COVID-19 Update: Alberta eases public health measures with move to Step 2 of “A Path Forward”

As a result of a sharp decline in hospital admissions and patients in intensive care units with COVID-19, the Government of Alberta has moved to Step 2 of their plan to ease COVID-19 related public health measures. We outlined the Government of Alberta’s staged plan to ease public health measures, referred to as “A Path Forward”, in a previous blog.

In moving to Step 2, the following restrictions have been eased:

  • libraries may open with a maximum capacity of 15% fire code occupancy (not including staff); and

  • low intensity individual and group fitness activities, such as barre, pilates, stretching, tai-chi, low intensity yoga, light weightlifting, and indoor rock climbing, may resume but must be scheduled or booked by appointment. High intensity exercise remains restricted except where performed with a one-on-one training with a trainer.

The potential easing of restrictions related to retail, hotels, banquets, conference centres and community halls has been delayed at this time on the basis of increased positivity rates active COVID-19 cases. The easing of restrictions in those areas may occur at a later point during Step 2.

The Government will wait at least 3 weeks before moving forward with Step 3. Step 3 has a benchmark of less than 300 hospitalizations and is anticipated to ease restrictions in the following areas:

  • adult team sports;

  • banquet halls, community halls, conference centres and hotels;

  • casinos, racing centres and bingo halls;

  • further easing of performance activities, youth sport and recreation activities;

  • indoor social gatherings;

  • indoor seated events, such as movie theatres and auditoria;

  • museums, art galleries, zoos and interpretive centres;

  • places of worship; and

  • retail

Work from home restrictions are not expected to be lifted until Step 4. Working from home remains mandatory unless an employer requires the employee's physical presence to operate effectively.

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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