COVID-19 Update: Alberta Government Reintroduces Mandatory Masking; Asks Employers to Pause Return to Work Plans
On September 3, 2021, the Alberta Government announced additional restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new measures include:
- Province-wide mandatory masking in all indoor public spaces and workplaces starting September 4, 2021, with the exception of schools;
- requiring restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, nightclubs, and other licensed establishments to end alcohol services at 10 p.m., effective September 4, 2021;
- introducing a one-time incentive of $100 for all Albertans age 18 or older who receive a first or second dose of vaccine between September 3 and October 14, 2021; and
- encouraging Albertans to limit in-person contacts and recommending that unvaccinated Albertans limit indoor social gatherings to close contacts of only two cohort families, up to a maximum of 10 people.
As per these new restrictions, employees working on site are required to wear a mask when indoors, except when in their workstation, where two-metre physical distancing can be maintained, or where adequate physical barriers are in place.
Additionally, the Alberta Government is recommending that employers pause plans for their employees to return to the workplace and, where operationally feasible, have employees work from home.
We at McCarthy Tétrault are continuing to monitor the changes brought by this announcement. Watch our COVID-19 Recovery Hub and our McCarthy Tétrault Employer Advisor Blog for further updates. In the interim, if you are an employer and have any questions about the changes or any other COVID-19 workplace matter, please contact any member of our Labour & Employment Team.