Update on Essential Services31-Mar-20
By McLennan Ross Labour & Employment Team
On Friday, March 27, 2020, Premier Kenney announced new restrictions on businesses accessible to the public and limited “public facing services” to “essential services”. In doing so, Alberta has not gone as far as Ontario and Quebec, which have placed limitations on what businesses may operate during the COVID-19 outbreak, whether accessible to the public or not. Alberta’s approach is largely the same as Saskatchewan, which announced similar measures on March 25.
The Government of Alberta has specifically listed types of businesses that are not allowed to continue to operate. It has also identified “essential services” that can continue to provide services at locations accessible to the public.
Workplaces that are otherwise not restricted or ordered to close can have more than 15 workers on a work site as long as they follow all public health guidelines, including physical distancing measures, mitigation strategies, and business continuity planning.
The businesses that are restricted from operating are:
Types of Prohibited Businesses
Gift, hobby, antique and specialty stores
Non-essential health and beauty care providers
Clothing stores that sell men’s, ladies’ and children’s wear as well as unisex, lingerie and maternity wear, shoes, bridal wear, jewelry and accessories
Retail stores that sell, luggage, art and framing supplies, computers and gaming equipment, toys, photos, music, books, and sporting goods
Recreation and entertainment
All public recreation facilities and private entertainment facilities
Gyms, swimming pools and arenas
Science centres, museums and art galleries
Libraries, community centres, children’s play centres and bowling alleys
Casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls
Restaurants, cafes and bars
All dine-in services are prohibited. Take-out, delivery and drive-through services are still allowed
Albertans are prohibited from attending bars and nightclubs, where law prohibits minors
Restaurants in a food court may stay open for take-out only (no seating)
Licensed facilities are permitted to deliver liquor according to the following guidelines, such as:
Exception: not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens, but risk mitigation strategies must be followed
All close contact services, including:
The Government’s list of essential services identifies many types of businesses in the following categories:
- Health, medical and public health
- Public safety and security
- Food and shelter
- Energy and utilities
- Petroleum, natural gas, and coal
- Agricultural and horticultural
- Financial services
- Information and telecommunications
- Public administration and government
- Other essential services, which includes professional services, staffing services, real estate agencies, delivery services, laundromats and dry cleaners, animal welfare, waste management, environmental services, child care for essential workers, and others.
These measures are being enforced by AHS public health inspectors.
Questions about how the essential services list may apply to your business can be directed by email to BizConnect@gov.ab.ca.