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    If my restaurant implements the Restrictions Exemption Program, does that mean that we can go back to business as usual and continue serving alcohol past 10 p.m. starting Monday, September 20?

    2 months ago
    • The Restrictions Exemption Program intends to allow businesses to operate without further restrictions if all patrons are vaccinated, provide proof of a negative test, or an original (non-copied) medical exemption letter. 
    • As of December 24, 2021, per Order 59-2021, new restrictions are in place for occupancy limits and liquor service for those who have implemented the REP.
      • An eligible participant must limit the number of persons that may attend the premises where an eligible participant is operating to:
        • fifty percent of the occupant load where the occupant load of the premises is 1,000 persons or greater; or
        • a maximum of 500 persons, where the occupant load is less than 1,000 persons.
      • An eligible participant operating a food-serving business, entity or event must limit the number of patrons or attendees seated at the same table to a maximum of ten.
      • An eligible participant with a Class A or C liquor licence, including but not limited to a food-serving business or entity, legion or private club, is prohibited from serving liquor after 11 p.m. and must close the premises by 12:30 a.m.
      • An eligible participant, in respect of the eligible participant's premises, with a Gaming Licence or a Facility Licence or a Class B liquor licence, including but not limited to a bowling alley, casino, bingo hall, pool hall or indoor recreation entertainment center is prohibited from serving liquor after 11 p.m. and must ensure that liquor consumption ends by 12:30 a.m.
    • Masking continues to apply.
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    Do municipal bylaws supersede the provincial orders?

    2 months ago
    • Yes, only if they are more stringent than the provincial orders. 
    • The provincial orders are the minimum requirement. Municipalities, and businesses, are able to enforce more stringent options.
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    Is there clarification and/or direction on the extension of the rapid testing program? What qualifies as an appropriate test?

    2 months ago
    • Rapid tests provided by the Alberta Government cannot be used for the Restrictions Exemption Program; however, they can continue to be used to test employees.
    • Information on what tests will be permitted as proof of a negative test can be found in the Screening of patrons or attendees section of Order 54-2021.
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    Are tests provided by Alberta Chambers of Commerce acceptable for proof of negative test?

    2 months ago
    • No. The rapid tests provided to the Alberta Chambers of Commerce are not considered acceptable proof of a negative test.
    • Testing must be conducted by a private provider that will provide proof of date and outcome. Alternatively, the business/organization can provide on-site rapid testing at its own cost. 
    • If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, that individual must isolate, per Order 02-2022.
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    Can events and meeting spaces continue to operate as usual if the business has the Restrictions Exemption Program in place?

    2 months ago
    • Yes, however, they must follow masking restrictions.
    • As of December 24, 2021, per Order 59-2021, there are new restrictions in place in relation to occupancy limits, interactive activities, and liquor service.
      • An eligible participant must limit the number of persons that may attend the premises where an eligible participant is operating to:
        • fifty percent of the occupant load where the occupant load of the premises is 1,000 persons or greater; or
        • a maximum of 500 persons, where the occupant load is less than 1,000 persons.
      • An eligible participant operating a food serving business, entity or event is prohibited from allowing patrons or attendees to participate in interactive activities at the premises.
      • An eligible participant who holds a Special Event Licence is prohibited from serving liquor after 11 p.m. and must close the premises by 12:30 a.m.
    • Please refer to Order 59-2021 for more detailed information.
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    Are customers/clients always responsible to pay for their negative COVID-19 test as required by the Restrictions Exemption Program?

    2 months ago
    • Testing must not be sourced from the Alberta Health Services public COVID-19 testing system.
      1. This system is reserved for symptomatic individuals and those in outbreak situations. If an individual has COVID-19 symptoms, they must isolate. 
    • Testing must be conducted by a private provider that will provide proof of date and outcome. Alternatively, the business/operator can provide on-site rapid testing at its own cost.
    • If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, that individual must isolate, per Order 02-2022.
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    What qualifies as a religious exemption?

    2 months ago
    • The REP does not allow for religious exemptions, only medical exemptions.
    • For negative tests, guests must show a written or printed copy of the test result that indicates the individual has tested negative for COVID-19 on a Health Canada-approved rapid antigen, rapid PCR, or lab-based PCR test approved by Health Canada or the lab accreditation body of jurisdiction.
    • The document must clearly outline the laboratory that completed the test if applicable (e.g., DynaLIFE), the type of test, the time of sample collection, and clearly indicate a negative result.
    • A picture of a rapid test result taken off-site is not sufficient for this purpose.  
    • Individuals must not bring completed rapid tests or self-tests to businesses as they can pose a communicable-disease risk. 
    • Testing must not be sourced from the Alberta Health Services public COVID-19 testing system. 
      1. This system is reserved for symptomatic individuals and those in outbreak situations. If an individual has COVID-19 symptoms, they must isolate. 
    • Operators are permitted to offer on-site rapid testing.
      1. It is recommended that operators seek expert advice including medical oversight before implementing a rapid test program. 
    • If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, that individual must isolate, per Order 02-2022.
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    If a taproom is implementing the Restrictions Exemption Program for patrons that are seated in the facility, can the taproom still offer off-sales to unvaccinated customers so long as they are not seated/only enter the facility for the off-sale purchase?

    2 months ago
    • New restrictions on liquor service have been implemented as of December 24, 2021, per Order 59-2021.
      • An eligible participant with a Class A or C liquor licence, including but not limited to a food-serving business or entity, legion or private club, is prohibited from serving liquor after 11 p.m. and must close the premises by 12:30 a.m.
    • If participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, quick service restaurants and retail services with in-person dining are permitted to serve attendees dining in-person and ordering take-out.
      1. This includes fast food locations, tap houses, breweries and similar.
    • Locations offering both dine-in and takeout are permitted to screen for proof of vaccination at the point of sale (e.g. at the counter) to permit in-person dining rather than at the point of entry.
      1. Attendees intending to dine-in must be screened when they order and before they are seated.
    • All patrons must be physically distanced by 2 metres, wearing masks, and following all applicable public health measures outside of the dining area when ordering take-out.
    • If participating in REP to allow for in-person dining, the dining area:
      1. Must have restricted points of entry to ensure only patrons who have provided the necessary documentation may access the indoor dining; and
      2. Must ensure that all attendees dining-in wear a face mask when not at their table (e.g., sitting) and eating or drinking.
    • Attendees who do not show proof of vaccine must only be provided take out service.
    • Quick service restaurants and retail services not participating in REP are not permitted to have indoor dining and must follow all applicable public health measures.
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    What are the requirements for food courts?

    2 months ago
    • Food courts may be eligible for participation in REP. 
    • In order to be eligible, the food court must:
      1. Remove public access to the seating area and be able to screen all individuals prior to entry. 
      2. Screening must be done at the point of entry.
    • If the food court is going to participate in REP, the area must be closed off so that public access is restricted to those individuals who have screened in, creating a controlled space.
    • Additional information about REP is outlined in Order 54-2021 and amended in Order 59-2021.
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    Are quick-counter grab-and-go service restaurants, food courts, cafeterias, takeout and delivery, and drive-thru exempt from the new restrictions and Restrictions Exemption Program?

    2 months ago
    • Food courts must participate in the Restrictions Exemption Program in order to keep the seating area open. If food courts block off all entry points to the seating area in order to screen individuals for proof of vaccination, the food court seating area would be allowed to stay open. If the food court is not participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, the seating area must remain closed. 
    • Food courts, grab-and-go restaurants and cafeterias do not need to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program to permit takeout. Food courts, grab-and-go restaurants and cafeterias must implement the Restrictions Exemption Program if they decide to permit eat-in service.
    • Additional information about REP is outlined in Order 54-2021 and amended in Order 59-2021.