Edmonton

COVID-19 restrictions to remain in Alberta courts until further notice

A decision to lift nearly all COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta won't apply to the courts in the province.

Judges say there's an ongoing need to continue with the restrictions within the courts

Alberta's Court of Appeal, Court of Queen's Bench and provincial courts said Thursday that all COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

A decision to lift nearly all COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta won't apply to the courts in the province.

As of March 1, the Alberta government removed most of its pandemic restrictions, including the need to wear masks.

It also marked the end to all indoor and outdoor public gathering limits, the lifting of capacity limits at large entertainment venues and the end of the provincial work-from-home order.

But the Alberta's Court of Appeal, Court of Queen's Bench and provincial courts said in a notice Wednesday that all restrictions will remain in place.

Alberta's three top judges say that given the unique position of the courts, where individuals are often compelled to attend — including vulnerable segments of the population — there's an ongoing need to continue with the restrictions and policies until further notice.

As a result, access to courthouses will continue to be restricted, face masks will be mandatory, physical distancing will be maintained, reduced capacity limits in courtrooms will apply and the courts' vaccination policies will continue.

The notice was signed by Chief Justice of Alberta Catherine Fraser, Court of Queen's Bench Chief Justice Mary Moreau, and provincial court Chief Judge Derek Redman.

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