Premier Jason Kenney says with COVID-19 numbers still rising, the province’s health-care system will be tested in the coming weeks. (photography by Winston Pon/Office of the Premier)

Premier Jason Kenney says with COVID-19 numbers still rising, the province’s health-care system will be tested in the coming weeks. (photography by Winston Pon/Office of the Premier)

‘Please stay home’: Kenney imposes new COVID-19 restrictions

New measures will be in place for at least three weeks

Alberta is imposing new, wide-ranging COVID-19 restrictions in order to protect the health-care system from crumbling.

In a short address Tuesday night, Premier Jason Kenney announced sweeping COVID-19 public health measures that will be in place for the next three weeks. The new set of rules apply to municipalities or areas with more than 50 cases per 100,000 people or 30 or more active COVID-19 cases. This would include all central Alberta communities except Drumheller.

“If you can stay home please stay home, at least over the next three weeks. I know all of this is discouraging to hear, nobody wants to be here, especially after 14 months with multiple waves of this pandemic,” said Kenney.

“But our commitment to the health and safety of Albertans must come first.”

Starting Friday, kindergarten to Grade 12 students across the province will move to online learning until May 25.

All post-secondary institutions must shift to online learning Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, outdoor gatherings are reduced from 10 to five people, with a strong recommendation to keep those gatherings to just two people. Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10 per cent of occupancy.

Related:

Red Deer COVID-19 cases keep climbing

Funerals are limited to 10 people and faith services are allowed to have up to 15 people instead of the previous 15 per cent.

Workplaces with three or more COVID-19 cases will close for 10 days, except for essential and critical services. Kenney advised those who can work from home, should do so.

On Sunday at midnight, patio service at bars and restaurants across the province will close and move to take-out only.

Gyms, hair and nail salons and barbershops will also have to close Sunday at midnight for at least three weeks.

As of Sunday, all outdoor sports and recreation are now prohibited except with members of your household or, if living alone, two close contacts. This includes all group physical activities, such as team sports, fitness classes, training sessions, one-on-one lessons and training activities and practices, training and games.

The premier also announced that the fine for violating public health orders will be doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 and the province will be introducing a tougher protocol for repeat offenders.

“We will not tolerate those who endanger Albertans, while the vast majority of people are doing the right thing,” he said.

Related:

COVID-19: Stronger public health measures expected Tuesday

The new restrictions came just a week after the province imposed targeted measures on communities and regional COVID-19 hot spots including Red Deer.

“Governments must not impair people’s rights or their livelihoods, unless it is absolutely necessary to save lives or in this case, to prevent disaster from unfolding in our hospitals,” he said.

“Unfortunately, that is the situation we are facing today. The arrival of high transmissible variants is putting real pressure on our health-care system.”

Kenney noted that with more than 200 people in the ICU across the province and COVID-19 numbers still rising, the province’s health-care system will be tested in the coming weeks.

He said the province can open up to 425 ICU beds, but that would require mass cancellations of surgeries and other care.

“We will not permit our health-care system to be overwhelmed. We must not and we will not force out doctors and nurses to decide who gets care and who doesn’t,” he said.

“That is why we must act now.”

Some municipalities with 50 cases per 100,000 people or less than 30 active cases will follow slightly different restrictions.

These communities still must close all indoor fitness facilities, close all indoor fitness facilities and indoor sports. Outdoor recreation can continue with up to 10 people and all outdoor social gatherings must be limited to no more than 10 people. Funerals in these communities will be limited to no more than 20 people. Drumheller is the only central Alberta community that falls in this category.



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 2,271 new COVID-19 cases, Red Deer cases rise slightly

Across Alberta, there are 666 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 146 in the ICU

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe at Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders.
Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff
AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Health inspectors and RCMP locked doors early Wednesday

Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. An Alberta woman in her 50s has died from a rare blood clot disorder after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Alberta confirms blood clot disorder death linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

Both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been linked to VITT in a very small number of cases

Premier Jason Kenney says with COVID-19 numbers still rising, the province’s health-care system will be tested in the coming weeks. (photography by Winston Pon/Office of the Premier)
‘Please stay home’: Kenney imposes new COVID-19 restrictions

New measures will be in place for at least three weeks

FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine can be given to adults 30+ who can’t wait for mRNA: NACI

Panel says single shot vaccine can be especially useful for populations unable to return for second shot

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

A dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination is prepared at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for kids 12 to 15 years old in Canada

The vaccine was previously authorized for anyone at least 16 years of age or older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to speakers appearing by video during a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada will align policy on ‘vaccine passports’ with international allies: Trudeau

Trudeau says Canadians could begin travelling outside the country again by summer

Ranging from 11 to 20 in age and representing seven provinces and one territory, the plaintiffs are appealing a Supreme Court judge’s decision to dismiss their lawsuit last fall. (David Suzuki Foundation)
15 youths not backing down in their fight to sue Ottawa over climate change inaction

The group has filed an appeal after their lawsuit was struck down by a Federal Court judge last fall

A 2021 census questionnaire. (Black Press Media file photo)
2021 census responses due May 11

By law, every household must complete a census questionnaire

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi attends a senior’s home in Calgary on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, amid a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Nenshi says he’s frustrated to hear that tickets given to people for breaching COVID-19 public health orders are being thrown out in the courts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘Incredibly frustrating:’ Calgary mayor wants courts to uphold COVID-19 measures

Large groups without masks have been gathering in Calgary public spaces in protest of health measures

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
NACI advice on ‘preferred vaccines’ for COVID-19 sparks confusion, anger

Panel said that people who can wait for an mRNA vaccine should do so

Michael Bonin, 20, from Alberta, was discovered deceased on Peers Creek Forest Service Road north of Hope on April 20, 2017. (Black Press Media)
1 of 3 accused in 2017 murder of Alberta man pleads guilty, sentenced to life in prison

Joshua Fleurant pleaded guilty in a Kelowna courtroom to the second-degree murder of Michael Bonin

Most Read