Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, largely in unvaccinated Albertans. New measures to protect the health care system, stop the spread, and increase vaccination rates come into effect starting September 16.

September 16, 2021

  • Albertans who are not vaccinated cannot socialize indoors with anyone outside their household beginning Thursday, September 16, 2021. Fully vaccinated people may only have social interactions indoors with one other household to a maximum of 10 people, all of which must also be vaccinated.
  • Children under 12 don’t have any indoor gathering restrictions.
  • Albertans who live alone can have two close contacts with distancing between them in indoor public settings.
  • Anyone will still be allowed to gather outdoors with up to 200 people for a private gathering, and an unlimited number of people for a public event provided everyone keeps two metres apart and there is no indoor component, apart from washrooms.
  • A mandatory work-from-home order will also take effect September 16, 2021, with exceptions in cases when an employer determines employees being physically present is necessary.
  • Places of worship must limit attendance to one-third fire code capacity. Masks and physical distancing between households is mandatory.
  • Masking will also be mandatory in schools for students in Grades 4 and up, and for staff and teachers in all grades. Schools that can implement an alternate COVID-19 safety plan can be exempted from mandatory masking. Elementary schools are to return to class cohorting.
  • Children’s indoor sports, performance and recreation activities can go ahead while keeping two-metre physical distancing and wearing masks when possible and screening for COVID-19 symptoms. But children do not need to be masked or spaced apart during the activity itself. Spectators are limited to one-third fire code capacity, must wear masks, and keep distance between households.
  • Children’s day camps also have mandatory physical-distancing rules for participants and require masks indoors. Overnight camps must follow cohort models.


September 20, 2021

  • Beginning Monday, September 20, 2021, businesses and non-essential events will need to choose to either adopt the province’s restriction exemption program and largely continue as normal, or be subject to a set of limitations.
  • Restaurants not part of the program will be limited to outdoor dining with a maximum of six people per table from one household, or for two close contacts for a person living alone. Liquor sales must end at 10 p.m. and consumption at 11 p.m.
  • Retail, entertainment and recreation facilities — including indoor venues, libraries, conferences, rental spaces, concerts, nightclubs and casinos — will have to limit attendance to one-third fire code capacity. Attendees will only be permitted to attend with members of their household or two close contacts for those living alone, must be masked and maintain physical distancing between households.
  • No indoor group classes or activities for adults will be permitted. One-on-one training or individual workouts will be permitted with three-metres of physical distancing required. There will be no restrictions on outdoor activities.
  • All indoor wedding and funeral ceremonies and services will be limited to 50 attendees or 50 percent fire code capacity, whichever is smaller. No indoor receptions will be permitted.
  • All outdoor ceremonies and services for weddings and funerals must be limited to 200 attendees. Outdoor receptions will be required to follow liquor restrictions.

Restriction Exemption Program

  • Starting September 20, 2021, Albertans over the age of 12 will be required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative privately-paid COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours in order to access non-essential businesses and events that choose to take part in the restriction exemption program.
  • Businesses, such as restaurants, bars, entertainment and recreation facilities, that adopt the system will be able to operate as usual without any of the new restrictions, as long as they deny access to unvaccinated individuals or those who cannot provide a negative test result. Documentation of a medical exemption will be accepted as well.
  • Children under 12 will not need to provide proof of immunization or a negative test to enter a business.


For additional information, please visit Province of Alberta COVID-19 Update