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

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Sabrina Wilde in front of a recently purchased monster truck. Submitted.
Thorsby business women a finalist for 2021 Alberta Women’s Entrepreneurship Award

Sabrina Wilde with Lone Wolf Mechanical is a finalist for the entrepreneurial award.

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Most Read