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Non-essential businesses to close, max gatherings to 15, renters protected

Non-essential businesses will be forced to close their doors, said Premier Jason Kenney on Friday, as part of a series of stricter measures in the face of COVID-19.

That includes the closure of dentists’ offices, massage therapists, physiotherapists and retail outlets like clothing stores, hobby shops, furniture stores, hair salons, and esthetics services, said Kenney.

Renters will also be protected as the province promises no one will be evicted on April 1 for not paying rent and no one will see a rent increase during the state of public health emergency.

Those who do not pay rent because of their financial position due to the COVID-19 pandemic will not see late fees tacked for three months and landlords are required to make a plan with the renter to make a payment plan if they’re unable to pay.

Gatherings are no restricted to a maximum of 15 people and physical distancing of two metres is to be respected.

The government also announced that vehicle access for recreation purposes into public parks is prohibited.

56 new cases

There are 56 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday for a provincial total of 542.

The cases in Bonnyville remain at four and one is still confirmed in Cold Lake.

Forty-two of these total cases may be through community transmission without a known source.

Ten people are in intensive care while 23 have been hospitalized.

Four new cases have been confirmed in the North Zone.

Vermilion River County area now has two confirmed cases after fluctuation on the provincial data map throughout the week.

  • Calgary Zone: 337 cases
  • Edmonton Zone: 120 cases
  • Central Zone: 43 cases
  • North Zone: 30 cases
  • South Zone: 12 cases

The Legislature will reconvene to pass a series of amendments in relief efforts during COVID-19.