COVID-19 Update: Alberta Government Announces Expanded Restrictions in High Case Regions Impacting Workplaces

On May 4, 2021, the Alberta Government announced additional restrictions in response to COVID-19. Some of the new restrictions apply throughout the Province while others are targeted to more specific areas. The restrictions will be in place for three weeks, with additional extensions as necessary. The restrictions will be enforced with $2,000 fines.

Targeted Restrictions

In regions with at least 50 cases per 100,000 people, and at least 30 active cases, the following additional restrictions will apply:

i) Workplace Rules

  • Any workplace, except work camps and essential and critical services, with transmission of 3 or more cases will be required by health officials to close for 10 days.
  • Working from home remains mandatory unless the employer requires the employee's physical presence to operate effectively. Where at work for operational effectiveness, employees must mask for all indoor settings, except in work stations or where two-metre physical distancing or adequate physical barriers are in place.

ii) Outdoor Gatherings

  • The 10 people maximum at outdoor social gatherings will be reduced to 5 and a maximum of 2 household cohorts.
  • Retail
  • Retail customer capacity will be reduced from 15% to 10% of fire code occupancy (not including staff) or a minimum of 5 customers. Shopping mall capacity limits will exclude common area square footage.
  • Curbside pick-up, delivery and online services are encouraged.

iii) Indoor and Outdoor Fitness, Performance and Recreation Activities

  • Effective May 9 at 11:59 pm, all indoor fitness and recreation facilities must close, including one-on-one training. Indoor sport, performance and recreation activities are prohibited.
  • All outdoor sports and recreation activities are prohibited, except with members of a household, or two close contacts for those who live alone.
  • Outdoor recreation facilities may remain open unless specifically closed by public health order.
  • Professional sport organizations that have received an exemption can continue, provided that protocols are strictly followed.

iv) Personal and Wellness Services

  • Effective May 9 at 11:59 pm, personal and wellness services, including hair salons, barbers, nail salons, estheticians, tattoos and piercing, must close.

v) Places of Worship

  • Instead of faith services being limited to 15% of fire code occupancy, faith services will be limited to 15 in-person attendees. Physical distancing between households must be maintained at all times.
  • Drive-in services where people do not leave their vehicles are allowed.
  • Funerals
  • The 20 people maximum for funerals will be reduced to 10.

Province-Wide Restrictions

Province-wide, the following additional restrictions will apply:

i) Schools and Post-Secondary

  • Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools will transition to online learning, effective May 7. Post-secondary schools will transition to online learning, effective May 5.
  • Childcare facilities may remain open.

ii) Restaurant, Bars, Pubs, Lounges and Cafes

  • Effective May 9 at 11:59 pm, all in-person dining, including on patios, will be prohibited.

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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