Social Gatherings Banned - $1,000 fines

Is Fascism The New Normal?

The Alberta government has banned indoor private gatherings, introduced new restrictions on businesses, and will be moving older students to online learning as part of sweeping new COVID-19 measures.

Declaring a state of public health emergency, Premier Jason Kenney said the province will consider taking more drastic measures if the mandatory measures do not reduce the rate of transmission, which is currently 1.12, to below one over the next three weeks. Alberta reported 1,115 new cases, 16 additional deaths and more active cases than any other province Tuesday.

Those who do not comply with the new mandatory rules could receive fines of $1,000 per ticketed offence and up to $100,000 through the courts.

Visits from caregivers, health or childcare providers are still allowed. Work and support groups are not considered social gatherings and remain permitted, however public health measures must be followed and attendance should be limited. All workers who can work from home are asked to do so.

Hot spots of the province which are under enhanced status on the government’s website — including Edmonton and Calgary — also face restrictions on places of worship, businesses and services until further notice.

Places of worship now have a mandatory capacity, rather than a recommendation, of one-third of normal attendance with physical distancing and masking required. Leaders are encouraged to hold services online.

Restrictions on businesses start Friday and will be in place for at least three weeks.

Retail businesses and services will be restricted to 25 per cent of occupancy limits, a move Kenney said is an effort to reduce interactions without hurting businesses.

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