Everything you need to know about the new COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta

Sep 16 2021, 4:28 pm

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Alberta, the provincial government has introduced a number of public health measures in an effort to help slow the spread of the virus.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Health Tyler Shandro announced the new restrictions along with a proof of vaccination program during a Wednesday evening press conference.

“We are taking necessary and critical steps to prevent our health system from being overwhelmed and once again slow the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta,” said Premier Kenney in a news release.

“These steps are not easy for anyone,” he continued, “but with COVID-19 hospitalizations continuing to rise, particularly amongst the unvaccinated, we have no choice but to implement the proof of vaccination measures and temporary restrictions. We have overcome past COVID-19 waves, and we will once again.”

Several public health measures went into effect at 12:01 am on Thursday, September 16, while others will begin on Monday, September 20. Also, starting Monday, businesses and spaces such as restaurants, bars, and indoor organized events can choose to participate in the Restrictions Exemption Program.

Under this program, businesses can operate as usual with no restrictions, as long as they are serving only people who have proof of immunization or who have a recent, privately paid negative COVID-19 test.

Vaccine-eligible individuals will be required to provide government-issued proof of vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours in order to access the participating social, recreational, and discretionary events and businesses throughout the province.

The following public health measures came into effect on Thursday. A list of the restrictions that will be put in place beginning Monday, September 20, can be found on the Government of Alberta’s website.


  • Mandatory work-from-home measures are in place unless the employer has determined a physical presence is required for operational effectiveness.

Private social gatherings

  • Indoor private gatherings for vaccine-eligible, fully vaccinated individuals are limited to a single household plus one other household to a maximum of 10 people, with no restrictions on children under the age of 12.
  • Attendance at any indoor private social gathering is not permitted for vaccine-eligible individuals who are unvaccinated.
  • Outdoor private social gatherings are permitted to a maximum of 200 people, with two-metre physical distancing maintained at all times.

Places of worship

  • Places of worship must limit attendance to one-third fire code capacity.
  • Face masks will be mandatory, and there must be two-metre physical distancing between households (or two close contacts for those living alone).

Outdoor events and facilities with no indoor portion (excluding washrooms)

  • No attendance restrictions, however two-metre physical distancing must be in place.

Schools (Kindergarten to Grade 12)

  • Mandatory masking for students in grades 4 and up, plus staff and teachers in all grades. Schools that can implement an alternate COVID-19 safety plan can be exempted from mandatory masking.
  • Elementary schools are to implement class cohorts.
  • For physical activities in schools:
    • Youth aged 18 and under are not required to mask or maintain a two-metre distance when engaged in physical activity.
    • There are no restrictions on outdoor activities.
    • Indoor sports/performance/recreation/special interest activities are permitted with requirements for two-metre physical distancing, where possible.

Children’s sport/performance/recreation

  • Indoor activities are permitted, with requirements for two-metre physical distancing and masking where possible and symptom screening for participants.
  • Youth aged 18 and under are not required to mask or maintain physical distancing during physical activity, such as a team sport.
  • Spectator attendance is limited to one-third of fire code capacity. Attendees must be masked and ensure physical distancing between different households or an individual who lives alone and their two close contacts.
  • There are no restrictions on outdoor activities.

Children’s activities

  • Children’s day camps must have two-metre physical distancing between participants and masking indoors.                                                    
  • Children’s overnight camps must follow cohort models.
Elle McLeanElle McLean

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