COVID-19 Info. for Businesses


Update of businesses ordered closed as of March 27, 2020,

  • law enforcement agencies have been granted full authority to enforce the public health orders outlined below and can issue fines.
  • Overview
    Alberta has implemented public health orders restricting mass gatherings to protect Albertans’ health and limit the spread of COVID-19.

A gathering is any event or assembling that brings people together in person, in a single room or single space, indoors or outdoors, at the same time. At this time, it does not include operations in certain workplaces and businesses not specifically defined by the chief medical officer of health.

Mandatory mass gathering restrictions
No gatherings with more than 15 people are allowed, including:

worship gatherings
family events, such as weddings and funerals
social gatherings outdoors

Cancel gatherings with fewer than 15 people if the event:

includes any attendees travelling from outside of Canada
has, as its focus, attendees that are members of critical infrastructure or critical service roles (e.g. healthcare workers, first responders, electric/power workers, telecommunications)
includes attendees from demographic groups at greater risk of severe disease, such as people 60 years of age or older and individuals with chronic medical conditions
has attendees participating in activities that promote disease transmission (e.g. singing, cheering, close contact, sharing food or beverages, buffet style meals)
is in a space that does not allow for recommended social distancing (at least 6 feet between attendees)
If you violate this public health order and proceed to hold an event with more than 15 attendees, you may be subject to a fine.

Recreation and entertainment
Albertans are prohibited from attending all public recreation facilities and private entertainment facilities, including:

gyms, swimming pools, arenas
science centres, museums, art galleries
libraries, community centres, children’s play centres, bowling alleys
casinos, racing entertainment centres, bingo halls

Albertans are prohibited from accessing retail, clothing and gaming stores, including book stores, hobby stores and antique stores. These businesses may choose to offer online shopping and curb-side pick-up.

The 15-person limit does not apply to certain services or facilities, including:

grocery stores
shopping centres (access is prohibited to retail stores listed above)
health care facilities
the legislature
other essential services
These facilities must still follow risk mitigation strategies.

The 15-person limit does not apply to public transit, providing 2 metres of social distancing is observed.

Restaurants, cafes and bars
All dine-in services are prohibited. Take-out, delivery and drive-through service is still permitted.

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

Not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens are exempt at this time, but risk mitigation strategies must be followed.

All passenger ropeways, like gondolas and chairlifts, are closed until further notice under the Safety Codes Act.

Personal services
Albertans are prohibited from accessing close contact personal services, including personal services facilities, cosmetic enhancement services, wellness studios and clinics, non-emergency and non-critical health services.

Personal services facilities and cosmetic enhancement services include:

body waxing
body, nose and ear piercing
artificial tanning and spray tanning
facial treatments
eyebrow and eyelash treatments
laser hair and tattoo removal
cosmetic skin and body treatments
Wellness studios and clinics include:

floatation tanks
colonic irrigation
Non-emergency and non-critical health services provided by regulated health professionals or registered professionals include any non-emergency or non-urgent:

foot care and podiatry
acupuncture and acupressure
chiropractic services
Business and workplace closures
Workplaces that are not otherwise 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 social distancing measures. Employers should:

  • self-assess and find alternate ways to organize large group meetings
  • cancel workplace gatherings of 15 or more people in a single space (e.g. training events)
  • employ mitigation strategies to limit risk continue business continuity planning to prepare critical operations for any potential interruption

Risk mitigation strategies:
All gatherings that are proceeding because they don’t meet the restriction criteria, including weddings and funerals with less than 15 people, should follow these general risk mitigation strategies:

  • people who are sick with a fever or cough must not attend (even if symptoms appear to be mild or resembling a cold)
  • recommend anyone at high-risk of severe disease not attend the event
  • reduce the number of participants or change the venue to allow for social distancing
  • stagger the time of arrivals and departures
    provide packaged refreshments instead of a buffet
    increase access to handwashing stations or alcohol-based sanitizer
  • frequently clean surfaces that are touched often
    promote personal protective practices (hygiene etiquette, staying home if ill)
  • offer virtual or live-streamed activities instead of in-person events
  • change the event program to remove activities that increase the risk of disease transmission such as those that require physical contact between participants


March 15

Dear International Avenue BRZ Members:   

I want to let you know that your BRZ is here for you and your business and we’re working with The City of Calgary and our partners to champion the needs of Calgary businesses. The health and safety of Calgarians remains our top priority but we understand the challenges the business community is facing right now because of the COVID-19 crisis and we’re here to help advocate for you to get you the support you need.

On March 16, City Council approved a corporate strategy to enable better and quicker support for our businesses community and the local economy.  A Business Sector Support Committee has been established made up of members from the Mayor’s office, The City of Calgary, Calgary Chamber, Calgary Economic Development and representatives from businesses including Business Improvement Areas/BRZ's with a mandate to monitor, evaluate and manage sustainability and wellness of the business community. We are working with this committee to share our immediate concerns and needs on behalf of businesses with CEMA (Calgary Emergency Management Agency), and advocate to the provincial and federal government for further aid. More information on incoming support for businesses will be made available as updates happen.

In the meantime, I encourage you to continue to help us flatten the curve so we can resolve this local state of emergency and get businesses back on their feet sooner.  Continue to maintain at least 1-2 metres between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing is infected.

Utilize the resources available such as posters:

    Handwashing posters

  Guide to cleaning vehicles

o   Guide to cleaning desks and workstations

Check back often with the most reliable and accurate sources of information such as:

o    AHS

o   The City of Calgary (

Continue to share your messages on social media. Resources for marketing your local business are available on Buy Local.

Financial Support Service Links:

Business Development Bank of Canada

The one-week waiting period for EI benefits will be waived for employees who are in quarantine or who are ordered to self-isolate. Dedicated toll-free number for employees in quarantine who wish to get one-week waiting period waived: 1-833-381-2725 Note: we are waiting on details of how the waiver will work. We will update here as information becomes available.

More information on financial support for Albertans: 

Employer support:
To give employers increased access to cash in order to pay employees, address debts and continue operations, the government will defer the collection of corporate income tax balances and instalment payments, due after today, until Aug. 31, 2020. This gives Alberta businesses access to about $1.5 billion in funds to help them cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

Emergency isolation support:
A temporary program for working adult Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta’s published criteria for self-isolation, including persons who are the sole caregiver for a dependent who must self-isolate because they meet the public health criteria, and who will not have another source of pay or compensation while they are self-isolated.

Utility payment holiday:
Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off from these services during this time of crisis. This will cover electricity and natural gas, regardless of the service provider.

Student loans repayment holiday:
The government will implement a six-month, interest-free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.

ATB Financial customers impacted by COVID-19:
Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to six months.
Small business customers, in addition to payment deferrals on loans and lines of credit, will be provided access to additional working capital.
For other business and agriculture customers, ATB will work with customers on a one-on-one basis and further solutions are being considered at this time.
For more information on ATB’s relief program, please visit their website.

Alberta credit unions:
Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
Both individual and business members are encouraged to proactively contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation.

More details are available at

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Federal support. You can find details here

On March 27, the Government of Canada announced a boost in wage subsidy to 75% for Small and Medium Businesses.  More info here.

I will continue to work hard to provide updates and useful information as I obtain it, or as developments happen to support you. We’re all in this together and we’ll make it through this together.

Thank you, International Avenue  ( 

Questions or Concerns: Alison (403-608-7288)

Here is an excellent resource: Benefit_information_3_27