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COVID-19-related closures and changes for Edmonton and Calgary

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The City of Calgary announced the closure of all skateparks and sports fields and called for an end to all organized sports including football, basketball and soccer due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The City had previously announced a closure of playgrounds.

Across Alberta, restrictions are announced for the following classifications of business:

  • Close contact businesses including hair salons and barbershops, tattoo and piercing studios, esthetic services, as well as wellness studios and clinics and non-emergency and non-critical health services provided by regulated health professionals or registered professionals including dentistry, physiotherapy, massage, podiatry, chiropractic and optometry services.
  • Dine-in restaurants will no longer be able to offer dine-in service. Take-out and delivery services will continue to be available.
  • Non-essential retail services that fall into the categories of clothing, computer and gaming stores, and services in shopping malls and shopping centres such as hobby and toys, gift and specialty items and furniture.

In addition, people are prohibited from attending gatherings of more than 15, and they must observe two metres of social distancing.

News for Alberta renters:

  • Effective immediately, tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and/or utilities before May 1.
  • Effective immediately, rents will not increase while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect.
  • Effective April 1, late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments for the next three months.

Seniors facilities are receiving social isolation and distancing information, and stronger restrictions are being put in place for visitors to long-term and seniors care facilities. Essential visitors will be restricted to a single individual who can be family, a friend, or a paid companion who provides care and companionship necessary for the well-being of the resident (physical and mental health) and/or a single designated visitor for a person who is dying, as long as only one visitor enters the facility at a time. Every visitor will undergo a health screening. 

While Calgary City-operated playgrounds are closing, Calgary's parks will remain open. Calgary has 8,000 hectares of parks spaces, including a variety of natural areas and nearly 1,000 km of pathways. 

The City of Edmonton has temporarily suspended fare collection on all Edmonton Transit Service buses, LRT and DATS service. In addition, all entry (unless otherwise required) will be through the rear doors only.   

Suspending transit fares adds another layer of protection for operators, as it eliminates the need for cash and transfer handling, thereby minimizing contact with others and increasing social distancing measures. Changes in fare collection are in response to keeping the community safe, and are not intended to encourage increased use of transit services.   

City of Edmonton utility payments and property tax payments are being deferred. No late penalties will be charged to tax payments made by August 31*. In regular circumstances, penalties would be applied starting on July 1*. For utilities, no interest or fees are being charged, and no utilities will be cut off during this period, even for customers in arrears. 

The City of Edmonton, in partnership with Alberta Health Services and Homeward Trust, is working to open the Edmonton EXPO Centre to provide shelter and support for vulnerable populations. The opening date for this facility will be announced in the coming days. 

Edmonton City Hall is now closed as a safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision was made to ensure the safety of the public and employees during this health emergency. 

 Previously announced by the Alberta government:

  • Mass gatherings are now limited to no more than 50 attendees. This includes worship gatherings and family events such as weddings. Grocery stores, shopping centres, health-care facilities, airports, the legislature and other essential services are not included.
  • To limit the amount of time Albertans are spending in large crowds and crowded spaces, all Albertans are prohibited from attending public recreational facilities and private entertainment facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries, community centres, children’s play centres, casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls.
  • Sit-down restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, food courts and other food-serving facilities, including those with a minors-allowed liquor license, are limited to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people. Take-out, delivery or drive-through service is permitted. Licensed facilities will also be permitted to deliver liquor.
  • At this time, not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens are exempt, but sanitization practices are expected to be in place and support will be in place for this practice.
  • Until further notice, all Albertans are restricted from attending bars and nightclubs, where minors are prohibited by law.
  • Any individual who has travelled internationally and arrived in Calgary as their final destination on or after March 17, must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • This does not apply to international travelers who do not leave the premises of the Calgary International Airport or who are merely stopping over in Calgary on route to their final destination.

Follow our COVID-19 special section for the latest local and national news on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as resources, FAQs and more.