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

Alberta has implemented public health orders restricting mass gatherings and certain businesses and workplace closures to protect Albertans’ health and limit the spread of COVID-19.

A gathering is any event or assembling that brings people together in person, in a single room or single space, indoors or outdoors, at the same time. At this time, it does not include operations in certain workplaces and businesses not specifically defined by the chief medical officer of health.

Mandatory mass gathering restrictions

Events

No gatherings with more than 15 people are allowed, including:

  • conferences
  • workshops
  • worship gatherings
  • family events, such as weddings and funerals
  • social gatherings outdoors

Cancel gatherings with fewer than 15 people if the event:

  • includes any attendees travelling from outside of Canada
  • has, as its focus, attendees who are members of critical infrastructure or critical service roles (e.g. health-care workers, first responders, electric/power workers, telecommunications)
  • includes attendees from demographic groups at greater risk of severe disease, such as people 60 years of age or older and individuals with chronic medical conditions
  • has attendees participating in activities that promote disease transmission (e.g. singing, cheering, close contact, sharing food or beverages, buffet-style meals)
  • is in a space that does not allow for recommended social distancing (at least 2 metres between attendees)

If you violate this public health order and proceed to hold an event with more than 15 attendees, you may be subject to a fine.

Exemptions

  • public transit – if 2 metres of physical distancing is observed

Business, workplace and facility closures

Retail businesses

Albertans are prohibited from attending all non-essential retail businesses, including:

  • gift, hobby, antique and specialty stores
  • non-essential health and beauty care providers
  • clothing stores that sell mens’, ladies’ and children’s wear as well as unisex, lingerie and maternity wear, shoes, bridal wear, jewellery and accessories
  • retail stores that sell, luggage, art and framing supplies, computers and gaming equipment, toys, photos, music, books, and sporting goods

These businesses may choose to offer online shopping and curb-side pick-up.

Exempt retail businesses

Retailers that can remain operational with appropriate public health measures in place are identified on the essential workplaces list as “retailers.”

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

Restaurants, cafes and bars

  • All dine-in services are prohibited. Take-out, delivery and drive-through services are still allowed.
  • Albertans are prohibited from attending bars and nightclubs, where law prohibits minors.
  • Restaurants in a food court may stay open for take-out only (no seating).
  • Licensed facilities are permitted to deliver liquor (PDF, 112 KB)
  • Not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens are exempt at this time, but risk mitigation strategies must be followed.

Other businesses

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

Personal services

Albertans are prohibited from accessing close contact personal services, including personal services facilities, cosmetic enhancement services, wellness studios and clinics, non-emergency and non-critical health services.

Personal services facilities and cosmetic enhancement services include:

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

Wellness studios and clinics include:

  • floatation tanks
  • colonic irrigation
  • massage
  • reflexology

Non-emergency and non-critical health services provided by regulated health professionals or registered professionals include any non-emergency or non-urgent:

  • dentistry
  • physiotherapy
  • massage
  • foot care and podiatry
  • acupuncture and acupressure
  • chiropractic services
  • naturopathy

Other workplaces

Workplaces that are not otherwise restricted or ordered to close can have more than 15 workers on a work site as long as they follow all public health guidelines, including physical distancing measures. Employers should:

  • self-assess and find alternate ways to organize large group meetings
  • cancel workplace gatherings of 15 or more people in a single space (e.g. training events)
  • employ mitigation strategies to limit risk
  • continue business continuity planning to prepare critical operations for any potential interruption

Risk mitigation strategies

All gatherings that are proceeding because they don’t meet the restriction criteria, including weddings and funerals with less than 15 people, should follow these general risk mitigation strategies:

  • people who are sick with a fever or cough must not attend (even if symptoms appear to be mild or resemble a cold)
  • recommend anyone at high risk of severe disease not attend the event
  • reduce the number of participants or change the venue to allow for physical distancing
  • stagger the time of arrivals and departures
  • provide packaged refreshments instead of a buffet
  • increase access to handwashing stations or alcohol-based sanitizer
  • frequently clean surfaces that are touched often
  • promote personal protective practices (hygiene etiquette, staying home if ill)
  • offer virtual or live-streamed activities instead of in-person events
  • change the event program to remove activities that increase the risk of disease transmission, such as those that require physical contact between participants

Enforcement

If you violate this public health order and proceed to hold an event with more than 15 attendees, you may be subject to a fine.

  • You can submit a complaint to AHS public health inspectors if you are concerned an establishment is not following public health orders.

Submit a complaint

Resources