Alberta announces new public health measures, including new 15% retail capacity restrictions and requiring some businesses to close - Retail Council of Canada
Alberta | Coronavirus

Alberta announces new public health measures, including new 15% retail capacity restrictions and requiring some businesses to close

December 8, 2020

In response to the growing COVID health crisis including surging cases and hospitalizations, the Alberta government has announced a number of new restrictions for all regions that will require many businesses to close, and retail to further reduce its capacity limits as of 12:01 am Sunday, December 13 for a minimum of four weeks.

Retail remains open

RCC was extensively engaged in the discussions with the province, and successively fought to ensure all retail stores will remain open, one of the rare differences to measures imposed by the Alberta government this spring.  

As of Sunday, December 13, retail stores across the province (all regions) will be required to lower their store capacity to 15 percent (not including employees) of Alberta’s fire code allowance.  

Smaller stores may maintain a minimum of five customers, as existed in the previous Health Order.  For stores unable to source their permit, the government has provided a capacity calculator that will be updated to the new lower capacity.

Retail stores are strongly encouraged to maintain strict adherence to all safety protocols, including supporting physical distancing, cleaning, and new lower capacity limits. 

All retailers are also encouraged to promote online shopping, curbside pickup, delivery, and off-peak shopping as part of an effort to support greater social distancing.  

These measures will remain in place for a minimum of four weeks.

Restaurants, gyms and personal services close on Sunday

Similar to the spring, the government is requiring restaurants, bars, lounges and cafes to close to in-person service, with take out, delivery, drive-thru and curbside pick-up as remaining options as of Sunday.

Fitness centres and personal service business such as hair and cosmetic salons will also be required to close Sunday.

Province wide mandatory masks – effective immediately

Effective immediately, face coverings are now mandated province wide, for indoor, public spaces including retail stores.  Exceptions remain for those with health conditions.  Similar to rules that are presently place in many Alberta municipalities, stores will be asked to remind customers that mandatory masks are required, however are not expected to enforce compliance. 

Other updates

Mandatory work from home measures will be implemented as of December 13, unless the employer determines that work requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness

Schools measures will remain as they are now, with grade 7 to 12 students under at home learning, and elementary students allowed to continue in-school classes. Classes will resume on January 11, 2021.

Social gatherings are now limited to immediate households only. Violations will be subject to fines, and the province is increasing enforcement officers. For more information, contact John Graham, Director of Government Relations (Prairie Region), at