Not So Fast: Alberta Delays Timeline for Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions

This blog was prepared with the assistance of summer law student Devon Fjellner.

On August 13, 2021, the Government of Alberta announced it was extending the timeline for easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Restrictions to remain in effect

The province announced that the following restrictions would not be lifted on August 16, 2021, as previously planned, and will remain in effect until September 27, 2021:

  • Mandatory masking in public transit, taxis and ride shares;
  • COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals at assessment centres; and
  • Mandatory isolation for 10 days for those with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result.

This extended timeline is intended to provide additional time to monitor severe COVID-19 outcomes and increase vaccination rates.

What does this mean for employers?

As government COVID-19 restrictions continue to change, employers likely have questions about implementing their own workplace policies. These concerns are especially common for employers that operate across multiple Canadian provinces, or internationally, given the significant variance in government restrictions across jurisdictions.

Employers need to be aware of their legal obligations in areas including workplace health and safety and privacy before implementing policies related to testing, vaccination, isolation or other similar concepts. Our Labour and Employment team is available to assist employers as they consider their workplace policies and approach to managing their workforce in light of the continually evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.