COVID-19 Updates

Relevant Topics (up-to-date as of November 25, 2020)

The Alberta Government has declared a public health emergency and announced new restrictions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Gatherings

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – effective Nov. 24

  • No indoor social gatherings are permitted in any setting (private homes, public spaces or workplaces)
    • Indoor close contacts must be limited to people in the same household
    • People who live alone can have up to the same 2 non-household contacts for the duration of the restriction
    • Work and support group meetings are not social gatherings, but attendance should be limited and public health measures followed
    • This does not apply to service visits from caregivers, health or child care providers
  • Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people and must not have an indoor component
    • Backyard gatherings that require movement in/out of homes are not permitted
    • Attendees should remain distanced at all times and follow public health measures
  • Festivals and events are prohibited (indoors and outdoors)

Weddings and Funerals

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – effective Nov. 24

  • Maximum of 10 people for wedding ceremonies or funeral services
    • This includes the officiant, bride/groom and witnesses
    • This does not include staff or organizers who are not considered an invited guest
    • This applies to any facility, including places of worship and funeral homes.
    • This includes services held indoors or outdoors, seated or non-seated.
  • Receptions are not permitted

Places of Worship

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – effective Nov. 24

  • Maximum of 1/3 normal attendance for places of worship
  • Physical distancing between households must be maintained
  • Mask use is required
  • Online services are encouraged
  • In-person faith group meetings can continue but must maintain physical distancing and public health measures must be followed

Mask Requirements

Mandatory restriction – Calgary and Edmonton areas – Effective Nov. 24

  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor workplaces, except when working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle or an appropriate barrier is in place
    • This applies to all employees, visitors, delivery personnel and contractors
    • This includes all locations where employees are present and masks won’t pose a safety risk
    • This does not change current student mask requirements in schools

Schools

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Starting Nov. 30

Grades 7-12 students

  • Move to at-home learning Nov. 30 to Jan. 8, except during winter break*
  • Resume in-person classes Jan. 11
  • Diploma exams are optional for rest of the school year. Students and families can choose to write an exam or receive an exemption for the April, June and August 2021 exams.

Grades K-6 students (including Early Childhood Services)

  • Continue in-person learning to Dec. 18
  • Move to at-home learning Dec. 18 to Jan. 8, except during winter break*
  • Resume in-person classes Jan. 11

*Schools have different winter break schedules, check with your school for details.

 

Businesses Closed for In-Person Service

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

Businesses that are closed for in-person service include:

  • Banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, auditoria and concert venues, non-approved/licensed markets, community centres
  • Children’s play places or indoor playgrounds
  • All levels of sport (professional, semi-professional, junior, collegiate/universities and amateur). Exemptions may be considered.

Restaurants, Bars, Pubs, and Lounges Open with Restrictions

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

Restaurants, bars, pubs and lounges will be open with restrictions if they follow all public health guidance in place including:

  • Maximum of 6 people from the same immediate household at a table and no movement between tables.
    • People who live alone can meet with up to 2 non-household contacts as long as they’re the same two throughout the duration of these restrictions
  • Only seated eating and drinking is permitted. No other services or entertainment will be allowed, including billiards, games or darts.
  • Liquor can be sold until 10 pm and food-serving establishments must close to in person-dining at 11 pm. Liquor sales apply to casinos, but casinos are not required to close at 11 pm.

Albertans are encouraged to use take out, delivery, drive-thru and curbside pick-up options.

Additional inspections will occur to verify that public health measures are being followed. Establishments that are non compliant may face orders and fines.

 

Businesses and Services Open with Restricted Capacity

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

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

  • Retail, including liquor and cannabis
  • Grocery stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Clothing stores
  • Computer and technology stores
  • Hardware
  • Automotive
  • Farmers markets approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Unlicensed outdoor seasonal markets

Some entertainment and event services may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.

  • Movie theatres
  • Museums and galleries
  • Libraries
  • Casinos, offering slots only. Table games must be closed at this time.
  • Indoor entertainment centres including amusement parks, water parks, bingo halls and racing centres.
  • Indoor fitness, recreation, sports and physical activity centres, including dance and yoga studios, martial arts, gymnastics and private or public swimming pools.
    • Facilities can be open for individual studio time, training or exercise only.
    • There can be no group fitness, group classes, group training, team practices or games.
    • Instructors can use facility to broadcast virtual fitness classes from, but there can be no group class.

All public health guidance and physical distancing requirements must be followed.

Albertans and businesses are encouraged to limit in-person visits and use curbside pick up, delivery and online services instead.

 

Businesses Open By Appointment Only

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

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

These businesses must follow all current public health guidance for their sector and should consider virtual options where possible.

Home-based businesses should follow the restrictions for the type of service they provide.

Enforcement

If you violate a public health order, you may be subject to a $1,000 fine. Additionally, you can be prosecuted for up to $100,000 for a first offense.

If you are concerned someone is not following public health orders, you can:

  • remind them that not following orders is against the law and puts people at risk
  • submit a complaint to AHS public health inspectors online or call 1-833-415-9179
  • complaints that require an immediate response can also be reported to your local police force through their administrative phone line

 

 

Problem Resolution Program

COVID-19 - Existing and New Emergency and Recovery Benefits

 

  • Applying Retroactively for the Canada Emergency Benefits

 

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), have now ended. However, eligible individuals have until December 2, 2020 to apply retroactively for all periods of the CERB (retroactive applications for the CESB are not possible):

 

o   Eligible individuals can apply for periods 1-4 of the CERB (March 15, 2020 to July 4, 2020) by contacting the CRA at 1-800-232-1966. Taxpayers may be asked to provide additional documentation to support their claim.

 

o   Eligible individuals can also apply for periods 5 – 7 of the CERB (July 5, 2020 to September 26, 2020) through the CRA’s My Account portal or by using the automated toll-free phone lines: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. 

 

If you were receiving the CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits retroactive to September 27, 2020 and available until September 25, 2021:

 

o   the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB); 

o   the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB); and

o   the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB).

 

  • Emergency / Recovery Benefits – Main Phone Numbers

 

You can reach the CRA using two general phone numbers:

 

1-800-959-8281

 

o   If you are having trouble applying for an emergency/recovery benefit because they haven’t filed a 2019 tax return;

o   If you want to make changes to their account (updates to address or direct deposit); and

o   If you are having trouble accessing the CRA My Account.

 

1-833-966-2099

 

This phone number can be used to obtain general information about the new Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB, CRCB and CRSB):

o   Eligibility requirements;

o   The payment amount for each period; and

o   How and when to apply.

 

Employment

For employment opportunities please refer to Canada's Job Bank: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home

 

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

please click on the link below to find information on

  • Employment Insurance Program 
  • Canada Recovery Benefit 
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit 
  • Canada Recover Caregiving Benefit 
  • Support for Businesses 
  • Support for Industry sectors 
  • support for Organizations helping Canadians 
  • Support for Provinces and Territories 

*At this time, most of the details are pending legislative approval. More details will be available soon. 

Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

 

Health

For immediate assistance regarding COVID-19 and any questions you may have please contact:
Phone-: 1-833-784-4397
Email: phac.info.aspc@canada.ca

Testing

  • The Federal Government has signed a deal to purchase 7.9 Million rapid coronavirus tests pending approval from Health Canada 

Vaccines

Here is a list of aggreements signed by the Governmnent to secure Vaccines: 

  • Sanofi and GSK, which will supply up to 72 million of doses of their COVID-19 adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccine candidate.
  • Johnson & Johnson, which will supply up to 38 million doses of its vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S.
  • Novavax, which will supply up to 76 million doses of its vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373.
  • Pfizer, which will supply a minimum of 20 million doses of its mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162. The government is negotiating with the company to have the agreement include options for obtaining additional doses.
  • Moderna, which will supply up to 56 million doses of its vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. 

COVID Alert App

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html

Health 

  • Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer is now recommending the use of non-medical masks when out in public
  • Health officials are recommending Canadians to get the seasonal flu-shot 
  • Maintain social distancing and wash your hands often 

 

Travel

 

Either me or my family member is outside of Canada and is affected by travel bans. What should we do?
Canadians travelling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca.

Travel Update: Under the federal Quarantine Act – All travellers returning to Canada are required to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html?topic=tilelink

The federal government has banned domestic air travel and inter-city train trips for people with COVID-19 symptoms
Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/03/government-of-canada-announces-new-domestic-transportation-measures.html

Global travel advice and advisories

  • The Government of Canada advises all Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel 
  • Many countries continue to have strict travel restrictions in place, and the availability of options for international transportation remain limited. As a result you may have difficulty returning to Canada 
  • Some countries have opened their borders to tourists. Those destinations could impose travel restrictions suddenly, should they experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases. 
  • Should you decide to travel despite the Government of Canada's advisories, know that you might have to remain abroad for longer than expected.

Details: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Air travel into Canada

you can travel to and enter Canada if you're a 

  • Canadian Citizens
  • Dual Canadian citizens with valid Canadian passport or special authorization
  • Permanent Resident of Canada
  • Person registered under Canad's Indian Act 
  • Protected person 

Foreign Nationals are eligible to travel to Canada if 

  •  You are an immediate family member of a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident  and staying in Canada for longer than 15 days 
  •  For other Foreign Nationals, you must be traveling for an essential purpose and you must be traveling Directly from the U.S. or exempt from travel restirctions. 

All Travelers to Canada re subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. You must have a mandatory quarantine plan that shows how you will quarantine for 14-days 

Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/travel-restrictions-exemptions.html

 

Small Business

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Federal Government recently announced extension of the Wage Subsidy. Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html

 

Alberta

The Alberta government has released a plan to relaunch the province

The Alberta government has announced $53million in COVID related mental health funding
Details: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=70099FD5A018B-07BD-2B06-3BD3E6BD3108AF41

For information about current restrictions and closures in Alberta due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please visit:
https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx