower case area restrictions

    • 15% of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance

    Additional safety measures for all areas

    • Virtual, online or drive-in services were people do not have to leave their vehicles are recommended.
    • Mandatory physical distancing between households must be maintained.
    • Mask use is mandatory:
      • faith leaders and other speakers can remove their masks while speaking if there is a distance of 2 metres and must be put on again once finished speaking
      • performers must wear masks at all times
    • 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.
    • 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
  • 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.

Schools and recreation activities

The following restrictions apply provincewide, including communities with lower active cases. Additional restrictions may apply to communities with high case rates when indicated.

  • Schools, post-secondary and child care

    Mandatory - Effective May 5

    Provincewide restriction

    • 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.
  • Indoor fitness, recreation and performance

    Mandatory - Effective May 5

    Provincewide restrictions

    • Indoor fitness - all facilities must close, including for one-on-one training
    • Indoor sport and recreation activities are not permitted, including:
      • team sports
      • group practices or training
      • games, competitions or league play of any kind
    • Indoor performance activities are not permitted, including:
      • dancing, singing, acting or playing a musical instrument
      • rehearsals or theatrical performances
  • Outdoor fitness, recreation and performance

    Mandatory - Effective May 9 at 11:59 pm

    Permitted outdoor activities depend on active cases in your area.

    High case area restrictions

    • All outdoor fitness, recreation and performance activities are prohibited, except with members of your own household or your 2 close contacts if you live alone.
      • group physical activities – fitness classes, training sessions and team sports
      • group performance activities (singing, dancing, acting, playing musical instruments)
      • group practices and games
      • one-on-one training sessions
    • Outdoor recreation facilities can remain open unless specifically closed by public health order. Facilities include outdoor pools, golf courses, tennis and pickleball courts, croquet pitches, running/bicycle tracks and velodromes.

    Lower case area restrictions

    • Prohibited outdoor activities:
      • all team sport games and competitions where 2-metre distancing cannot be maintained at all times (basketball, soccer, football, slo-pitch, etc.)
    • Permitted outdoor activities, with participant limits and mandatory 2 metre distancing at all times:
      • individual fitness, recreation and performance activities (running, cycling, dirt biking, golfing, etc.)
      • group activities for 10 or fewer people:
        • team sport training
        • physical activities (walking, running, golfing, etc.)
        • fitness training and outdoor classes
        • one-on-one fitness training with a trainer or coach
        • performance activities (singing, dancing, acting or playing musical instruments)
        • youth skill development activities (Scouts, Girl Guides, 4H, etc)
    • Spectators are permitted to attend outdoor physical activities or performances:
      • 10 spectators maximum
      • 2 metres of pysical distancing must be maintained at all times
    •  Outdoor recreation facilities:
      • outdoor pools, golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball courts, croquet pitches, running tracks, bicycle tracks and velodromes can remain open to the public unless specifically closed by public health order
      • more than 10 people may use an outdoor facility at the same time as long as physical distancing is maintained between households

    Professional sport organizations

    • Professional sport organizations that have received an exemption can continue, as long as protocols are strictly followed.
  • Drive-in events and activities

    Mandatory - Effective May 17

    Provincewide restriction

    Drive-ins are permitted for outdoor activities that people can participate in or observe while remaining inside a motor vehicle. Activities include:

    • worship services
    • drive-in movies
    • graduation ceremonies
    • physical and performance activities

    There is no limit to the number of people permitted to attend a drive-in activity, provided all participants:

    • remain inside their motor vehicles, except where necessary to use the washroom
    • park their motor vehicle at least 2 metres away from other motor vehicles
    • maintain physical distancing of 2 metres between households

Business and service restrictions

The following restrictions apply provincewide, including communities with lower active cases. Additional restrictions may apply to communities with high case rates when indicated.

  • Restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges & cafes

    Mandatory - Effective May 9 at 11:59 pm

    Provincewide restriction

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

    Mandatory - Effective May 5

    Retail service customer capacity limits depend on active cases in your area.

    High case area restrictions

    • Customer capacity limited to 10% of fire code occupancy, or 5 customers, whichever is greater. Staff are not included in this total. (see calculating occupancy limits).
    • Shopping mall capacity limits exclude common area square footage.

    Lower case area restrictions

    • Customer capacity limited to 15% of fire code occupancy, or 5 customers, whichever is greater. Staff are not included in this total. (see calculating occupancy limits).
    • Shopping mall capacity limits exclude common area square footage.

    Additional safety measures for all areas

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

    Examples of retail services

    • 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 facilities

    Mandatory - Revised May 5

    Provincewide restriction

    All entertainment businesses and entities must remain closed, including:

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

    Mandatory restriction - Revised May 5

    The operation of personal and wellness services depends on active cases in your area.

    High case area restrictions (effective May 9 at 11:59 pm)

    • All personal and wellness services must close.

    Low case area restrictions (no change)

    • All personal and wellness services can remain 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

    Examples of personal services

    • 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

    Examples of wellness services

    • Floatation tanks
    • Reflexology
    • Colonic irrigation
  • Health, social and professional services

    Mandatory - Revised May 5

    Provincewide restrictions

    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, including:
      • physicians, dentists
      • physical therapists
      • optometrists
      • chiropractors
      • hearing aid practitioners
      • acupuncturists
      • naturopaths
    • Non-regulated health services, including:
      • massage therapists (a prescription or referral is no longer required)
      • manual osteopaths
      • kinesiologists
      • athletic therapists
    • Professional services, including:
      • lawyers
      • mediators
      • accountants
      • photographers
    • Social 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.
  • Hotels, banquet halls, community halls and conference centres

    Mandatory – Revised May 5

    Provincewide restrictions, except where indicated

    Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges

    • In-person dining is not permitted (room service only)
    • Spas and indoor fitness facilities must close
    • Indoor pools and hot tubs must close
    • Outdoor pools and hot tubs in low case areas may be rented out or used for the exclusive use of a person and their household

    Banquet halls, community halls and conference centres

    • Permitted activities:
      • wedding ceremonies up to 10 people
      • funeral services:
        • 10 people maximum in high case areas
        • 20 people maximum in low case areas
    • Prohibited activities:
      • wedding or funeral receptions
      • trade shows
  • Working from home and workplace transmission prevention

    Mandatory restrictions - Effective May 5

    High case area restrictions (effective May 10)

    • Any workplace with transmission of 3 or more cases will be required to close for 10 days. Work camps, essential and critical services are exempt.
    • Any workplace that does not comply will be subject to enforcement.
    • See workplace closures for more information

    Provincewide

    • Working from home is mandatory unless the employer requires the employee's physical presence to operate effectively.
    • Employees must wear a mask in all indoor workplaces, except:
      • in work stations or where 2-metre distancing or adequate physical barriers are in place
      • a workplace hazard assessment determines there is a safety risk

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.

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:

  • Get vaccinated - everyone 12+ is eligible
  • 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
  • you can be prosecuted for up to $100,000 for a first offence
  • you may get a ticket at the time of an incident or post-infraction – someone who isn’t charged immediately may receive a ticket after authorities do further investigation

Unpaid fines are backstopped with fine collection actions and restrictions on registry services:

  • you may have to pay your outstanding fine before you can renew your driver’s licence

Repeat offenders will be targeted with a new multi-agency enforcement framework.

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