Alberta introduced a number of new measures in an effort to slow the fourth wave of COVID-19 on Wednesday, several of which came into effect Thursday. One of the biggest, a vaccine passport of sorts, will not come into effect until Sept. 20.
Here are the new restrictions that are in place across Alberta.
There are now mandatory rules around private indoor social gatherings.
For those who are vaccinated, private indoor social gatherings are limited to a single household, plus a second household. The total number of vaccine-eligible people is 10. No restrictions apply to children under the age of 12.
For those who live alone, they can choose two designated people. Those people must remain the same for the duration of the restrictions.
Indoor social gatherings are now banned for those who are vaccine eligible, but are not vaccinated.
There can be a maximum of 200 people at an outdoor social gathering, but two metres of physical distancing must be observed at all times.
Places of worship
Places of worship must now limit their capacity to one third of the fire code occupancy. Masks are now mandatory across the province and there must be two metres physical distancing between households or the two close contacts of someone who lives alone.
Sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities
Youth sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities
Restrictions around youth sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities are now in effect.
Indoor group classes, training and competitions are permitted under the new rules, but participants must screen for symptoms, maintain two metres physical distancing except when engaged in physical activity and wear a mask, except when engaged in physical activity.
Spectators are limited to a single household or the two close contacts for someone who lives alone, must be masked and must maintain two metres physical distance.
Attendance is restricted to one third fire code capacity.
Outdoor activities can continue without further restrictions.
Day and overnight camps
Day camps are now required to maintain physical distancing between participants and everyone must mask while indoors.
Overnight camps are now required to follow cohort models.
Retail, entertainment and recreation facilities
Events and venues that are fully outdoors, excluding washrooms, have no capacity restrictions, but households or two close contacts for those living alone must maintain two metres physical distance.
Masks and physical distancing
Effective Thursday, masking and physical distancing is once again mandatory in all indoor public spaces and workplaces.
Employees must wear masks in all indoor work settings, unless they are alone in a work station.
Schools (Kindergarten to Grade 12)
All students in Grade 4 and up, plus all staff and teachers for all grades, must once again mask while in school. If a school implements an alternate COVID-19 safety plan, that school could be exempted from mandatory masking.
Class cohorting is now in effect in elementary schools as well.
For indoor sports, fitness, recreation and performance activities at school, two metres physical distancing is required where possible. Youth engaging in physical activity do not have to wear masks, but attendees must be masked and distanced.
Spectator attendance is limited to one third fire code capacity and is limited to households, or two contacts for people living alone.
Working from home
Unless an employer has determined a physical presence is required for operational effectiveness, a mandatory work-from-home measure is once again in place.
If employees are working on site, they must mask in all indoor settings, unless alone in a work station.
Restriction exemption program
A number of restrictions like limits on indoor weddings and funerals won’t come into effect until Sept. 20. At that time, discretionary events and businesses must follow one of two options: either implement the restrictions exemption program, or continue to follow capacity and operating restrictions coming into effect that day.
Between Sept. 20 an Oct. 25, businesses that implement the program can operate as usual if they serve people who have proof of one dose received two weeks before time of service, documentation of a medical exemption or proof of a privately-paid PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of service. Test results from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories will not be allowed.
After Oct. 25, people must show proof of double vaccination two weeks prior or the other documentation listed above.
Businesses do not need to apply for the program and the province says audits and enforcement will take place to make sure rules are being followed.
The program does not apply to any business needed for daily living, employees of businesses participating in the program or children under the age of 12.
Information on how to access vaccination records can be found on the government’s website.