Tough new mandatory restrictions for Alberta as COVID cases rise quickly

By Emily Rendell-Watson

The provincial government has announced new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Mandatory masking is in place across Alberta and all indoor and outdoor social gatherings are prohibited effective Dec. 8. The new restrictions are in place for at least the next four weeks.

Here are some of the main points:

  • Effective Dec. 13, retail services are required to reduce customer capacity to 15% of fire code occupancy, while restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges, cafes must close but are allowed to operate for curbside pickup, takeout and delivery. Regulated health services like dentists and physiotherapists can stay open by appointment. Personal and wellness services like tattoo parlours, hair salons, and massage therapy must close.
  • All fitness and entertainment facilities like gyms, recreation centres, indoor rinks, libraries, and museums must close as of Dec. 13.
  • Working from home is mandatory in cases where people do not need to be physically present to do their jobs. This is in effect as of Dec. 13.
  • Out-of-town visitors are not allowed to stay in other people's homes while the restrictions are in place, and all out-of-town travel is discouraged.

The new measures closely follow a decision by city council to call on the provincial government to enact stronger restrictions.

"These restrictions will be tough to bear — more so for vulnerable people in our community and for struggling businesses — but there is provincial, municipal and substantial federal aid available that should allow us all to do the right thing and follow these new public health measures to stop this virus," said Mayor Don Iveson.

Iveson applauded the new measures, and noted in a press release that the city will pause development of the Pandemic Restrictions Bylaw in light of this development.

Find information about the province-wide restrictions here.