Step 1 of Alberta’s four-step framework to ease restrictions is underway as pressure eases on the health system and hospitalizations remain below 600.
School-related and limited indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance activities, one-on-one indoor personal fitness with a trainer, and dine-in service at restaurants, cafés and pubs are now permitted provincewide.
“This is a cautious step forward that protects both lives and livelihoods and it is only possible thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of Albertans. Together, we are beginning to pave a path forward for our people, our economy, and our health-care system. We’ve bent the curve and need to keep on bending it in the weeks ahead.”
Jason Kenney, Premier
“We are making progress, but we still have a long road ahead of us. Our health providers have done their part to keep the health system operating during the second wave, and now we must all do our part to keep each other safe and continue driving hospitalizations downward.”
Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
“It is important for us all to remember that there is a reason we are moving slowly to lift restrictions – the fact that we have seven times more COVID-19 cases in hospital and intensive care than we did in May last year. It is more important than ever that we each follow public health measures every day. We need to harness our collective power to prevent cases from rising so we can protect one another and the health-care system.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health
Indoor masking and distancing requirements will remain in place throughout this stepped approach, and some degree of restrictions will still apply to all activities within each step.
Step 1 currently in effect: Hospitalization benchmark – 600 and declining
Indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance
- K-12 schools and post-secondary children’s sport and performance activities, such as physical education classes, can now use off-site facilities to support curriculum-related educational activities.
- Lessons, practices and conditioning activities, but not games, may occur for indoor team-based minor sports/activities and school athletics.
- All participants must be 18 years old or younger, excluding coaches or trainers.
- Maximum of 10 individuals, including all coaches, trainers and participants.
- Participants must stay physically distanced from each other at all times.
- One-on-one individual and one-on-one household training is now permitted for indoor fitness activities (e.g., fitness in dance studios, training figure skating on ice, one-on-one lessons).
- People in one-on-one sessions cannot interact with others and there must be a minimum of three metres between sessions in the same facility.
- Trainers must be professional, certified and/or paid trainers who are providing active instruction and correction. Passive supervision of a physical activity is not considered training.
- Sessions have to be scheduled or by appointment.
- No drop-in for individuals or groups is allowed.
- No sports games, competitions, team practice, league play or group exercise of any kind is currently permitted.
- Trainers should remain masked during the session; clients are not required to wear a mask while exercising.
- More than one trainer and client ‘pair’ are allowed into the facility, studio, rink, court, pool, ice surface, etc., as long as:
- Each trainer and client stays three metres away from all other trainers and clients at all times, including in entryways and exits.
- Each trainer only interacts with their assigned client, and each client only interacts with their assigned trainer.
- No interaction between clients or between trainers is allowed.
- No ‘cycling through’ multiple trainers, as in circuit training.
Restaurants, cafés and pubs
- Restaurants, cafés and pubs can now reopen for dine-in services.
- Establishments must collect the contact information of one person from the dining party.
- Up to a maximum of six people per table is allowed; individuals must be from the same household or the two close contacts for people living alone.
- Liquor service ends at 10 p.m.
- In-person dining must close by 11 p.m.
- Entertainment is not permitted (e.g., no VLTs, pool tables, live music).
A decision on Step 2 will be made if, on Feb. 28, there are 450 or fewer hospitalizations and the number is declining. The same re-evaluation period will be used for all subsequent steps.
Metrics based on cases and growth, including COVID-19 variants, are being monitored and will also be used to guide any decisions around the need to pause further steps or potentially increase restrictions.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.
Press Secretary, Office of the Premier