Jason Kenney just announced a slew of new COVID-19 restrictions as cases continue to rise in the province.
Kenney spoke at a live-streamed press conference on Tuesday to detail the new public health measures that will have either been put into place immediately or will take effect as of 12:01 am on Sunday, December 13.
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The announcement comes two weeks after Kenney put additional COVID-19 restrictions in place on Tuesday, November 24, which included a ban on indoor social gatherings, a limit on outdoor social gatherings, and restrictions on businesses throughout the province.
The new December 8 measures increase those seen two weeks ago. Here’s a full list of measures being put into place immediately:
- No social gatherings indoors or outdoors
- Close contacts limited to households only — those who live alone will still be allowed two close contacts for in-person visiting
- Masks are mandatory for all indoor places and workplaces throughout the province, except for farm operations and people who live in rental homes
These are the measures being put into place as of 12:01 am on Sunday:
- Retail services, grocery stores, shopping malls occupancy reduced to 15% of fire code capacity
- In-person attendance at places of worship limited to 15% of occupancy, along with the mandatory use of mask, physical distancing requirements, and a prohibition on post-worship social activities
- All restaurants, bars, lounges, and cafes moved to delivery and take out service only, no in-person dining
- The closure of casinos, bingo halls, gaming centres, horse tracks, raceways, bowling alleys, pool halls, legions, and private clubs, salons, barbers, massage studios, tattoo studios, and piercing studios, ecreational facilities, fitness centres, pools, gyms, day and overnight camps, indoor rings and arenas.
- Dentistry, physio, social services, emergency centres, and childcare will remain open, as well as addiction counselling, residential treatment centres, and group meetings
- Outdoor skating rinks and ski hills will be allowed to remain open
- Hotels can remain open, but hotel pools, restaurants, spas, and related services must close
- All Alberta workers must work from home, unless their employer determines that the work requires a physical presence
All of these measures will last for a minimum of four weeks.
“The virus is spreading at an alarming rate in every region of the province, and many of those who fall ill in rural areas do end up being cared for in the increasingly hard-pressed large urban hospitals,” said Kenney.
“The bottom line is that we must have a coordinated, province-wide approach now.”