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Liquor Q & A

While not exhaustive, AGLC has prepared the Questions & Answers below to answer many of the questions that you or your organization may have related to COVID-19.

If you are a liquor licensee and have any additional questions, please contact:

Please refer to Alberta Health guidance found at


Questions and answers

How do the new restrictions announced on December 8 impact liquor licensed establishments?
Starting Sunday, December 13, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes will be closed to in-person service, as per public health orders. Only takeout, curbside pickup and delivery services are permitted. Alcohol may be sold through take-out or delivery from Class A licensed establishments with or without the purchase of food.

Effective immediately, there is a mandatory provincewide indoor public masking requirement. This applies to locations where a business or entity operates and is applicable to employees, visitors and the general public.

More information on sector guidelines can be found at

Can licensed venues provide liquor and food pickup and delivery service after 11 p.m.?
Yes; licensed establishments may continue to provide food and liquor pickup and delivery service after 11 p.m. – up to the end time on their licence. Only in-person sales and service is closed at this time.

Will the provision for Class A licensees to provide liquor for off-sales be rescinded when the public health order is lifted? 
No; the provision will remain in place after the public health order is lifted and Class A licensees may continue to provide liquor for off-sales. 

How do I make a complaint about a licensed premises that is not adhering to provincial health directives?
AGLC continues to work with all licensed venues and asks all owners/operators to comply with public health guidance from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health on the new restrictions. Venues that contravene the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health risk immediate suspension of their licence.

Complaints can be submitted by email at Please be sure to include the premises operating name and address, including town, along with the details of your complaint.

Where can liquor licensed establishments find more information on specific health and safety guidelines to follow for current public health measures?
The Alberta government has an online resource to provide business owners with information on health and safety guidelines for workplaces, as well as operational guidelines. It will be up to business operators to ensure all guidance has been met. Licensees are encouraged to consult with their Alberta Health Services inspectors to ensure compliance with the enhanced health and safety guidelines.

Are customers required to remove their masks in retail liquor stores for identification verification purposes?
The current public health order does allow for patrons to remove their mask at a distance to enable retail liquor store employees in determining age and verifying identification.

Are retail liquor stores permitted to conduct liquor deliveries or do they require an additional licence?
Retail liquor stores have always been permitted to conduct liquor deliveries and do not require an additional licence. Policies relating to liquor deliveries are outlined in Section 4.11 of the Retail Liquor Store Handbook.

Can liquor licensed establishments sell growlers?
Yes; sealed growlers have been sold from liquor stores in Alberta for several years, and Class A licensees can do the same. For draught beer, the cap design of the container (e.g., growlers or crowlers) should demonstrate the container has not been opened during transportation. For more information, please visit

Can licensees return liquor product?
Licensees with questions about liquor product returns are advised to contact the approved warehouse from which product was ordered for more detailed information. Registered agencies representing liquor products are required to approve all returns and indicate instructions on disposition (e.g., return to stock). 

Who will enforce these rules?
Local public health officials will continue to enforce public health orders. AGLC inspectors will also be checking for compliance. Non-compliance may result in an immediate suspension of the liquor licence.

How do the new restrictions apply to liquor and cannabis retailers?
Most retail businesses, including cannabis and liquor stores, may remain open with capacity limited to 15 per cent occupancy.  

Will licensed private special events still proceed?
No indoor or outdoor gatherings are allowed except wedding ceremonies and funeral services with a limit of 10 people. Receptions are not permitted at this time.

More information is available at