Recent Changes to COVID-19 Restrictions and Supports for Business
November 26, 2020
November 26, 2020
New Temporary Enhanced Restrictions to Try and Curb Rising COVID-19 Numbers
Yesterday, on November 24th, 2020 the Alberta Government made an announcement regarding new enhanced restrictions and guidelines to help stop of the spread of COVID-19 that will be in place for a minimum of three weeks. At this time Hinton is considered to be a community under enhanced status.
Effective Friday November. 27th, 2020, new restrictions will limit the amount of contact between people in the community, while still allowing businesses to offer services. These measures will apply to all enhanced status communities. Businesses that are closed for in-person service include:
Banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, auditoria and concert venues, non-approved/licensed markets, community centres
Children’s play places or indoor playgrounds
All levels of sport (professional, semi-professional, junior, collegiate/universities and amateur). Exemptions may be considered.
Restaurants, bars, pubs and lounges will be open with restrictions if they follow all public health guidance in place including:
A maximum of 6 people from the same immediate household at a table with no movement between tables.
People who live alone can meet with up to 2 non-household contacts as long as they’re the same two throughout the duration of these restrictions
Only seated eating and drinking is permitted. No other services or entertainment will be allowed, including billiards, games or darts.
Liquor can be sold until 10 pm and food-serving establishments must close to in person-dining at 11 pm. Liquor sales apply to casinos, but casinos are not required to close at 11 pm.
Take out, delivery, drive-thru and curbside pick-up options are encouraged.
Most retail businesses may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code:
Retail, including liquor and cannabis
Computer and technology stores
Farmers markets approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Unlicensed outdoor seasonal markets
Some entertainment and event services may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code:
Museums and galleries
Casinos, offering slots only. Table games must be closed at this time.
Indoor entertainment centres including amusement parks, water parks, bingo halls and racing centres.
Indoor fitness, recreation, sports and physical activity centres, including dance and yoga studios, martial arts, gymnastics and private or public swimming pools.
Facilities can be open for individual studio time, training or exercise only.
There can be no group fitness, group classes, group training, team practices or games.
Instructors can use facility to broadcast virtual fitness classes from, but there can be no group class.
All public health guidance and physical distancing requirements must be followed.
Albertans and businesses are encouraged to limit in-person visits and use curbside pick up, delivery and online services instead.
Businesses open by appointment only are not permitted to offer walk-in services. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.
Personal services such as hair salons and barbershops, esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing and make-up, piercing and tattoo services,
Wellness services including acupuncture, massage and reflexology
Professional services such as lawyers, mediators, accountants and photographers
Private one-on-one lessons (no private group lessons permitted)
Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges
New mandatory measures that came info effect on November 24th include:
No indoor social gatherings in any setting
Outdoor gatherings limited to a maximum of 10
Wedding and funeral services limited to a maximum of 10
No festivals or events
Grades 7-12 will be at-home learning Nov 30-Jan 11
ECS-Grade 6 at-home learning after break until Jan 11
Working from home should be considered, where possible
Places of worship at 1/3 normal capacity with mandatory masking
At this time the province has only implemented mandatory masking indoors in the Edmonton and Calgary Zones but the Town of Hinton has implemented it's own mandatory mask Bylaw that went into effect on November 20th. This Bylaw will be reviewed every first and third Tuesday of each month at a Regular Meeting of Council or a Special Meeting of Council.
For full information on all health guidelines put out by the province and the municipality please see the links below.
Alberta’s Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant:
The provincial Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Relaunch Grant which was closed over this past summer is now accepting applications again. SMEs who have experienced a 40% revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic will qualify for the grant and this is retroactive to March (lowering the threshold from the existing 50% revenue loss requirement)
SMEs can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding, including the costs of implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physical barriers, PPE and cleaning supplies, rent, employee wages, replacing inventory, etc.
The 2nd payment will be available to businesses operating in areas on the provincial watch list where new health restrictions – like the temporary closure of indoor group fitness classes and team sports – have been implemented.
Companies that wish to apply for a 2nd round of funding will be able to do so within the coming weeks. More detailed information on phase 2 timing will be available later this week.
Due to technical limitations, businesses that meet new eligibility requirements and submit an application may initially receive a rejection notification as the system is updated. System updates ensure the same high level of service and quick turnaround. All eligible businesses will receive funding regardless of initial notification.
Applications will be open until March 31, 2021, unless otherwise communicated.
The Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) was also updated and is accepting applications. This revamped program now provides payments directly to tenants without requiring the participation of landlords and provides a direct rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses to qualifying businesses.
Qualifying organizations that have been significantly restricted by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority can receive an additional 25% of rent support through the Lockdown Support. The combined effect of the rent subsidy and the Lockdown Support is that hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown can receive rent support of up to 90%
The subsidy rates are in effect until December 19, 2020
The rent subsidy and the Lockdown Support are available until June 2021
Businesses can now apply for rent covering Sept. 27 to Oct. 24, 2020
Applications will be processed on Nov. 30 and businesses should begin receiving subsidy funds for this period as of Dec. 4th. Applications for the second CERS period (Oct. 25 to Nov. 21, 2020) will open on Nov. 30th. No details are available at this time regarding when subsidy funds for this period will become available