After extensive deliberations, including the engagement of RCC over the past several days, the government of Alberta has announced new wide-ranging measures to address soaring COVID cases and a strained health system.
Effective 12:01 am November 27, 2020 all retail stores operating in an enhanced status region must limit their store capacity to a maximum of 25% of Alberta’s fire code (excluding employees). This includes most higher population regions.
These measures will remain in place until December 18, 2020 but will be extended if needed.
The government had been considering much more restrictive measures, however they recognize that Alberta retail stores are committed to strict compliance of safety protocols, including supporting physical distancing, cleaning and new 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.
Those who do not comply with the new rules could be fined $1,000 per offence and up to $100,000 through the judicial system.
Other measures announced:
A number of other measures have been announced, including:
Mandatory masks: Effective immediately a mandatory mask requirement for all indoor workplaces in Calgary and Edmonton and surrounding areas. Additionally, retailers must adhere to a number of municipal mask bylaws currently in effect that cover most major communities.
Social gatherings: Effective immediately, no social gatherings will be permitted indoors, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10. Weddings and funerals will also be limited to 10 attendees. Violations will be subject to fines, and the province is increasing enforcement officers.
Restaurants, bars, pubs and lounges can remain open to a maximum of six people from the same immediate household at a table, with no movement between tables, in all communities under an enhanced status. Albertans are encouraged to use take out, delivery, drive-thru and curbside pick-up options.
Some entertainment and event services may remain open with restricted capacity of 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code, or a minimum of five customers. These include movie theatres, indoor fitness, recreation, sports, and physical activity centres, including dance and yoga studios, martial arts, gymnastics and private or public swimming pools.
Schools – province wide: All students in Grades 7-12 will move to at-home learning on November 30, 2020, ending in-person classes early. Students in Early Childhood Services to grade 6 will remain learning in person until December 18, 2020. Classes will resume on January 11, 2021.
Businesses open by appointment only: Personal services such as hair salons and barbershops, wellness services including acupuncture, massage and reflexology, and professional services such as lawyers, accountants, and photographers.
Closed for in person access: In all regions under enhanced status, businesses that are closed for in-person services as of November 27 include: Banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, auditoria and concert venues and community centres as well as children’s play places or indoor playgrounds. All levels of team and individual sport (professional, semi-professional, junior, collegiate/universities and amateur). Exemptions may be considered.
For more information, contact John Graham, Director of Government Relations (Prairie Region), at (204) 918-3353 or email@example.com