EDMONTON -- Alberta nurses who are required to self-isolate because of COVID-19 symptoms or exposure will now be paid for their time off.

The United Nurses of Alberta and Alberta Health Services agreed to the quarantine pay and a bargaining delay, signing a memorandum of understanding.

Nurses who need to quarantine without workplace exposure will receive paid sick leave for their regularly scheduled shifts during that period. The pay is retroactive to July 6, 2020.

Nurses with workplace exposure will be able to apply for worker's compensation.

Those who have to self-isolate because of non-essential travel will not receive paid sick leave.

“I’m pleased that the United Nurses of Alberta and the Alberta Health Services have reached an agreement that provides additional COVID-related supports that will protect workers and help build capacity as we continue to deal with the pandemic," Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a written release.

The two parties also agreed to delay bargaining until March 31, 2021, acknowledging the added pressure the pandemic has put on the health care system.