EDMONTON -- Alberta declared a new public state of emergency on Nov. 24 and announced a new set of restrictions to help fight the surge of COVID-19 cases in the province.

Gathering restrictions are effective immediately.

"Social gatherings are the biggest problem," Premier Jason Kenney said. "It is the key reason why COVID-19 is winning. These gatherings in the home continue to be the largest source of transmission. And so they must stop now."

The ban on indoor social gatherings includes private homes, workplaces and public spaces.

Albertans can only have close contact with people they live with.

Those who live alone are allowed to have two non-household close contacts.  

The rule does not apply to visits from health-care providers, caregivers, child-care providers or co-parents.

It also does not apply to work and support group meeting, but the guidelines say attendance should be limited and public health measures must be followed.

Outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, however Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw clarified Wednesday that outdoor visits must not move indoors -- even momentarily for the washroom. 

"This is an indoor gathering," she said. 

“We all need to bring back the family Zoom calls and the virtual dates that were part of our lives in the spring. The more that we do that, and the more that each of us goes the extra mile, the more effective we will be in reducing the spread during the next few weeks.” 


Wedding ceremonies and funeral services are also limited to 10 people and receptions are not allowed.

The cap does not include event staff or organizers.

Places of worship now have mandatory restrictions. Masks are now mandatory and attendance is limited to one third of normal capacity.

The venue must also allow physical distancing between households.

The province is encouraging faith groups to provide online services.

All gathering restrictions will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

"These measures are tough, but they are necessary," Kenney said.

Violations of the new rules could result in a ticket up to $1,000 or a $100,000 penalty through the court system.