A Campbell River judge ruled that mid-trial decisions are not counted when determining trial length. (Image courtesy Creative Outlet)

COVID-19 restrictions to remain in Alberta courts until further notice

EDMONTON — A decision to lift nearly all COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta won’t apply to the courts.

As of March 1, the Alberta government removed most of its pandemic restrictions, including the need to wear masks.

It also marked the end to all indoor and outdoor public gathering limits, lifting of capacity limits at large entertainment venues and the end of a provincial work-from-home order.

But the Alberta Court of Appeal, Court of Queen’s Bench and provincial courts said in a news release Thursday that all restrictions will remain in place for them.

Alberta’s three top judges say that given the unique position of the courts, where individuals are often compelled to attend — including vulnerable segments of the population — there’s an ongoing need to continue with the restrictions and policies until further notice.

As a result, access to courthouses will continue to be restricted, face masks will be mandatory, physical distancing will be maintained, reduced capacity limits in courtrooms will apply and the courts’ vaccination policies will continue.