Alberta Imposes Tighter Restrictions, Raises Fines For Those Breaking Health Directives

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Alberta’s government has announced tighter health restrictions in an effort to break the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the health care system from drowning, Premier Jason Kenney stated.

Among the new measures include the requirement that all kindergarten up to grade 12 will shift to virtual learning beginning Friday. All workplaces that have reported an outbreak will be shut down.

Additional measures include the closure of bars and restaurants to in-place dining, closing of personal care services like hair salons, and restricting outdoor groups to five persons.

Retail stores will be required to limit capacity to 10 percent of fire code requirement or at most five customers, not counting staff.

Since schools have been earmarked for closure, the government admits this will cause disruption of the learning calendar.

The new restriction will take effect immediately and is expected to last at least 3 weeks. These measures will apply to all communities and regions except those with less than 50 cases for every 100000 persons.

Health authorities have also introduced tougher measures for repeat offenders, the Premier noted, including higher fines.

However, the opposition’s leader, Rachel Notley, said the new measures are quite confusing and lack sufficient clarity.

During a recent press briefing, she noted that the short time frame available to implement the measures will create unpredictability and instability, and will undermine people’s capacity to makes plans, particularly SBOs.

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