Alberta announces new COVID-19 restrictions for restaurants, retail, and schools

May 5 2021, 12:28 am

The Alberta government announced additional COVID-19 measures on Tuesday evening, as active case counts continue to rise across the province.

During a public address on Tuesday evening, Premier Jason Kenney announced that further COVID-19 restrictions will be put in place across Alberta beginning this week.

Effective immediately, these measures include reducing retail capacity to 10%, moving all post-secondary classes online, and limiting funerals to 10 attendees, places of worship to a capacity of 15, and outdoor social gatherings to five people.

Additionally, all indoor fitness facilities must close, including for one-on-one training, hotels and motels must close pools and recreation facilities, and all outdoor sports and recreation are now prohibited, except activities between household members only.

Also effective immediately, all workplaces experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks must close for ten days, with exceptions for critical workplaces.

These measures will be in place for a minimum of three weeks.

Effective Friday, May 7, all students in kindergarten to grade 12 will move to online learning until Monday, May 25.

Beginning at 11:59 pm on Sunday, May 9, all personal and wellness services, including barbershops, salons, nail services, and tanning salons must also close for three weeks.

In-person dining at bars and restaurants, including outdoor patios, must also close during the same period. Dining establishments may remain open for takeout and delivery.

Regulated health services, such as physicians, dentists and chiropractors, and non-regulated health services, such as massage therapists and kinesiologists, can remain open by appointment only.

Professional services, such as lawyers and photographers, may also remain open by appointment only.

A complete list of new mandatory health measures can be found on the Government of Alberta’s website.

Tuesday’s new restrictions follow enhanced measures put in place for Alberta “hotspots” last Thursday, April 29, for regions in the province that are experiencing high case counts. These measures included changes for schools, indoor fitness, and indoor sport, performance, and recreation activities in those regions.

Alberta reported a new record high of daily infections on Saturday, May 1, with 2,433 new cases. There were 1,731 additional COVID-19 cases reported on Sunday, 2,012 new infections on Monday, and 1,743 new cases on Tuesday.

Daily case numbers have been trending upward since mid-March, and the province continues to see a high number of variant cases as well. Variants of concern currently make up over 62% of Alberta’s 23,623 total infections.

There are currently 671 Albertans in hospital due to the virus, including 150 individuals in intensive care.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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