Here's a little peek into the new normal. Alberta is slated to start reopening nonessential businesses on Thursday, May 14. While this is a long-awaited day, things won’t go back to normal quite yet. There are a number of rules for restaurants reopening in Alberta and the experience will be a whole lot different than what you’re used to. 

Included in phase one of Premier Jason Kenney’s relaunch strategy was the soft reopening of restaurants and pubs. 

While this was initially met with confusion as to what this would look like, some questions have been answered. 

Now that the province is nearing Thursday, May 14, the provincial government has announced what the reopening of service establishments will look like. 

There will be many rules in place to ensure both the safety of customers and staff and for the foreseeable future, these rules will act as the new normal. 

All of the rules have been broken down and posted to the Alberta government website.

To start, every restaurant that plans on reopening will have to operate at 50% seating capacity. In addition to this, staff will need to arrange tables and chairs so they are two-metres apart. 


Any tables that can't be moved this two-meter distance apart will have a physical barrier installed to separate them. Gone are the days of eavesdropping on the table next to you. 

Things like table condiments and other frequently touched items will be removed from all tables and restaurants are asked to consider lowering their music volumes so customers do not have to lean in to hear one another speak. 

All guests wanting to come in will have to wait to be seated while maintaining physical distancing in waiting areas. This will be done by markers on the ground to keep people the proper distance apart. 

Waiting outside is an option and when guests enter the facility, personal hygiene measures like using sanitizer are encouraged. 

Sanitizing measures for bathrooms, tables, and staff will also have to be performed frequently. 

Service may also look a little different as only table service will be available. This means no walking up to the bar to get a drink. 

Any wait staff who can't be protected by two-metres of distance or a barrier must wear a cloth or surgical mask. 

Recreational activity in establishments including pool tables, karaoke, hookah, or video and arcade games, will not be allowed at this time. 

While the premier is pushing the reopening, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi did state in a public press conference that businesses did not have to open if they did not feel as if they could keep staff and customers safe. 

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