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Alberta travel restrictions: Where you can go in October 2021

Find out what you can and can’t do in Alberta right now with our constantly updated guide.

Outdoor activities abound in Alberta with many parks, lakes and natural attractions open for business. While you will need to follow new restrictions and health measures in your travels, locals can still get out and explore.

Here’s what you need to know to see the province right now, including Alberta’s travel restrictions for accommodation, transportation and attractions.

Accommodation in Alberta

Albertans are encouraged to avoid non-essential travel and to stay close to home where possible. Saying that, overnight recreational stays, including at hotels, hostels, campsites and holiday homes are allowed in the province.

When out and about, you can travel with members of your household while maintaining a physical distance of two metres from others.

Staying with family or friends

Visitors to Alberta cannot stay in other people’s homes and must look for other accommodation, such as in a hotel. Outdoor social gatherings are allowed and can have up to 10 people while indoor social gatherings are not currently allowed.

Staying at hotels

Hotels are open to travellers across the province with no limit on the number of guests. Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and indoor gatherings are not allowed.

When you stay, you may notice extra hygiene methods in place to keep you safe. This might include restrictions on the number of people allowed in pools, spas and fitness centres, new sanitization stations and physical distancing or the closure of communal areas.

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Staying in a holiday home

You are encouraged to only travel with members of your household when renting a holiday home or short stay such as an Airbnb property. Airbnb also has a worldwide limit of 16 guests for rentals in place.

Staying at hostels

Hostels are allowed to be open and accept guests.

During your stay, you should expect enhanced safety and hygiene measures. These may include increased contactless check-in options, sanitization stations for guests and reduced capacity in shared dorms.

Camping and caravanning

Many of Alberta’s parks and campgrounds are permitted to reopen for recreational activities and camping. This includes popular sites such as Dinosaur Provincial Park, Tunnel Mountain, Lake Louise, McLean Creek Campground and Writing-on-Stone Campground.

National park reservations for trips from May 2021 to March 2022 will be open in April (instead of January as usual) with a limited number of winter camping sites currently open.

Physical distancing is encouraged as is wearing a face-covering where this isn’t possible. Along with ensuring you have enough food, water and toilet paper, travellers should bring their own hand sanitizer and tissues.

Tourist attractions in Alberta

While there are many attractions currently open in Alberta, especially outdoor ones, many are still closed including art galleries, museums and amusement parks.

Some outdoor recreation amenities are allowed to be open to the public as long as physical distancing is maintained between households. These include outdoor skating rinks, sledding hills and Nordic ski areas.

The following popular attractions are currently open:

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    National parks

    Alberta’s National Parks are open to the public. This includes information centres, washroom facilities, most trails and some backcountry camping. Physical distancing of two metres between people from different households is mandatory.

    Parks Canada’s reservable shuttles are not in operation, including shuttles to Lake O’Hara, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Some winter camping sites, some picnic and kitchen shelters and education programs are closed.

    The following parks have reopened:

    • Banff National Park
    • Elk Island National Park
    • Jasper National Park
    • Waterton Lakes National Park
    • Wood Buffalo National Park

    Beaches and local parks

    Most Alberta provincial parks and beaches are open with a few restrictions in place. Physical distancing of two metres must be in place between people from different households and social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people and cannot have an indoor component.

    Warming huts and picnic shelters are closed, so make sure to plan ahead and dress well for the weather.

    The following popular beaches and parks are currently open:

    • Aspen Beach
    • Castle Provincial Park
    • Cold Lake Provincial Park
    • Cypress Hills Provincial Park
    • Devonshire Beach
    • Dinosaur Provincial Park
    • Lake Minnewanka
    • Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
    • Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park
    • William A. Switzer Provincial Park

    Getting to and from your holiday

    Driving within Alberta

    There are no restrictions on where you can drive around Alberta, but you are encouraged to avoid driving with people from outside your household where possible.

    Flights within Alberta

    Flights around Alberta are operating as usual but Albertans are advised to travel only when necessary. All travellers must wear a face covering and follow physical distancing and gathering restrictions while travelling by air.

    Some airlines have implemented new safety protocols that include a touchless bag drop and table service at airport lounges.

    Flights to Alberta

    While there are no federal travel requirements on flights to Alberta, many provinces and territories have advisories against non-essential travel. Some are enforcing a self-isolation period on your return home for the whole household while others have a mandatory quarantine period before re-entering.

    Rail, coach and bus services

    Face coverings are mandatory for all travel and service might be restricted for passengers who’ve travelled internationally within the last 14 days. Many companies are now enforcing physically distancing measures while boarding and onboard.

    Luggage storage may no longer be offered to avoid multiple touchpoints and some offices might be closed altogether with curbside pick-up and drop-off only. Additional health screening questions might be asked so it’s advised to arrive earlier than usual.

    • Banff Airporter. Daily schedule service is currently paused.
    • Cold Shot. Operating as usual.
    • Ebus. Most services are operating as usual except for the Edmonton – Fort McMurray route, which is temporarily suspended.
    • Red Arrow. Operating as usual.
    • Rider Express. Operating as usual.
    • Rocky Mountaineer. All services are suspended until June 2021.
    • SunDog. Operating as usual.
    • VIA Rail. Reduced schedule between Jasper and Prince Rupert and the Toronto to Vancouver route.

    Ferry services

    Passengers are to remain in/on their vehicles during the ferry crossing to practice responsible social distancing and are required to maintain physical distancing of a minimum of two metres while on board. Passengers should wear a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

    • Bleriot Ferry. Closed for the season and due to open May 9.
    • Crowfoot Ferry. Closed for the season and due to open May 2.
    • Finnegan Ferry. Closed for the season and due to open the first week of May.
    • Klondyke Ferry. Closed for the season and due to open May 11.
    • La Crete Ferry. Operating as usual.
    • Shaftesbury Ferry. Closed for the season.

    Which territories and provinces can I travel to?

    • British Columbia. All non-essential travel should be avoided, including for vacation and to visit family or friends outside of your household or core bubble.
    • Manitoba. Travellers entering Manitoba must self-isolate for 14 days.
    • New Brunswick. Screening of travellers should be expected at entry points and you must self-isolate for 14 days.
    • Newfoundland and Labrador. Visitors are not permitted unless certain extenuating circumstances are met. You are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
    • Northwest Territories. Visitors are not allowed to travel to the Northwest Territories and residents must self-isolate for 14 days.
    • Nova Scotia. Travellers must self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive or for the duration of their stay if it’s less than 14 days.
    • Nunavut. Residents must undergo a mandatory 14-day isolation period in either Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton or Yellowknife before returning.
    • Ontario. Only essential travel is recommended and a 14-day self-isolation period is advised.
    • Prince Edward Island. Non-residents must apply in advance to travel and are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
    • Quebec. Travel is limited to a few instances including returning residence and not for vacation purposes.
    • Saskatchewan. Visitors are requested to self-monitor for 14 days and to observe all public health measures, including physical distancing.
    • Yukon. All travellers have to self-isolate for 14 days in Whitehorse and complete a declaration.

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    Frequently asked questions about travelling in Alberta during COVID-19

    How far can I travel from home?

    You can travel freely around Alberta, but travellers to other provinces or territories may be subject to additional health measures and restrictions.

    Are there any regional travel restrictions?

    There are currently no restrictions on travel within Alberta.

    Can I travel to Alberta if I live in another territory or province?

    Yes, you can travel to Alberta from another territory or province of Canada.

    Do I need to limit the number of people I travel with?

    You are encouraged to only travel with members of your household.

    Do I need to pre-book to visit dining venues and attractions?

    Pre-booking for restaurants isn’t necessary but could help avoid a lengthy wait due to gathering restrictions. Some attractions, such as national parks, are encouraging pre-booking to avoid unnecessary contact.

    Will I need to self-isolate or go into quarantine when I return from my trip?

    No, you will not need to self-isolate when travelling around Alberta.

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