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Alberta Restrictions Update: Here’s What Employers Need to Know

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*This blog was updated on March 11, 2022.

The Alberta government has announced a three-step plan to lift public health restrictions in the province. Alberta entered Step 1 of the plan on February 9, 2022. It moved to Step 2 on March 1, 2022.

The Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) was removed under Step 1. There is no current requirement for employers in Alberta to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan. However, private companies in Alberta have the option to continue enforcing vaccination policies for employees if they choose to do so.

What restrictions have been lifted under Step 2?

The following measures have been updated:

  • Any remaining school requirements not lifted under Step 1 have now been removed.
  • Youth screening activities for entertainment and sport activities have been lifted.
  • Capacity limits in all large venues and entertainment venues have been lifted.
  • Restrictions lifted on interactive activities, table limits, liquor sales and closing times for bars, restaurants and other food serving businesses.
  • Indoor and outdoor social gathering limits have been removed, including for all wedding and funeral events.
  • Mandatory work-from-home requirements have been lifted.
  • Provincial mask mandate has been removed except on municipal and intra-provincial public transit for Albertans 13 and older, at AHS-operated and contracted facilities, and all continuing care settings

When will Alberta move to Step 3 of its reopening plan?

There is no set date to progress to Step 3. The move will be determined by a downtrend in hospitalization rates. All COVID-19 specific continuing care measures will be lifted under Step 3 and the mandatory isolation requirement will end and only stay as a recommendation.

What new measures came into effect under Step 1?

The restrictions Alberta removed under Step 1 include lifting capacity limits for locations not under REP. Though capacity limits for large facilities and entertainment venues (500+) stayed. However, people at these venues were allowed food and beverages on seats.

From February 14, 2022, children 12 and under were not required to wear face masks or coverings. Mandatory masking requirements were also lifted for children and youth in school.

Can I recall my staff to work?

Yes. Under Step 2, mandatory work-from-home requirements have been lifted in Alberta.

What about masking, testing and isolation requirements?

Masking

Provincial mask mandate has been removed except on municipal and intra-provincial public transit for Albertans 13 and older, at AHS-operated and contracted facilities, and all continuing care settings.

Vaccinated individuals coming out of the mandatory five-day isolation due to COVID infection must continue to wear a mask at all times when around others outside of home for up to five more days.

Testing

Free rapid testing kits are available to use at home. PCR testing is available only for:

  • Albertans with clinical risk factors for severe outcomes
  • People who live and work in high-risk settings

Isolation requirements

Albertans who test positive for COVID-19 or show symptoms must still isolate. You can read more about Alberta’s isolation requirements here.

Close contacts of positive cases do not have to quarantine, unless asked to do so by public health authorities. International travellers are required to follow federal travel requirements.

Do you need help reopening your business in compliance with provincial law?

Our experts can assist you with company policies and with any other human resource management, health & safety, or employment advice you may need. To learn more about how our services can benefit your business, call us today at 1 (833) 247-3652.