All workplaces are expected to develop and implement policies and procedures to address the COVID-19 pandemic prior to re-opening or continuing operations after May 1, 2020.

As of March 25, law enforcement agencies have been granted full authority to enforce the public health orders outlined below and can issue fines.

Overview

Restrictions on certain types of businesses that provide services to Albertans have been put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

  • Essential services, or businesses that are not restricted or ordered to close, can have more than 15 people on a work site.
  • Workers may work at a distance closer than 2 metres. However, risk mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 must be implemented and followed.
  • All individuals within a business, including owners, workers, volunteers and patrons, found to be in violation of public health orders are subject to a $1,000 penalty. Further prosecution can result in fines of up to $100,000 to $500,000 where there is a breach of the Public Health Act.

These restrictions are independent from those placed on gatherings at indoor and outdoor locations.

Retail services

Businesses that offer only non-essential goods or services are currently prohibited from allowing public access into their businesses. These retail businesses may choose to offer online shopping and curbside pick-up.

Examples of non-essential goods and services might include:

  • gift, hobby, antique and specialty stores
  • clothing such as lingerie, maternity wear, shoes, bridal wear, jewellery and accessories
  • luggage, art and framing supplies, furniture, gaming equipment, toys, photos, music, books, and sporting goods

If a business is not listed on the essential services list, it can still continue to operate if:

  • it is not specifically prohibited from offering services in a location accessible to the public
  • the business doesn’t fall under previous business, workplace and facility closures

With increased infection prevention and controls, some businesses and facilities will be allowed to resume operations as early as May 14, as part of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.

Restaurants, cafes and food courts

  • All dine-in services are currently prohibited.
  • Take-out, delivery and drive-thru services are still allowed.
  • Restaurants in a food court may stay open for take-out or delivery only (no seating).
  • Licensed facilities are permitted to deliver liquor.
  • Not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens, religious kitchens and work camp dining halls are exempt at this time, but risk mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 must be followed.

With increased infection prevention and controls, some businesses and facilities will be allowed to resume operations as early as May 14, as part of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.

Bars and nightclubs

Albertans are prohibited from attending bars and nightclubs, where law prohibits minors.

Recreation and entertainment

Albertans are prohibited from attending all public recreation facilities and private entertainment facilities, including:

  • gyms, swimming pools and arenas
  • science centres, museums and art galleries
  • libraries, community centres, children’s play centres and bowling alleys
  • casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls

As of May 2, golf courses can open, with restrictions, including keeping clubhouses and pro shops closed.

Summer events and festivals

Gathering restrictions apply to all major summer events and festivals in Alberta, including:

  • arts and cultural festivals
  • agricultural fairs and rodeos
  • major sporting championships
  • industry conferences

Personal services

Albertans are prohibited from accessing most personal services, cosmetic enhancement services and wellness studios.

Personal and cosmetic enhancement services include, but are not limited to:

  • esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing, make-up
  • body, nose and ear piercing, and tattoos
  • artificial tanning and spray tanning
  • hairstyling, barbering
  • facial, eyebrow and eyelash treatments
  • cosmetic skin and body treatments
  • laser hair and tattoo removal

With increased infection prevention and controls, some businesses and facilities will be allowed to resume operations as early as May 14, as part of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.

Wellness services

Wellness services include, but are not limited to:

  • floatation tanks
  • colonic irrigation
  • massage
  • reflexology

Non-essential health services

As part of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy, some non-urgent scheduled day surgeries will resume starting May 4, with the most urgent patients and those waiting the longest receiving care first.

Other non-essential health services, such as those provided by chiropractors, psychologists and other community providers including optometrists, audiologists and dieticians are permitted to resume operations, as long as they are able to follow Alberta Health guidance to limit transmission in these settings.

Other businesses

  • All passenger ropeways, like gondolas and chairlifts, are closed until further notice under the Safety Codes Act.

Risk mitigation

Business owners should:

  • Perform hazard assessments for all duties and undertake steps to control the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  • Find alternate ways to hold essential meetings of large groups (e.g. working remotely, teleconferencing)
  • Cancel workplace gatherings of 15 or more people in a single space (e.g. training events, parties).
  • Continue business continuity planning to prepare critical operations for any potential interruption.

For more information, see Guidance for workplaces.

Enforcement

All individuals within a business, including owners, workers, volunteers and patrons, found to be in violation of public health orders are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

If you are concerned someone is not following public health orders, you can:

  • remind the person that not following public health orders is against the law and puts people at risk
  • submit a complaint to AHS public health inspectors

Submit a complaint

If you cannot submit online, you can also call 1-833-415-9179 to submit a complaint by leaving a message when prompted. Please only submit a complaint once. Do not submit online and by phone.

Complaints that require an immediate response related to gathering restrictions or physical distancing can also be reported to your local police force through their administrative phone line.