COVID-19 Update: The Alberta Government Announces a New Plan to Guide the Easing of Health Measures

On January 29, 2021, the Alberta Government announced a gradual easing of provincewide health measures. The easing will take place in a phased approach, with each step remaining subject to the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients at that time. Once a benchmark is reached, and three weeks have elapsed since the previous step, easing of restrictions will be considered as per below.

The Government has confirmed that indoor masking and social distancing requirements will remain in place throughout all of the steps.

Step 1: Hospitalization Benchmark – is less than 600

Alberta will move to Step 1 on February 8, 2021.

In Step 1, restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes can open for in-person service provided the following restrictions are observed:

  • A maximum of 6 people per table - individuals must be from same household or the 2 close contacts of people living alone;
  • Contact information must be collected from one person of the dining party;
  • Liquor service ends at 10 pm;
  • In-person dining must close by 11 pm; and
  • No entertainment is allowed (e.g., no VLTs, pool tables, live music, etc.).

Children’s sport and performance activities will be permitted if related to school activities (e.g. physical education classes). Indoor fitness one-on-one training can be scheduled or proceed by appointment only. More than one trainer and client pair may train in the same facility, rink, pool etc., as long as each trainer and client pair remains 3 metres away from all other trainer and client pairs, and each trainer only interacts with their assigned client. No sports games, competitions, team practice, league play or group exercise of any kind is allowed.

Step 2: Hospitalization Benchmark – if less than 450

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Retail
    • Community halls, hotels, banquet halls and conference centres
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Step 1

Step 3: Hospitalization Benchmark – if less than 300

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Places of worship
    • Adult team sports
    • Indoor social gatherings
    • Museums, art galleries, zoos and interpretive centres
    • Indoor seated events, including movie theatres and auditoriums
    • Casinos, racing centres and bingo halls
    • Libraries
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Steps 1 and 2

Step 4: Hospitalization Benchmark – if less than 150

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Indoor entertainment centres and play centres
    • Tradeshows, conferences and exhibiting events
    • Performance activities (e.g., singing, dancing, wind instruments)
    • Outdoor sporting events (e.g., rodeo)
    • Wedding ceremonies and receptions
    • Funeral receptions
    • Workplaces – lifting work-from-home measures
    • Amusement parks
    • Indoor concerts and sporting events
    • Festivals, including arts and cultural festivals (indoor and outdoor)
    • Day camps and overnight camps
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Steps 1-3

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.

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