New COVID-19 restrictions now in effect across Alberta

Restrictions announced by the provincial government on Tuesday are now in effect across Alberta to curb the spread of COVID-19 cases.

Most of the new rules affect capacity limits and gathering sizes at large-scale venues, bars, restaurants, and pubs.

Alberta reported 1,625 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and 318 people are being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals, including 64 in intensive care.

With Omicron cases doubling in Alberta every two to three days, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw encouraged people to limit their number of in-person social contacts.

“I would ask that people not just consider the risk to themselves, but the risk of those around us,” Hinshaw said.


After Premier Jason Kenney’s announcement last week, more than two families can gather indoors over the holidays.

Private indoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people 18 years or older. If accompanied by a parent or guardian, there are no limits on people 17 and under.

There are no longer additional restrictions against people unvaccinated against COVID-19, who may now gather under the new guidelines.

According to Alberta Health, Albertans “should refrain” from workplace social gatherings.

There is a limit of 20 people for outdoor private social gatherings, and two-metre physical distancing between households must be maintained.


Businesses in this category participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program must end liquor service at 11 p.m. and cannot remain open later than 12:30 a.m.

There is a limit of 10 people per table and no mingling between tables.

Billiards, dancing, darts, and other “interactive activities” are not permitted under the new restrictions.

Indoor dining is prohibited at businesses not implementing the Restrictions Exemption Program.


All indoor entertainment, event, and recreation facilities implementing the Restrictions Exemption Program must limit their capacity to 50 per cent if their venue seats more than 1,000 people.

If a venue seats between 500 and 1,000 people, only 500 people are allowed.

There can be no food and drink consumed while seated in audience settings or at an intermission at any entertainment or recreation facilities that seat more than 500 people.

According to Cineplex, each theatre will be capped at 499 — with most unable to reach that capacity. Since theatres will remain below the 500 capacity limit, food and drink can still be consumed while seated.

Any indoor facilities not using the Restrictions Exemption Program are limited to one-third of fire code capacity.

There are no capacity restrictions for entertainment events that are fully outdoors other than maintaining social distancing.

For more information, visit Alberta Health’s website.

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