NEW Order from the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Order 53-2021 Modification of Record of Decision CMOH Order 442021 – updates for ski hills and chair lifts

Order 52-2021 – replaces CMOH-45, and outlines the details of the Restrictions Exemption Program

Order 47-2021 Modification of Record of Decision CMOH Order 442021 – outdoor social gathering and outdoor dining changes

Order 46-2021 – Modification of Decision CMOH Order 45-2021 to allow “counter sale or quick service restaurants” to screen patrons at counter

Order 44-2021 – replaces CMOH-42, and outlines public health measures to protect Albertans from COVID-19

Restrictions Exemption Program

As of September 20, events and businesses must follow one of these 2 options:

  1. To operate without restrictions, businesses can implement the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) requiring proof of vaccination or a negative rapid test result. Masking will still be required of patrons. OR
  2. If a business does not implement the REP, it must follow capacity and operating restrictions as outlined below.

According to the Government of Alberta, the following are In-Scope for the REP:

  • Restaurants and food courts with closed access to the public
  • Nightclubs
  • Casinos, bingo halls, VLT lounges
  • Entertainment and recreation centres, such as:
    • Bowling, racing entertainment, arcades, billiards halls, other similar entertainment
    • Museums, art galleries
    • Movie theatres, concert halls and other similar venues
  • Fitness and recreation facilities for physical activity, performance activity or recreational activity
  • Conferences, meeting spaces, halls, and rented space
  • Weddings and funerals held in public facilities (facility maintains responsibility for adherence to these requirements)
  • Indoor adult sport and performance activities
  • Professional sporting or performance events
  • Private social events held in public facilities (facility maintains responsibility for adherence to these requirements)
  • Adult recreational activities
  • Amenities in hotels and condos
  • Ski hills and facilities (can operate under a hybrid model)
  • Paid-entry markets and trade shows
  • Chartered private passenger vehicles

The government treats breakfast rooms as restaurants. If you do not put your breakfast room under the REP, it will need to be closed, as indoor dining is not permitted. You would be able to do in room dining or grab & go.

Accommodations are Out of Scope for the REP.

Starting September 20, businesses that implement the REP can operate as usual, with masking in place, and only serve people ages 12 and over if they have one of the following:

  • Proof of full vaccination (two does) via QR code is required.
  • Documentation of a valid medical exemption.
  • Proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of service (tests from AHS or Alberta Precision Laboratories are not allowed).

How to implement the REP at your property: Businesses do not need to apply for the REP program—they can simply start asking patrons for one of the options listed above. Audits and enforcement will occur to ensure rules are followed.

Once the REP has been applied to an amenity (e.g., restaurant, breakfast room, meeting room), the program must be operated consistently. Businesses are not permitted to operate the program some days or for some events and not others. It is the responsibility of the hotel to check the vaccination status of patrons using the amenities where the REP has been implemented.

REP Safety Training is availabe for Alberta’s front-line workers to help them keep businesses open and patrons safe during the pandemic. The safety training:

  • is available to all Alberta employers and employees who are implementing the REP and other COVID-19 safety requirements.
  • includes information and resources that workers need to keep themselves and customers safe while implementing COVID-19 safety requirements.
  • consists of 45-minutes of online training is available at no cost to eligible employers and employees.
  • requires that employers enrol for the training on behalf of their employees.

Announced October 7, fines will be doubled for contravening public health orders, including the mistreatment of workers doing the difficult work ensuring public health orders are being followed, from $2,000 to $4,000. New legislation is also being developed to protect businesses that implement the Restrictions Exemption Program from legal challenges.

Starting November 29, there are changes to the REP for ski hills and trade shows:

  • Ski hills can operate outdoor activities without implementing the REP, but must implement the REP for indoor areas to permit indoor dining and other indoor activities. If participating in the REP, they are not required to adhere to physical distancing requirements for enclosed chairlifts and gondolas, but indoor masking is still required for enclosed areas.
  • Paid-entry markets and trade shows, including artisan and craft fairs and holiday markets, will also now be able take part in the REP.

The REP does not apply to:

  • Businesses or entities that need to be accessed for daily living.
  • Employees of businesses participating in the program.
  • Children under 12 years and 10 weeks of age.

If you are implementing the REP at your property, download our signage to notify patrons or download Government of Alberta Signage.

Don’t know how to communicate to guests that you’ve implemented the REP? See our REP Letter to Guests Template.

QR Codes as Proof of Vaccination

As of November 15, a vaccine record with a QR code is the only valid form of proof of vaccination (POV) in Alberta (see exceptions below). Hotels can use the Government of Alberta’s “AB Covid Records Verifier” app to verify a patron’s vaccincation status, including for travellers from other provinces that are using QR codes. The app is available for download through the Apple and Android app stores.

You can download your individual QR code HERE.

Some key points about QR codes and the app:

  • When a valid QR code is scanned, a green check mark will verify the proof of vaccination.
  • The app will display a person’s name and date of birth, which needs to be verified using other identification. The app does not store any personal information.
  • The QR code contains a secure digital signature that verifies it is provided by Alberta Health. If a person does not meet the vaccination requirement for REP or if the QR code is tampered with, the record will show as invalid when scanned.
  • If the QR code is scanned and shows as invalid, the individual is not allowed to enter the establishment, even if the information on the document appears correct.
    • Issues with lighting or creases in a paper document, etc. will not cause the code to scan as invalid.
    • If a patron re-downloads their QR code document, and it subsequently scans as valid, they are then permitted to enter.
    • Patrons whose vaccine information has changed since they last downloaded their QR code (ie. they received a second dose of vaccine) should download a new version of their QR code.
  • Patrons may refuse to have their enhanced record with QR code scanned by the AB Covid Records Verifier app.
    • Using the app is strongly recommended, but is not a requirement of the REP. However, a business may choose to require QR code scanning for access to in-scope facilities. If a business is considering implementing measures more stringent than the REP, they should consult their legal counsel to determine potential impacts.
  • Having issues with the app? Contact the Covid Records Helpdesk or contact the support line at 1-888-527-1224 or email covid19record@gov.ab.ca.

The following exceptions apply to use of QR codes:

  • First Nations members immunized on reserve can show their immunization record.
  • Visitors from other Canadian provinces or territories can show their provincially/territorially officially recognized QR code or vaccine record, with full name and dates of vaccines, and a piece of personal identification.
    • An update to the app has been released that will allow the Alberta Covid Records Verifier app to scan QR codes from all other provinces and territories that have issued one. In order to make sure the app has this capability, please update the app on your device through the applicable app store.
  • International travelers can show their proof of immunization document that they used when entering Canada and a piece of personal identification.
  • Canadian Armed Forces can use their National Defense Canada COVID-19 vaccine record or card and ID card.

Review the following fact sheets for more information:

Find updated posters here:

REP Implementation Grant

The $20-million REP Implementation Grant is now open to all eligible businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations. Eligible small and medium-sized organizations may use the one-time funding as they see fit. Applications can be made online.

To apply for the implementation grant, organizations must:

  • be on the list of eligible in-scope operators of organizations
  • implement the REP consistently as part of daily operations
  • verify proof of vaccination, a recent negative COVID-19 test, or proof of medical exemption for patrons age 12 and older
  • be a permanent establishment in Alberta
  • employ fewer than 500 employees

Organizations must ensure all of their information is complete and accurate when applying. Incorrect or incomplete information may delay receipt of payment or cause the applicant to be denied payment.

Restaurants, Cafés, Bars, Pubs, VLT’s & Nightclubs

Starting September 20, the following restrictions only apply to businesses that do not implement the Restrictions Exemption Program.

  • Indoor dining is not permitted.
  • Outdoor dining only with a maximum of 6 people per table (one household or 2 close contacts for those living alone).
  • Liquor sales and consumption restrictions apply. (See Alcohol Service & Consumption section above for more information).
  • VLT retailers that choose not to implement the REP must operate within the following restrictions.
    • Capacity will be restricted to 1/3 fire code occupancy.
    • Attendees must be with household members only, or two close contacts if they live alone.
    • Ensure physical distancing of 2 metres between persons who are not part of the same cohort. Alternatively, partitions can be used to protect patrons and staff where it is safe and makes sense to do so.
    • Prohibited from serving food or liquor.

Starting October 7, the following applies to quick service restaurants and retail services with in-person dining:

  • Hotels implementing REP for their amenities must screen for POV at each amenity.
  • If participating in REP, quick service restaurants and retail services with in-person dining are permitted to serve patrons for both take out and in-person dining.
  • Eligible businesses include fast food locations, tap houses, breweries, breakfast or snack counters, and similar establishments.
  • These locations are permitted to screen for POV at the point of sale (e.g., at the counter) to permit in-person dining, rather than at the point of entry.
  • Patrons who are purchasing items and leaving must follow all public health measures.

Alcohol Service & Consumption

This section applies to ALL BUSINESSES THAT SERVE ALCOHOL. Starting September 20, the following restrictions only apply to businesses that do not implement the Restrictions Exemption Program.

  • A business with a Class A liquor licence:
    • is prohibited from serving liquor after 10 p.m.
    • must ensure that liquor consumption at the food-serving business or entity ends at 11 p.m.
    • must require people to remain seated while consuming food or beverages.
    • may, subject to applicable laws, provide liquor by take-out or delivery at anytime, including after 10 p.m.
  • A person who holds a Special Event Licence is prohibited from serving liquor after 10 p.m. and must ensure that liquor consumption at the event ends at 11 p.m.

Sport, Fitness & Recreation Centres, Pools:

As of September 20 to date, the following restrictions only apply to businesses that do not implement the Restrictions Exemption Program.

  • Indoor group classes and activities are not permitted.
  • Indoor competitions are paused, except where vaccine exemptions have been granted.
  • Indoor one-on-one training and solo activities are allowed with 3 metre physical distancing.
  • Outdoor activities can continue with no restrictions.
  • Pools are capacity limited to 1/3 fire code occupancy and attendees must be with household members only, or 2 close contacts if they live alone.

Meetings & Events

This section applies to ALL BUSINESSES HOSTING MEETINGS & EVENTS. Starting September 20, the following restrictions only apply to businesses that do not implement the Restrictions Exemption Program.

  • Attendance is limited to one-third fire code capacity.
  • Attendees are only permitted to attend with their household or two close contacts for those living alone.
  • Attendees must be masked and have 2 metre physical distancing between households.

Weddings & Funerals

  • Indoor wedding ceremonies & funeral services are permitted with up to 50 people or 50% of fire code occupancy, whichever is less.
  • Indoor wedding & funeral receptions are prohibited, unless the hosting facility implements the Restrictions Exemption Program.
  • Outdoor ceremonies, services & receptions are permitted with up to 200 people. Liquor sales and consumption restrictions apply. (See Alcohol Service & Consumption section above for more information).

Masks

  • Masking and physical distancing are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and workplaces, except when working alone in work stations.
  • Exceptions relevant to hotels include:
    • If people are seated while consuming food or drink
    • If people are alone at a workstation and separated by at least 2 metres from all other people

Social Gatherings

  • Albertans are encouraged to limit in-person contacts.
  • Vaccinated individuals: Indoor private social gatherings are limited to a single household plus one other household, to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Unvaccinated individuals: Indoor gatherings are not permitted.
  • Outdoor gatherings: Limited to 200 people with 2 metre physical distancing

Working From Home

  • Mandatory work-from-home measures are in place unless the employer has determined a physical presence is required for operational effectiveness.
  • If employees are working on location, they must mask in all indoor settings, except while alone in work stations.

Vaccine Incentives

The AHLA encourages properties to talk to their staff about getting vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible. This will:

  • protect your employees and their families,
  • protect their colleagues and guests, and
  • reduce the spread of COVID-19, making it possible for people to gather and travel sooner.

Talk to your employees about getting the vaccine, and make sure they have the right information.

Announced on October 7, new legislation is being developed to protect businesses that require vaccinations for employees from legal challenges.

Still have questions? View our Restrictions Exemption Program FAQ

The AHLA is here to support all Alberta hotels during COVID-19. Please contact us at WeHelpHotels@ahla.ca or 780.436.6112 (toll-free in Alberta 1.888.436.6112) if you have any questions.