Government of Alberta Enacts Stronger Public Health Restrictions

Date: May 6, 2021

Alberta is enacting stronger public health measures in an effort to curb rising COVID-19 infections and to protect the province's health system. Alberta Health is responsible for establishing and enforcing current health restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Starting May 5, additional restrictions come into effect for regions with at least 50 cases per 100,000 people, and at least 30 active cases. Download affected regions list.

These restrictions will be in place for at least 3 weeks and will be extended if necessary. Provincewide restrictions remain in effect for all other communities.

Artists and arts organizations are encouraged to review Alberta's "Path Forward" plan on Alberta.ca; however, a short summary of what restrictions are new and what remains permited as related to the arts sector is below.

What has changed?

  • Starting May 9 at 11:59 p.m, all indoor performance for youth and adults are prohibited province-wide. Performance activities include dancing, singing, acting, playing a musical instrument and any rehearsal or theatrical performances. This also includes one-on-one in-person lessons. 
  • Starting May 9 at 11:59 p.m, all outdoor recreation activities are prohibited in high-case regions, except with members of your household, or your two close contacts if you live alone. This includes one-on-one in-person lessons. 
  • Public health restrictions announced at the end of April for the 'hot spot' regions of Airdrie, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Strathcona County are still in effect until May 9  at 11:59 p.m. when the new restrictions come into effect for these areas.
    • All youth and adult indoor sport, performance and recreation activities are prohibited. This applies to all youth activities, including for students still learning in classrooms.
    • All indoor recreation facilities must close. Outdoor recreation amenities can be open to public access unless specifically closed by public health order.
  • Libraries are closed. 

What restrictions remain unchanged?

  • All indoor social gatherings are prohibited – public and private.
    • For youth, group performance activities taking place outdoors (not in an identified high-case region):
      • There is a limit of 10 performers, including the conductor/teacher. 
      • Participants must be 18 years old and under (except conductor/teacher)
      • Physical distancing of at least 2 metres must be maintained at all times.
    • Entertainment businesses and entities must remain closed. These include:
      • Art galleries and museums
      • Movie theatres, auditoria and concert halls

    The AFA encourages its stakeholders to consult with measures and restrictions outlined at www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx. Alberta Health may update policies and protocols listed on this page without notifying the AFA. 

    Detailed guidance for performing arts has been released by the Government of Alberta, and is available to download here: Guidance for Performing Arts (current as of April 27, 2021). Please note this document does not account for restrictions on activities announced in May 2021. 

    Restrictions on "group performance activities"

    Alberta Health defines this as any organized activity consisting of two or more persons who come together, whether as part of a practice, rehearsal or performance, to sing, dance, play wind instruments and/or perform live theatre including but not limited to choirs, wind instrumental groups, dance troupes and theatre groups.

    • This now applies to an individual student and teacher setting (e.g. singing lessons).

    What activities are restricted?

    In-person performances for audiences are not permitted indoors. In-person audiences for outdoor performances are limited to 10 people who must stay 2 metres apart from people who are not part of their household.  

    Virtual and drive-in performances, where the audience members stay in their vehicles, are allowed. Vehicles must have 2 metres of physical distance between them.

    For performance activities, outdoor rehearsals and practices are permitted up to a maximum of 10 participants, and physical distancing of 2 metres and other relevant guidelines must be followed. Indoor rehearsals or practices for adults and youth are not permitted. One-to-one, in-person lessons (indoors) are not permitted and virtual lessons are strongly encouraged where possible.

    Youth may engage in outdoor performance activities in groups of up to 10 (including director/conductor) so long as 2 metres’ distance can be maintained between participants and the conductor/director.

    • See regional restrictions listed above.

    Do these restrictions apply to rehearsals and practices?

    Adult performance rehearsals and practices taking place indoors are banned. Youth performance rehearsals and practices taking place indoors are banned starting May 9 at 11:59 p.m.

    Youth may engage in performance activities outdoors in groups of up to 10 (including director/conductor) so long as physical distancing requirements are maintained. 

    • See regional restrictions listed above.

    Outdoor rehearsals and practices are permitted up to a maximum of 10 participants, and physical distancing and other relevant guidelines must be followed

    Can performing arts groups continue practicing for upcoming events?

    Adult performance rehearsals and practices taking place indoors are banned. Youth performance rehearsals and practices taking place indoors are banned starting May 9 at 11:59 p.m.

    Youth may take part in outdoor rehearsals in groups up to 10, including the director/conductor, as long as public health guidelines are followed.

    • See regional restrictions listed above.

    As an alternative, you are also welcome to hold remote or virtual practices.

    Are school-based performing arts groups required stop all activities?

    Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools province-wide will transition to online learning, effective May 7 and will return to in-class learning on May 25.

    Can non-school based performing arts instructors continue teaching?

    In person, one-on-one instruction and practice sessions are prohibited. 

    Remote or virtual lessons are encouraged. 

    Questions?

    Staff are available to help. Please contact Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women by emailing artsbranch@gov.ab.ca if you have questions.