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Province tightens COVID-19 restrictions, but no lockdown

Jason Kenney

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney stopped well short of implementing a lockdown Tuesday to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Kenney declared a state of public health emergency and introduced a number of temporary measures during a news conference late Tuesday afternoon.

“Believe me, these steps are not being taken lightly,” Kenney said.

Those measures include prohibiting indoor social gatherings, moving Grade 9-12 students to on-line learning, and restrictions on how businesses operate.

The province also limited attendance at workship services to one-third of maximum capacity, and reduced the number of people allowed at funerals and weddings to 10 people.

“Those who break these rules will be subject to fines,” Kenney warned.

The measures will be re-evaluated in three weeks. If no progress is made, stricter measures will be put in place.

“Now is the time for all Albertans to meet the moment,” Kenney added.

Effective immediately, the following mandatory restrictions on social gatherings are in effect province-wide:

  • No indoor social gatherings are permitted in any setting, including workplaces.
  • Outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Funeral services and wedding ceremonies must follow all public health guidance and are limited to a maximum of 10 in-person attendees. Receptions are not permitted.
  • In all schools, Grades 7-12 will move to at-home learning on Nov. 30, ending in-person classes early.
  • Students in early childhood services and Grades Kindergarten to Grade 6 will remain learning in-person until Dec. 18.
  • All students will return to at-home learning after the winter break and resume in-person learning on Jan. 11.
  • Diploma exams are optional for the rest of the school year.

Effective immediately, mandatory restrictions on places of worship, businesses and services are in effect in areas under enhanced status.

  • Places of worship are limited to a maximum of one-third normal attendance per service.
  • Physical distancing between households and masking are required.
  • Faith-based leaders are encouraged to move services on-line.
  • In-person faith group meetings can continue, but must maintain physical distancing and public health measures must be followed.

Businesses that are closed for in-person service include:
• Banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, auditoria and concert venues, non-approved and licensed markets, community centres.
• Children’s play places or indoor playgrounds.
• All levels of sport. Exemptions may be considered.

Most retail businesses may remain open with capacity limited to 25 per cent of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.

Businesses open by appointment only are not permitted to offer walk-in services. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.

• Personal services such as hair salons and barbershops, esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing and make-up, piercing and tattoo services.
• Wellness services including acupuncture, massage and reflexology.
• Professional services such as lawyers, mediators, accountants and photographers.
• Private one-on-one lessons (no private group lessons permitted).
• Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges.

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