An overview of new COVID-19 restrictions

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Editor’s note: A complete list of COVID-19 mandate restrictions are available on alberta.ca.

Within the new COVID-19 public health measures, all indoor social events are now illegal, but very few business are required to close. Sports must end, except when an exemption is approved. Masks are mandatory in religious services within enhanced ‘purple’ regions.
As of Nov. 24, Alberta has implemented bold and targeted health measures, said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, in a Nov. 24 media conference. The restrictions are in place now, so that the government has a chance to review them before Christmas. If these measures don’t have a dramatic impact, there will be more restrictions.
To start, these restrictions apply for three weeks starting on Nov. 24.
On Nov. 25, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief officer of health clarified, that raising your children is not a social gathering. Having someone come over to babysit is okay, but not to visit. People can also have outdoor social gatherings (with a maximum of 10 people), but once someone comes inside to warm up or use the bathroom it becomes an indoor gathering.
Effective Friday, Nov. 27, the Town of Slave Lake has changed services to comply with COVID-19 public health measures.
These include: closing the Legacy Centre and arenas in the Multi Rec Centre. All sports are suspended. In the MRC, individuals may book a slot to use the walking track, field house and fitness area. Outdoor skating rinks are open, but only 10 people are allowed at a time.
As of Nov. 24, there are seven new restrictions across Alberta.

  1. No indoor social gatherings in any setting
  2. Outdoor gatherings max of 10 people
  3. Weddings and funeral services max of 10, no receptions permitted
  4. No festivals or events
  5. Grade 7 to 12 at-home learning Nov. 30 to Jan. 11
  6. Grade K to 6 at home learning Dec. 18 – Jan. 11 (Christmas break + one week at of at-home learning in January)
  7. Working from home should be considered, where possible.

In enhanced ‘purple’ regions such as the M.D. of Lesser Slave River, places of worship must only have 1/3 of normal attendance and masks are mandatory.

Also in enhanced regions, the majority of businesses fall into one of the following categories:

  • Closed for in-person services
  • Open with restrictions
  • Open with 25 per cent capacity under fire code
  • Open by appointment only – no walk-ins and only one-on-one service

The list of closed businesses is much shorter than earlier in the pandemic. It applies to three categories: halls (various sorts); children’s play places and indoor playgrounds; and sports (although organizations can apply for exemptions).

Restaurants, pubs, bars, and lounges are open with restrictions. One new restriction of note regards dine-in food service – only people from the same household are allowed at the same table. The only exemption is for people who live alone. They can choose up to two other people, who live alone, to dine with provided that they are the same people throughout the restrictions.

The majority of other businesses fall into either open at 25 per cent or open by appointment. Unlike earlier restrictions, grocery, pharmacies, and hardware stores fall under open at 25 per cent, like other retail stores.

Finally, in Calgary and Edmonton and their surrounding areas, masks are mandatory in indoor workplaces. They are encouraged in enhanced regions. The earlier restrictions say “wear a mask in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace or an appropriate barrier is in place.”

All previous health measures also apply. These include, but are not limited to the following.

Albertans are legally required to:

• isolate for 10 days if they have any core symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition.
• quarantine for 14 days if they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or if they travelled outside of Canada.

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