Province Announces New Measures Against Omicron Variant

COVID-19 News

The Province of Alberta has announced new public health measures, including free rapid test kits, vaccine boosters, and social gathering limits starting Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

The Province of Alberta is taking action to protect Albertans against the highly transmissible Omicron variant by ramping up health system capacity, providing free rapid test kits, expanding vaccine boosters, and clarifying indoor social gathering limits.

During its December 15 press conference, the Province unveiled minor changes to indoor gathering rules and announced an expansion to the Province’s rapid test and booster programs. The province has not increased the number of people who can gather indoors (a maximum of 10 adults). However, the limit to the number of households who can gather indoors has been removed.

Effective immediately, indoor gatherings remain capped at 10 people, but those people can be from as many households as desired. Children and youth 17 and under do not count toward this 10-person limit. In addition, the indoor gathering rule now applies to all Albertans regardless of their vaccination status. Prior to the December 15 announcement, unvaccinated Albertans were not allowed to gather indoors.

Rapid Test Kits Available to the Public

Starting Friday, December 17, every Albertan will be able to pick up a free rapid antigen test kit at more than 700 sites across Alberta on a first-come, first-served basis. The kits include five rapid tests and detailed instructions on how to use them. 

Rapid testing kits will also be made available to any K-6 school on alert status (two cases of COVID-19 attended school while infectious in the previous 14 days).

The kits will be available at select Alberta Health Services sites and pharmacies. More information on where to pick up tests can be found on the province’s website.

Boosters Available to Anyone Over 50

Effective immediately, Albertans 50 and older can book an appointment for their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine, provided that six months have passed since they received their second dose. In addition, all health-care workers are also now eligible to book an appointment for their booster as long as six months have passed since they received their second dose.