The government of Alberta announced Thursday that as of April 3, parking will be free at hospitals across the province.
The change will remain in effect at all Alberta Health Services facilities — for health-care workers and the general public — until the novel coronavirus outbreak is over.
The province said many health-care workers are working from home or at a variety of sites. Getting rid of parking fees and the need for parking passes will make these transitions easier.
The change will also reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread from touch screens and buttons at parking areas.
People visiting AHS sites are asked to still respect the parking spots allocated for staff, including those for emergency vehicles.
The province believes this will equal a loss of about $7.6 million a month in parking revenue.
While parking at AHS sites will be free during the pandemic, parking violations — for parking in fire lanes, for instance — will still be enforced.
Fees for parking will be reinstated once visitor restrictions are lifted by Alberta Health.