The government of Alberta declared a state of public health emergency and is implementing new health measures to expand capacity, increase vaccination rates and reduce transmission of COVID-19.
Starting Sept. 20, businesses or event organizers who choose to implement a program checking patrons for government-issued proof of vaccination or a recent negative privately purchased COVID-19 test will be able to have an exemption to restrictions.
If a business or service chooses not to require proof of vaccination, they will be required to adhere to the new health measures.
“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. These steps are not easy for anyone, 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. I strongly urge anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so immediately. Please protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community,” said Premier, Jason Kenney.
“I know Albertans, especially those who have done everything they can to keep not only themselves but their fellow Albertans safe, are tired. But I’m asking you to please continue to do the right thing to help protect our health-care system and our communities. Please continue to make safe choices, get vaccinated if you haven’t already, wash hands and stay home when ill. Together, we will protect our health system and each other,” said the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
On Sept. 16, a Mandatory work-from-home measure was put in place, indoor private gatherings for vaccine-eligible and fully vaccinated individuals were limited to a single household, attendance at any indoor private social gathering was not permitted for vaccine-eligible individuals who are unvaccinated, and outdoor private social gatherings were permitted to a maximum of 200 people, with two-metre physical distancing maintained at all times.
Grade four and up students were
required to begin wearing a mask, elementary schools implemented class cohorting, indoor sports, performance, recreation, and special interests were permitted with requirements for two-metre physical distancing, where possible.
Beginning Sept. 20, outdoor dining at restaurants is only permitted, and restaurants are eligible to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program.
Retail, entertainment, and recreation facilities attendance is limited to one-third fire code capacity and attendees are only permitted to attend with their household or two close contacts for those living alone. Facilities are eligible to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program.
No indoor group fitness classes or activities are permitted, one-on-one training or individual workouts are permitted. There are no restrictions on outdoor activities.
Starting Sept. 20, vaccine-eligible individuals will be required to provide government-issued proof of immunization, or a negative privately paid COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours to access a variety of participating social, recreational, and discretionary events and businesses throughout the province.
Businesses that implement the Restrictions Exemption Program would operate as usual, provided they are serving only people who have proof of immunization or who have a recent privately paid negative test.