At 1330 hrs, March 17, Premier Jason Kenney announced the declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency. This will give the Chief Medical Officer of Health additional powers for the public health situation at present. Effective immediately and until further notice, the Alberta government is implementing additional measures, including cancelling events that have more than 50 people.
The additional measures include:
- Mass gatherings are now limited to no more than 50 attendees. This includes worship gatherings and family events such as weddings. Grocery stores, shopping centres, health-care facilities, airports, the legislature and other essential services are not included.
- To limit the amount of time Albertans are spending in large crowds and crowded spaces, all Albertans are prohibited from attending public recreational facilities and private entertainment facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries, community centres, children’s play centres, casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls.
- Sit-down restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, food courts and other food-serving facilities, including those with a minors-allowed liquor license, are limited to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people. Take-out, delivery or drive-through service is permitted. Licensed facilities will also be permitted to deliver liquor.
- At this time, not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens are exempt, but sanitization practices are expected to be in place and support will be in place for this practice.
- Until further notice, all Albertans are restricted from attending bars and nightclubs, where minors are prohibited by law.
Municipalities, charitable and non-profit organizations providing social services support will immediately see $60 million to support their COVID-19 response. The funding will be provided to adult homeless shelters, women’s emergency shelters and the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program, which supports municipalities and civil society organizations in providing services to vulnerable Albertans. Albertans are encouraged to visit alberta.ca/COVID19 for the latest information, guidance and resources.