Alberta’s relaunch began May 14

Albertans can support reopening businesses while continuing to act responsibly to prevent the spread.


Conditions for relaunch

To ensure a safer reopening, the following elements must be in place for the first stage of relaunch:

  • enhance our nation-leading testing capacity at the highest level in Canada
  • robust and comprehensive contact tracing, aided by technology, to quickly notify people who may have been exposed
  • support for people who test positive to enable effective isolation and contain spread
  • stronger international border controls and airport screening, especially for international travellers
  • rules and guidance for the use of masks in crowded spaces, like mass transit
  • strong protections for the most vulnerable, including those in long-term care, continuing care and seniors lodges
  • a rapid response plan in the event of possible outbreaks of COVID-19

Key measures to watch and timing

Thanks to Albertans, the health care system continues to be able to cope with COVID-19.

The plan to move forward requires careful monitoring and respecting all guidelines outlined by the chief medical officer of health.

Each stage of relaunch will depend on our ability to keep infection numbers low. Health measures we are watching include hospitalizations and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) occupancy.

Confirmed cases will be monitored in real time to inform proactive responses in localized areas of the province.

Relaunch stages

As we consider relaxing public health measures, we will evaluate, monitor and adjust course as needed. We may need to step back at times, but we will adjust and move forward together.

Enhanced infection prevention and control measures, including physical distancing requirements of at least 2 metres, will remain in place throughout all stages.

For more details:

  • Opening soon: Alberta’s relaunch strategy (PDF, 1 MB)
  • Workplace guidance for reopening on Alberta Biz Connect
  • PANDEMIC RESPONSE (Prior to May 14)

    During the pandemic response, the strongest public health guidelines to manage COVID-19 and foundational elements to support relaunch were put in place.

    Early actions allowed some activities to resume on or prior to May 14:

    • Some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries.
    • Dental and other regulated health-care workers such as physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, respiratory therapists, audiologists, social workers, occupational therapists, dieticians and more can resume services as long as they follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.
    • Golf courses, with restrictions.
    • Boat launch access in select provincial parks.
    • Vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas on public lands and parks.
    • Alberta Parks’ online campground reservation system opens May 14 for bookings at select campgrounds starting June 1 onward, with some restrictions in place. Out-of-province bookings will not be processed. See: Visiting Alberta Parks during COVID-19

    With enhanced testing capacity and contact tracing ability, along with a rapid response plan in place in the event of possible outbreaks, Alberta is ready to take the first incremental steps to reopen some businesses and services starting May 14.

  • STAGE 1 (Starting May 14)

    Stage 1 allows some businesses to resume operations starting May 14 with enhanced infection prevention and controls in place.

    • Cities of Calgary and Brooks are reopening more gradually due to higher case numbers.
    • Business operators can determine if they are ready to open and ensure all guidance for workplaces is met.
    • Mask use is strongly recommended in crowded public spaces, like mass transit, that do not allow for physical distancing of 2 metres apart.

    Lifted restrictions

    • Retail businesses like clothing, furniture and book stores.
    • All farmers’ market vendors.
    • Hairstyling and barber shops.
    • Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen for table service at 50% capacity.
    • Some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries to resume gradually.
    • Museums and art galleries.
    • Daycares and out-of-school care, with occupancy limits.
    • Day camps, including summer school, with occupancy limits.
    • Post-secondary institutions will continue course delivery, with flexibility for in-person delivery once the existing public health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
    • Places of worship and funeral services, if they follow sector-specific guidance.
    • Dog parks and playgrounds, unless restricted by municipal authorities.

    Continuing restrictions

    • Gatherings of more than 15 people indoors or more than 50 people outdoors is not permitted, unless otherwise identified in public health orders or guidance, such as workplaces, places of worship or in restaurants.
    • Gatherings under these limits must follow physical distancing and other guidance.
    • Public attendance at businesses, facilities and events that have close physical contact is not permitted, including: arts and culture festivals, major sporting events and concerts.
    • Movie theatres, pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, nightclubs and gyms will remain closed.
    • Visiting patients in health care facilities will remain limited.
    • In-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 students will remain prohibited.


    • Travel outside the province is not recommended.
    • Calgary and Brooks residents are encouraged to wait for local services to reopen rather than travelling for services.
    • Remote working is advised where possible.
    • Download the ABTraceTogether mobile contact tracing app and use it when in public.

    Progression to Stage 2 will be determined by the success of Stage 1, considering health care system capacity, hospitalization and ICU cases, and infection rates.

  • STAGE 2 (Timing TBD)

    Stage 2 will allow additional businesses and services to reopen and resume operations with 2 metre physical distancing requirements and other public health guidelines in place.

    Lifted restrictions

    • Potential opening of K-12 schools, with restrictions.
    • Libraries, with restrictions.
    • More surgeries scheduled, including backlog elimination.
    • Services offered by some allied health disciplines like acupuncture and massage therapy.
    • More personal services like artificial tanning, esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments and reflexology.
    • Larger gatherings permitted in some situations (number of people to be determined).
    • Restaurants, cafes, lounges and bars continue operating at reduced capacity.
    • Movie theatres and theatres, with restrictions.

    Continuing restrictions

    • Visits to patients in health care facilities will remain limited.
    • Nightclubs, gyms, pools, recreation centres and arenas will remain closed.
    • Arts and culture festivals, concerts and major sporting events will not be permitted.


    • Travel outside the province is not recommended.

    Progression to Stage 3 will be determined based on success of stages 1 and 2.

  • STAGE 3 (Timing TBD)

    Stage 3 timing will be determined based on health indicators. Some restrictions and enhanced protection controls will remain in place.

    Lifted restrictions

    • Fully reopening all businesses and services, with some restrictions.
    • Larger gatherings permitted (number of people to be determined).
    • Arts and culture festivals, concerts and major sporting events will be permitted with restrictions.
    • Nightclubs, gyms, pools, recreation centres and arenas will reopen, with restrictions.
    • Industry conferences can resume, with restrictions.
    • No restrictions on non-essential travel.

    Continuing restrictions

    • Physical distancing restrictions will be maintained.