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

Last updated: February 28, 2022

The Alberta government announced that the province will progress to Step Two of its three-step approach to lifting public health restrictions on March 1, 2022. More information about the announcement, three-step approach and current public health orders is available at COVID-19 public health actions | Alberta.ca.

Effective March 1, 2022:

Alberta will enter Step Two starting on March 1. At this time, the following measures will be updated:

  • Capacity limits are lifted for all venues.
  • Limits on indoor and outdoor social gatherings are lifted.
  • Restrictions on interactive activities, liquor service and operating hours are lifted.
  • Mandatory work from home requirements are lifted.
  • The provincial mask mandate is lifted except in high-risk settings, including on public transit, AHS-operated and contracted facilities and all continuing care facilities.

Municipalities may have additional requirements set out through bylaw. Please follow all restrictions that your municipality may have in place.

Step Three

The timeline for Alberta entering Step Three is to be determined and will depend on hospitalization rates continuing to trend downward.

  • COVID-specific measures in continuing care will be removed.
  • Mandatory isolation becomes a recommendation only.

More information and guidance for businesses and event organizers is available at COVID-19 public health actions | Alberta.caAdditional details will be added to AGLC.ca as soon as they are available.

What are the public health restrictions for restaurant, cafes, pubs and night clubs?

For Step Two, effective March 1:

  • Capacity limits are lifted for all venues.
  • Limits on indoor and outdoor social gatherings are lifted.
  • Restrictions on interactive activities, liquor service and operating hours are lifted.
  • Mandatory work from home requirements are lifted.
  • The provincial mask mandate is lifted except in high-risk settings, including on public transit, AHS-operated and contracted facilities and all continuing care facilities.

Municipalities may have additional requirements set out through bylaw. Please follow all restrictions that your municipality may have in place.

Are customers required to remove their masks in retail liquor stores for identification verification purposes?

In Step Two, the mandatory provincewide indoor masking requirement is lifted except in high-risk settings. Municipalities may have additional requirements set out through bylaw. Retail liquor store employees can 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 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 are permitted.Please check COVID-19 public health actions | Alberta.ca for more details. 

As of March 1, 2022:

  • Capacity limits are lifted for all venues.
  • Limits on indoor and outdoor social gatherings are lifted.
  • Restrictions on interactive activities, liquor service and operating hours are lifted.
  • Mandatory work from home requirements are lifted.
  • The provincial mask mandate is lifted except in high-risk settings, including on public transit, AHS-operated and contracted facilities and all continuing care facilities.

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.