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COVID-19 information for Albertans

Please visit AGLC.ca/COVID19 for the latest updates – including information on in-person access to AGLC services.

COVID-19 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 https://alberta.ca/guidance-documents.aspx.

Questions and answers

How do the new restrictions announced on September 3 impact liquor licensed establishments?

Starting Saturday, September 4, 2021, at 8 a.m., restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes (Class A or C liquor licence) are required to cease liquor sales by 10 p.m. For all classes of liquor licences, premises may remain open past 10 p.m. however no liquor service may be provided as per public health orders.

Specifically:

  • An operator of a business entity with a Class A or C liquor licence, including but not limited to restaurant, bars, lounges, pubs, cafes, legions or private clubs is prohibited from serving liquor after 10 p.m.
  • An operator with a Gaming Licence or Facility Licence or a Class B liquor licence, including but not limited to bowling alleys, casinos, bingo halls, pool halls and indoor recreation entertainment centres is prohibited from serving liquor after 10 p.m.
  • A person who holds a Special Event Licence is prohibited from serving liquor after 10 p.m. and must ensure that liquor consumption at the event ends at 11 p.m.
  • An operator of a food-serving business or entity with a Class A, B or C liquor licence or with a Gaming or Facility Licence must ensure that liquor consumption at the food-serving business or entity ends at 11 p.m.

These restrictions do not apply to Class D liquor retailers. They are permitted to sell liquor up to the end time on their licence.

Also effective Saturday, September 4, at 8 a.m., there is a mandatory provincewide indoor masking requirement. This applies to locations where a business or entity operates and is applicable to employees, visitors and the general public.

General information on current restrictions can be found here https://alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx.

Relevant Public Health Orders (Order 40-2021) can be found here https://alberta.ca/covid-19-orders-and-legislation.aspx.
 

Can licensed venues provide liquor and food pickup and delivery service after 10 p.m.?
Yes; licensed establishments may continue to provide food and liquor pickup and delivery service after 10 p.m. – up to the end time on their licence. This is for off-premises liquor consumption only.

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. Class A licensees may continue to provide liquor for off-sales.

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. 

Are customers required to remove their masks in retail liquor stores for identification verification purposes?
Retail liquor store employees may ask patrons to remove their mask to determine age and verify 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 aglc.ca/bulletins/class-a-off-sales

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). 

Are licensed private special events currently permitted?
Yes, private special events may continue. However, any person who holds a Special Event’s Licence must cease liquor service by 10 p.m. The event may continue past 10 p.m. however no liquor service may be provided as per public health orders.

Effective September 4 at 8 a.m., all Albertans are encouraged to limit in-person contacts.

Unvaccinated Albertans are strongly recommended to limit indoor social gatherings to close contacts of only 2 cohort families up to a maximum of 10 people.

More information is available at https://alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx.

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 Inspections.Mailbox@aglc.ca. Please be sure to include the premises operating name and address, including town, along with the details of your complaint.


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.