In response to the COVID-19 wave driven by the Omicron variant, the Government of Alberta recently reduced self-isolation requirements and changed restrictions applicable to businesses participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program. In this update, we break down the key changes.
Reduced Self-Isolation Period
Effective January 3, 2022, the mandatory isolation period for individuals who contract COVID-19 is 5 days for those who are fully vaccinated, and 10 days for those who are not fully vaccinated. The start date of a respective isolation period depends on whether the individual is symptomatic or whether the individual tested positive for COVID-19 but is asymptomatic.
An individual required to isolate must:
- remain at home and 2 metres distant from any other person at all times;
- not attend work, school, social events or any other public gatherings; and
- not take public transportation.
New Restrictions on Businesses
New restrictions impacting businesses participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program ("REP Participants"), particularly large venues and restaurants, came into effect on December 24, 2021. The Restrictions Exemption Program allows business to operate with fewer restrictions than they would otherwise be subject to, provided that they require patrons aged 12 and over to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result. However, REP Participants must now adhere to the new measures listed below:
- Indoor venues that ordinarily have a capacity of 1,000 occupants or more must restrict occupancy to 50% of that number, while venues that ordinarily have a capacity between 500 and 999 occupants must limit themselves to 500 occupants. Food and drink consumption is not permitted in these venues, unless such consumption occurs within a separate restaurant.
- Outdoor venues have no capacity restrictions, but individuals must maintain physical distancing between households.
- Restaurants, pubs and bars must limit table capacity to 10 people and prohibit mingling between tables. These businesses must also end liquor service at 11 p.m. and close by 12:30 a.m.
The author would like to acknowledge the support and assistance of Aya Taher , articling student at law.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.