Alberta Premier Jason Kenney joined Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw during the COVID update on Tuesday, April 6 to announce Alberta will, effective immediately, be returning to Step 1 of the phased reopening due to rising cases of COVID-19 and its variants across the province.
Effective at 11:59 p.m. on April 6 retail services and shopping malls will be limited to 15 per cent occupancy capacity, libraries will also be closed to the public, and fitness and indoor recreation is limited to one-on-one individual or household training with a professional trainer. Personal and wellness services, including hair salons and tattoo parlors, will remain open by appointment only.
Effective Friday, April 9 at noon, restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes will close for in-person dining, except for patio and takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery.
Premier Kenney also announced the province will be ramping up the vaccine distribution program, and the province is expanding Phase 2B of vaccine distribution to allow those born between 1974 and 2005, with underlying health conditions, to be immunized.
“We are taking strong action to stop the third wave from threatening our health system and the health of thousands of Albertans. The rapid rise in cases, especially variants of concern, makes this a critical time to stop the spread. These measures will buy us some time for additional COVID-19 vaccines to arrive and take effect so we can once again start safely easing restrictions as quickly as possible,” said Premier Jason Kenney.
Step 1 restrictions
The following mandatory public health measures come into effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 6:
- Retail services must reduce customer capacity to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy, with a minimum of five customers permitted.
- Curbside pickup, delivery, and online services are encouraged.
- Shopping malls will be limited to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy.
- Only one-on-one training with an individual or household is permitted for indoor fitness activities (e.g., fitness in dance studios, training figure skating on ice, one-on-one lessons).
- No drop-in activities or unsupervised individual fitness.
- Group fitness, high or low intensity, is not allowed.
- Outdoor physical activity is allowed with up to 10 people, provided physical distancing is maintained between households.
Adult performance activities
- Adult performance activities are not permitted. Performance activities include dancing, singing, acting, playing a musical instrument, and any rehearsal or theatrical performances.
The following mandatory public health measures come into effect at noon on Friday, April 9:
Restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges, and cafés
- Indoor in-person service is no longer permitted
- Takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery services are permitted.
- Outdoor patio dining is also allowed. Tables and dining parties must be two metres apart or separated by an impermeable barrier that will prevent droplet transmission.
- Household members only, or two close contacts of someone who lives alone.
- Contact information must be collected from one person of the dining party.
The following mandatory public health measures remain in effect unchanged:
Places of worship
- All places of worship will continue to be limited to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance.
- Virtual or online services are strongly encouraged.
- Drive-in services where individuals do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance will be permissible and are not subject to capacity restrictions.
- Indoor social gatherings continue to be prohibited.
- Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 participants, provided physical distancing and other measures continue to be followed.
Personal and wellness services
- Personal and wellness services can be open for appointment only. This includes hair salons, nail salons, massage, tattoos, and piercing.
- Health services, including physiotherapy or acupuncture, social or protective services, shelters for vulnerable persons, emergency services, child care, and not-for-profit community kitchens or charitable kitchens can remain open for in-person attendance.
Indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance
- K-12 schools and post-secondary children’s sport and performance activities, such as physical education classes, can now use off-site facilities to support curriculum-related educational activities.
- Lessons, practices, and conditioning activities, but not games, may occur for indoor team-based minor sports/activities and school athletics.
- All participants must be 18 years old or younger, excluding coaches or trainers.
- Maximum of 10 individuals, including all coaches, trainers, and participants.
- Participants must stay physically distanced from each other at all times.
Metrics based on cases and growth, including COVID-19 variants, are being monitored and will also be used to guide any decisions around the need to pause further steps or potentially increase restrictions.