Overview

Public health measures will be lifted in 3 stages as the Omicron wave subsides and pressure on the health-care system eases. Albertans can help make that possible by getting every vaccine dose they are eligible for.

Alberta entered Step 1 on February 9, and will progress to the next steps once conditions show our health system's capacity is recovering.

Translated resources

COVID-19 resources are available in عربي, 中文, हिंदी, 한국어, فارسی, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Af-Soomaali, Español, Français, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt and اردو on alberta.ca/CovidTranslated.

Easing measures

Public health measures will be phased out in 3 steps, beginning with lower-risk activities.

  • Step 1

    Alberta entered Step 1 on February 9. The following changes came into effect at that time, unless otherwise stated.

    • Restrictions Exemption Program removed, along with most associated restrictions.
    • Capacity limits are extended to all large facilities and entertainment venues (500+), but food and beverage consumption is now allowed in seats.
    • Interactive activities, liquor service and operating hour restrictions remain in place for food-serving entities.
    • Physical distancing of 2 metres between households is encouraged, operators should facilitate distancing between patrons where possible.
    • Mandatory masking requirements removed for:
      • children under 13 in all settings as of February 14
      • students of any age attending K-12 schools and participating in school activities as of February 14
  • Step 2

    Alberta will enter Step 2 starting on March 1, if hospitalizations are trending downwards. At that time, the following measures will be updated.

    • Any remaining school requirements removed (for example: Kindergarten to grade 6 cohorting).
    • Youth screening activities for entertainment and sport activities removed
    • Capacity on all large venues and entertainment venues lifted.
    • Indoor and outdoor social gathering limits lifted.
    • Mandatory work-from-home requirements lifted.
    • Indoor masking no longer required.
  • Step 3

    The timeline for Alberta entering Step 3 is to be determined and will depend on hospitalization rates continuing to trend downward.

    • COVID-specific continuing care measures removed.
    • Mandatory isolation removed (becomes a recommendation only).

Public health measures in effect

The following business and gathering restrictions came into effect when Alberta entered Step 1 on February 9.

Business restrictions

  • Entertainment, event and recreation facilities

    Mandatory restriction - Effective February 9

    Capacity limits

    • Large facilities must limit capacity to:
      • 50% if facility has fire occupancy load over 1,000.
      • 500 attendees if facility has fire occupancy load between 500 and 999.
      • No capacity limit if facility has fire occupancy load under 500.
    • Events and facilities that are fully outdoors (excluding washrooms) have no capacity restrictions.

    Interactive activities

    • Interactive activities (darts, billiards, bowling) are permitted only if they are the primary purpose of the business.
    • Dancing is not permitted, unless at a wedding reception.
    • Food and beverage service must be physically separate from the interactive activity.

    Food and beverage service

    • Food and drink consumption can resume while:
      • in seated audience settings or during intermissions.
      • seated at a gaming terminal (VLTs or slot machines), table games or bingo.
    • Limit of 10 people maximum per table. No mingling between tables.
    • Businesses with a Class A or C liquor licence or Special Event Licence: Liquor service must end at 11 pm and in-person service must close by 12:30 am.
    • Businesses with a Gaming Licence, Facility Licence, or Class B liquor licence: Liquor service must end at 11 pm and stop liquor consumption at 12:30 am.
  • Restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and nightclubs

    Effective February 9

    • Indoor and outdoor dining permitted.
    • Limit of 10 people maximum per table. No mingling between tables.
    • No interactive activities permitted (for example: dancing, darts, billiards).
    • Liquor service must end at 11 pm and facility must close for in-person service at 12:30 am.
    • Capacity limits are:
      • 50% if facility has fire occupancy load over 1,000.
      • 500 attendees if facility has fire occupancy load between 500 and 999.
      • No capacity limit if facility has fire occupancy load under 500.
  • Retail and shopping malls

    Mandatory restriction – Effective February 9

    • Updated retail and shopping mall capacity limits are:
      • 50% if facility has fire occupancy load over 1,000.
      • 500 attendees if facility has fire occupancy load between 500 and 999.
      • No capacity limit if facility has fire occupancy load under 500.
  • Sport, fitness and performance activities

    Mandatory restriction - Effective February 9

    • Indoor group classes, training and competitions are permitted, but:
      • participants 13 and older must wear face masks prior to and after the activity
      • youth under 13 are not required to wear masks as of February 14
      • youth must screen for symptoms prior to their activity
    • Indoor spectator areas must:
      • require mandatory masking (except for children under 13 as of February 14)
      • limit capacity to:
        • 50% if facility has fire occupancy load over 1,000
        • 500 attendees if facility has fire occupancy load between 500 and 999
        • No capacity limit if facility has fire occupancy load under 500
    • Outdoor activities can continue with no restrictions.
  • Working from home

    Mandatory restriction remains in effect until Alberta enters Step 2.

    • Mandatory work-from-home measures are in place unless the employer has determined a physical presence is required for operational effectiveness.
    • If employees are working on location, they must mask in all indoor settings, except while alone in work stations.

Gathering restrictions

  • Social gatherings (indoor and outdoor)

    Mandatory restriction - Updated February 9

    Indoor social gatherings

    • Indoor private social gatherings in private residences are limited to a maximum of 10 people 18 and older.
    • There are no limits on people 17 and under if accompanied by their parent or guardian. It attending the gathering by themselves, they will count towards the maximum limit of 10 people.
    • The indoor gathering restriction does not apply to mutual support groups, or to workers who need to access your home to provide caregiving support or home repairs and maintenance.

    Outdoor social gatherings

    • Outdoor private social gatherings limited to a maximum of 20 people.

    Workplace gatherings

    • Albertans should continue to refrain from indoor workplace social gatherings.
  • Places of worship

    Effective February 9

    • Places of worship may operate without capacity limits.
    • Masks remain mandatory (except for children under 13 as of February 14)
  • Weddings and funerals

    Indoor events

    Indoor wedding ceremonies and funeral services and receptions are subject to capacity, liquor, operating and interactive activity restrictions.

    • Liquor service must end at 11 pm and the event must end at 12:30 am.
    • Dancing is permitted, but other interactive activities are not permitted.
    • Capacity is limited to:
      • 50% if facility has fire occupancy load over 1,000
      • 500 attendees if facility has fire occupancy load between 500 and 999
      • No capacity limit if facility has fire occupancy load under 500
      • No capacity limit if the ceremony is at a place of worship

    Outdoor events

    • There are no capacity restrictions for outdoor facilities, however they must follow liquor sales and consumption restrictions (sales end at 11 pm, must close by 12:30 am).

Schools

  • Schools (K to 12)

    To support their overall well-being, ECS to Grade 12 students returned to classrooms on January 10.

    Mandatory masking requirements will be removed for:

    • children under 13 in all settings as of February 14
    • students of any age attending K-12 schools and participating in school activities as of February 14

    Learn more about the return to in-person learning.

  • Post-secondary institutions

    Updated February 11

    • Post-secondaries are not subject to capacity limits for their educational settings.
    • Food serving entities and events at post-secondaries must follow the capacity, liquor, operating and interactive activity restrictions.

Masking, testing, tracing and isolating

  • Masks

    Mandatory restriction - Effective February 9

    • Masking are mandatory in all indoor public spaces, workplaces, and places of worship. However, masking requirements will be removed for:
      • children under 13 in all settings as of February 14
      • students of any age attending K-12 schools and participating in school activities as of February 14
    • Continuous masking must be followed for up to 5 days following mandatory isolation due to COVID infection. For more information, see the isolation page.
    • Employees must mask in all indoor work settings, except while alone in work stations.
    • Masks should fit well and be of high quality. People at risk of severe outcomes should wear medical masks when in settings with people outside of their household.

    Learn more about mask requirements

  • Testing

  • Isolation and quarantine requirements

    • Isolation is still legally required for people who have COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive. Learn more about the isolation requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated Albertans.
    • Quarantine is no longer legally required for close contacts of positive cases, unless directed to do so by local public health officials.
    • International travellers must still follow federal travel requirements.
  • Contact tracing and case investigation

    • Individuals with positive tests will continue to be notified.
    • Contact tracers will not notify close contacts of positive cases, but will ask that individuals do so when informed of their positive result.
    • Contact tracers will continue to investigate cases in high-risk settings, such as acute and continuing care.
  • Outbreaks

    • Outbreak management and identification will focus on high-risk locations, including continuing and acute care and high-risk workplaces.
    • Community outbreaks with a surge in cases leading to severe outcomes will be addressed as needed.
  • Health care and congregate care settings

    • Existing public health orders for acute care remain in place.
    • Public health orders for continuing care remain in place.

    For more information on current restrictions in these settings, see protecting residents at congregate care facilities.

Public health orders and exemptions

  • Public health orders and exemptions

  • Mask exceptions

    In the specific settings where a mask is required, anyone unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition will require a medical exception letter from an authorized health professional. The letter may be presented if requested by enforcement officials, or retrospectively in court if a ticket is issued.

    For more information, see mask requirements and exceptions.

  • Promoting safe public spaces

    Public Health Order 30-2021 clarifies that large gatherings can be held on public land for political purposes (rallies, public demonstrations, protests, etc.).

    To help protect health, masking and physical distancing requirements are in place.

    As with other activities in general, participants at these gatherings are subject to enforcement actions if public health measures are not followed.

Guidance

  • Additional guidance for businesses and event organizers

    General guidance and resources are available to help Albertans and businesses follow best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Assessing personal risk

    You're encouraged to assess and manage your personal risk. It is reasonable to continue using precautions that serve your needs.

    Risk factors

    When assessing your personal risk, it is important to consider your setting, individual health and wellness factors, and comfort level. Consult your health care provider if you want help assessing your personal risk of severe outcomes or determining your personal risk level.

    Factors that increase COVID-19 risk:

    • you are not fully vaccinated yet
    • you regularly interact with children who cannot be vaccinated yet
    • you attend crowded indoor spaces
    • you have risk factors for severe health outcomes from COVID-19

    Factors that lower COVID-19 risk:

    • you are fully vaccinated
    • you mostly socialize outdoors, instead of indoors
    • you have a small social circle
    • you can normally maintain distancing from other people

    Additional precautions

    Vaccines are our best protection against COVID-19 and the safest and most effective way to protect against severe illness. Additionally, all Albertans should:

    • practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
    • stay home when they are sick

    If you have risk factors as described above, consider additional precautions such as:

    • avoiding or limiting time spent in crowded indoor places
    • minimizing close contact with anyone showing cold-like symptoms
    • continuing to use a face mask
  • Mental health supports

    We encourage Albertans to access mental health supports, if and when they are needed, and to respect how others are adjusting during this time of transition.

    For additional guidance, see mental health support (PDF, 270 KB).

Get vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and save lives. All Albertans 5 and older can book now. Adults 18+ and some children 12+ at risk of severe illness can get a third dose.

Book your shot Get the facts

Enforcement

If you violate a public health order, you may be subject to a $4,000 fine. Additionally, you can be prosecuted for up to $100,000 for a first time offense.

If you are concerned someone is not following public health orders, you can:

  • remind them that not following orders is against the law and puts people at risk
  • request service from AHS public health inspectors online or call 1-833-415-9179

Submit a request online

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