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Alberta closing non-essential businesses; gatherings restricted to 15 people

"Grocery stores, pharmacies, delivery services and other essential businesses will continue to provide Albertans with the goods and services they need, and we’ll look to Alberta’s business leaders to find innovate ways to continue remote operations and protect jobs."
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On Friday afternoon, the provincial government announced it would place additional restrictions on social gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Premier Jason Kenney announced that mass gatherings will be limited to 15 people and more restrictions will be placed on available services.

Non-essential businesses will be closing.

“This was a difficult decision to make, but we must do everything we can to protect the safety of Albertans and limit the spread of COVID-19. Grocery stores, pharmacies, delivery services and other essential businesses will continue to provide Albertans with the goods and services they need, and we’ll look to Alberta’s business leaders to find innovate ways to continue remote operations and protect jobs. These businesses must do everything they can to safeguard the well-being of the hardworking employees on the front lines,” Kenney stated in a media release. 

As a result of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, attendance at certain businesses and organizations across the province will be prohibited effective immediately.

Restrictions will be in place for the following classifications of business:

  • Close contact businesses including hair salons and barber shops, tattoo and piercing studios, esthetic services, as well as wellness studios, clinics, non-emergency and non-critical health services provided by regulated health professionals or registered professionals including dentistry, physiotherapy, massage, podiatry, chiropractic and optometry services.
  • Dine-in restaurants will no longer be able to offer dine-in service. Take-out and delivery services will continue to be available.
  • Non-essential retail services that fall into the categories of clothing, computer and gaming stores, and services in shopping malls and shopping centres such as hobby and toys, gift and specialty items and furniture.

A more complete list of affected businesses is available online.

In addition, people are prohibited from attending gatherings of more than 15, and they must observe two metres of social distancing. This includes:

  • open spaces such as trails, fields and parks
  • public and private gatherings where people are brought together in a single room or space at the same time, including funerals, weddings and other formal and informal events

Further details on gathering restrictions are available online.

Workplaces that have not been ordered to close can continue to have more than 15 workers on a worksite as long as those business maintain public health measures, including two metre social distancing, hygiene enforcement and processes that ensure that any person who is ill does not attend these spaces.

“These are aggressive measures and we don’t take them lightly. We need to do everything we can to flatten the curve and keep people healthy. I strongly encourage all Albertans to stay close to home as we are all in this together. Our collective action will protect our family, friends and neighbours," said Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Any business or organization not following the public health order will be subject to a fine. Courts have the power to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations. Individuals aware of any businesses violating these orders should submit a complaint online immediately.


Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Jennifer Henderson is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Great West Media based in St. Albert, Alta.
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