As of March 25, Albertans are legally required under public health order to self-isolate for:

  • 14 days if they returned from international travel or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • 10 days if they have any symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat

Overview

Although public health measures are in place to quickly identify potential cases, all Albertans must take personal steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Steps you can take

To protect yourself and others:

  • practice physical distancing
  • wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow
  • avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • avoid travel outside Canada
  • watch for COVID-19 symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat

Follow mandatory self-isolation requirements:

  • 14 days if you recently returned from travel outside of Canada or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of symptoms, should they occur, whichever is longer
  • 10 days minimum if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, or until the symptoms resolve, whichever is longer

If you have concerns about your health:

Practice physical distancing

Physical distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. It can help you reduce the risk of getting sick.

This is not the same as self-isolation. You do not need to remain indoors, but you do need to avoid being in close contact with people.

We are asking all Albertans to practice physical distancing to help protect themselves and limit the spread of COVID-19.

To protect yourself and others:

  • keep at least 6 feet (the length of a bicycle) from others when going out for groceries, medical trips and other essential needs
  • limit the number of times you leave your home for errands
  • try to shop at less busy times
  • order online to have groceries or other items delivered if possible
  • go for a walk in your neighbourhood or park while maintaining distance from others
  • avoid overcrowding in elevators or other enclosed spaces
  • follow Alberta’s mandatory restrictions on mass gatherings
  • wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal surfaces

Wearing medical masks

Masks can be very important in certain situations.

  • If you are healthy, medical masks are not recommended as they do not provide full protection and can create a false sense of security.
  • If you are sick, wearing a mask helps prevent spreading the illness to other people.

This is why people who have a cough or respiratory symptoms must wear masks and wash their hands when visiting an emergency department or clinic.

Enforcement

On March 25, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health issued orders under the Public Health Act to legally require returning international travellers, close contact of confirmed cases, and people exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to self-isolate.

Law enforcement agencies have been granted full authority to enforce public health orders and issue fines:

  • Through amendments to the Public Health Act, community peace officers and police will be able to issue tickets to enforce COVID-19 public health orders.
  • Fines administered through tickets for violating an order have increased from up to $100 per day to a prescribed fine of $1,000 per occurrence.
  • Courts will also have increased powers to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations.
  • These new fines will be in force over the coming days.

If you know someone who is not self-isolating when they are legally required to:

  • take proper precautions and distance yourself from the person to limit your risk of exposure if they have symptoms
  • remind the person that not following public health orders is against the law and puts people at risk
  • submit a complaint online

Resources