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Alberta’s COVID-19 Guidelines for Reopening Non-essential Businesses

As Alberta continues to allow more non-essential businesses to reopen as part of its COVID-19 Recovery Plan, it’s important to stay in the know on how your organization is affected and what guidelines you should follow to remain legally compliant.

the three-stage recovery plan

Alberta’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan is composed of three stages:

  • Stage 1 focused on reopening certain businesses and services while continuing to protect Albertans.
  • Stage 2 focused on reopening more businesses while keeping protections in place, as well as relaxing some public gathering restrictions.
  • Stage 3 will involve opening all workplaces and relaxing public gathering restrictions.

stage 1 (May 14 – June 11, 2020)

Lifted Restrictions:

  • Retail businesses like clothing, furniture and bookstores.
  • All farmers’ market vendors.
  • Hair salons and barbershops.
  • Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars for table service at 50 percent capacity.
  • Some scheduled non-urgent surgeries, gradually.
  • Museums and art galleries.
  • Daycares and out-of-school care, with occupancy limits.
  • Day camps, including summer school, with occupancy limits.
  • Post-secondary institutions for course delivery and flexibility for in-person delivery once the existing public health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
  • Places of worship and funeral services, if they follow sector-specific guidance.
  • Dog parks and playgrounds, unless restricted by municipal authorities.

stage 2 (began june 12)

What Can Currently Open With Restrictions:

  • K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance.
  • Libraries.
  • More surgeries.
  • Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology clinics.
  • Personal services (e.g., esthetics, cosmetics, skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments and artificial tanning).
  • Movie theatres and theatres.
  • Community halls.
  • Team sports.
  • Indoor recreation, fitness and sports, including gyms and arenas.
  • Pools for leisure swimming.
  • VLTs in restaurants and bars.
  • Bingo halls and casinos (excluding table games).
  • Instrumental concerts.
  • Provincial campgrounds at full capacity.

Events and gatherings in Stage 2:

  • 50 people maximum: indoor social gatherings, including wedding and funeral receptions, and birthday parties.
  • 100 people maximum: outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events, including wedding and funeral ceremonies.
  • No cap on the number of people (with public health measures in place):
    • Worship gatherings.
    • Restaurant, cafes, lounges and bars.
    • Casinos and bingo halls.
    • More flexibility for ‘cohort’ groups (small groups of people whose members do not always keep 2 metres apart):
      • A household can increase interactions with other households to a maximum of 15 people.
      • Performers can have a cohort of up to 50 people (cast members or performers).
      • Sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players (mini-leagues).

stage 3 (date to be determined)

Lifted Restrictions:

  • Fully reopening all businesses and services, with some restrictions.
  • Larger gatherings permitted (number of people to be determined).
  • Arts and culture festivals, vocal concerts and major sporting events, with restrictions.
  • Nightclubs, with restrictions.
  • Industry conferences, with restrictions.
  • No restrictions on non-essential travel.

The Stage 3 start date will base on the success of Stage 2. Factors include active cases, health-care system capacity, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) cases and infection rates. Some restrictions and enhanced protection controls will remain in place, such as physical distancing.

Guidelines for non-essential businesses

Personal hygiene, social distancing and ensuring sick individuals remain home are required at every stage of the Recovery Plan. Where possible, non-essential businesses that reopen will limit person-to-person contact, such as limiting in-person meetings to only mandatory individuals, separating desks and other workspaces by 2 metres and only allowing one person per 5 square metres of open retail space.

Specific requirements and dates are subject to change at any time. Alberta’s official guidance for retail spaces can be accessed here for more information.

Visit this page for the full details of the Recovery Plan, and contact Access Insurance Group Ltd for more information about COVID-19 and how it affects your business.