Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Banff

Updated 9:15 a.m. January 26, 2022

Banff region COVID statistics

Based on Statistics from Alberta Health for data up to the end of the previous day 

View Alberta COVID Tracker and Wastewater data (Click wastewater from top menu and select Banff to see the trend of cases of the COVID virus being detected in Banff) 

Vaccinations in the Banff/ID9 region:

  • 10,538 people vaccinated with at least 1 dose 
  • 9,386 people have 2 doses  
  • 3,341 people have 3 doses

Alberta-wide statists:

  • 85.9% of Albertans 12 years old and alder have received two doses
  • 1,377 hospitalizations in Alberta due to COVID 
  • 111 Albertans in ICU due to COVID

Alberta Health Services (AHS) updates COVID cases for all regions at Alberta COVID Statistics.

Town of Banff Guidance

The Town of Banff urges residents, businesses and visitors to take extra measures to protect the safety of individuals, due to the significant increase in cases in Banff, involving the new, highly transmissible Omicron variant. The number of cases being reported represents only a portion of positive cases due to a change in Provincial testing and reporting. 

Based on advice from regional health experts, the Town of Banff urges everyone in the community to follow these directions:

  • stay home if you feel sick and stay away from others until you feel better; use at-home rapid test if you have one (assume you have COVID if you feel unwell)
    • you are still legally required to isolate for 10 days from the date of when you start to get COVID symptoms (cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever,  loss of smell or taste) or have a positive test result, until the symptoms have completely resolved
    • The Government of Alberta no longer recommend PCR testing following two positive rapid tests; if you test positive with a rapid test twice, you are confirmed to have COVID  
    • notify any close contacts you may have had within the 48 hours prior to the positive test result or the onset of COVID symptoms; if you have been notified that you are a close contact of a person who has a positive test or is symptomatic, monitor for symptoms and take a rapid test 
    • If you need food delivery, see info about Nester's delivery and other food support
  • get your vaccines as soon as you are eligible; if you have had your second dose at least 5 months ago, book your third "booster" as soon as possible
  • avoid large social gatherings, especially indoors where transmission is greater
  • reduce your close contacts with people outside your immediate family
  • wear a mask that is close-fitting (covering your nose and mouth) and of the type currently recommended, when indoors in places where there are other people  not in your immediate family; also, when you are in a restaurant or bar wear your mask at all times, except when eating and drinking
  • closely follow safety requirements identified by businesses and organizations, such as REP proof of vaccine, masking and capacity limits
  • be kind to others as we navigate the changing COVID situation; please be courteous and respectful to health care workers and hospitality workers implementing COVID measures 
  • prioritize outdoor activities in beautiful Banff where the risk of transmission is reduced and the opportunities for healthy rejuvenation abound; examples include:
    • skiing and snowboarding at one of the three local alpine resorts; cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the many trails around town; skating and shinny at the Fenlands outdoor rink; hiking on local trails such as Tunnel Mountain or Sulphur Mountain; window shopping on the famous Banff Avenue and brand new Bear Street; and visiting any of the many attractions in and around Banff. 
  • For visitors, call ahead. Contact the services you will want in the town, before you arrive, because some businesses and services are not operating at full hours due to staffing challenges or COVID requirements. 

An outbreak of respiratory illness, now known to be caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, was first identified on December 31, 2019.  The novel coronavirus disease has been given the name COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Everyone in Banff must follow health and safety practices to stop the spread.

All individuals and businesses in Banff are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts from the Town of Banff, in the event broad-based communications is required.

Critical new information:

  • Change to legal isolation requirements (effective January 3, 2022) - Alberta reduces COVID isolation time for people who are double vaccinated and symptom-free from 10 days down to 5 days:
    • Albertans are legally required to isolate as outlined below:
      • Fully vaccinated (2 doses or 1 dose Janssen): isolate for 5 days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer, if symptoms are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition. For 5 days following isolation, wear a mask at all times when around others outside of home.
      • Not fully vaccinated (1 dose or less): isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer, if symptoms are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition.
      • If you test negative and have symptoms, you should still stay home and away from others until symptoms resolve.
    • See details at 

  • Everyone 5+ can now get vaccinated. Third dose of vaccines are available to anyone aged 18 years and older (as long as five months have passed since their second dose ), as well as for First Nations, Metis and Inuit people, and people who are immunocompromised, health care workers, people with chronic conditions and people who had AstraZenaca as an earlier dose and are planning to travel. 
  • Vaccines for children aged 5 - 11 must be administered by AHS and booked online or by811.
  • Book your vaccine at or by calling Health Link at 811, or call your local medical clinic or pharmacy. 
  • Rapid Testing at home is now available with kits from the Government of Alberta.
  • The Government of Alberta implemented new mandatory measures for businesses, taking effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 24 . Some of the new restrictions include:
    • Maximum table capacity of 10 people in restaurants, pubs and bars
    • No mingling between tables.
    • No interactive activities at restaurants, pubs and bars (e.g., dancing, darts, bowling and billiards).
    • Restaurants, pubs and bars must stop liquor service at 11 p.m., and close by 12:30 a.m.

Review all new restrictions on the Government of Alberta COVID website.

  • Restrictions continue for both indoor and outdoor social gatherings, weddings, funerals, places of worship and businesses. Albertans should also refrain from workplace social gatherings.
    • Indoor private social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people 18 and older. (There are no limits on people 17 and under if accompanied by their parent or guardian. It attending the gathering by themselves, they will count towards the maximum limit of 10 people.)
    • Masking remains mandatory in all indoor public spaces, including in facilities participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program. Masks should fit well and be of high quality. Albertans with risk factors for severe outcomes should wear medical masks in settings with those outside of their household.
  • The Alberta QR code used for proof of vaccine was updated on November 24 for the purpose of travel. If you are going to be flying, taking a train or travelling internationally, you must visit  to re-download your updated record in order to use it for this purpose.  If not travelling, your existing QR code is all that’s required to access facilities in Alberta operating under the Restrictions Exemption Program. 
  • Continue practices good habits to protect yourself and those around you: stay home if you are feeling sick, get tested at an AHS assessment centre if you have symptoms, and take a rapid test before gathering with other households.

Restriction Exemption Program

Please view the most up-to-date information on the Government of Alberta's vaccine requirement program, including the list of businesses and entities eligible to participate in the program at

As of September 20, discretionary businesses and entities must follow one of these 2 options:

Business Requirements

Businesses that implement the Restrictions Exemption Program can operate without the additional restrictions if they allow entry to people (aged 12 and alder) who provide:

  • proof of vaccination of double doses 
  • documentation of a medical exemption
  • proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of service (tests from AHS or Alberta Precision Laboratories not allowed)

Businesses do not need to apply for the program. Audits and enforcement will occur to ensure rules are followed.

The Restriction Exemption Program would not apply to:

  • businesses or entities that need to be accessed for daily living (non-eligible businesses and services are listed at
  • employees of businesses participating in the program
  • children under 12

Proof of Negative Test

To enter spaces participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, people aged 12 and older can show proof of a negative test result.

  • Tests must be privately-paid COVID-19 PCR or rapid tests completed within 72 hours.
  • Tests must not be from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories.

Proof of vaccination

To enter spaces participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, people ages 12 and older can provide proof of vaccination or documentation of a medical exemption.

  • Proof of double vaccination is required.
  • Documentation for proof of vaccination – any of the following:
  • Valid photo identification that matches the vaccine record is also required for adults 18 and over.


Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept 16.

Indoor social gatherings

  • Indoor private social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people 18 and older.
  • There are no limits on people 17 and under if accompanied by their parent or guardian. It attending the gathering by themselves, they will count towards the maximum limit of 10 people.
  • The indoor gathering restriction does not apply to mutual support groups, or to workers who need to access your home to provide caregiving support or home repairs and maintenance.

Outdoor social gatherings

  • Outdoor private social gatherings limited to a maximum of 20 people, with 2-metre physical distancing between households at all times.

Places of Worship and Weddings and Funerals

Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 16:

  • Capacity limited to 1/3 fire code occupancy.
  • Masks are mandatory.
  • 2 metres physical distancing between households, or 2 close contacts for those living alone.


View current provincial restrictions at

Masks and physical distancing

Mandatory restriction – Effective Sept. 4 and 16

  • Masking and 2 metres physical distancing are mandatory in all indoor public spaces, workplaces, and places of worship.
  • Employees must mask in all indoor work settings, except while alone in work stations.
  • The Restrictions Exemption Program does not remove the requirement for masking. Masks are still required in places that implement the program.

 Schools (K to 12)

Mandatory measure - Effective Sept. 16 

  • Mandatory masking for students in Grades 4 and up, plus staff and teachers in all grades. Schools that implement an alternate COVID safety plan can be exempted from mandatory masking.
  • Elementary schools to implement class cohorting.
  • Indoor sports, fitness, recreation, and performance activities are permitted in schools, with requirements to maintain 2 metre physical distancing where possible.
    • Masks and distancing are not required by youth under 18 while engaged in physical activity.
    • Spectator attendance restricted to 1/3 fire code capacity and limited to households or 2 close contacts for those living alone. Attendees must be masked and distanced.
  • For latest information, see K-12 learning during COVID-19

 Working from home

Mandatory measure - Effective Sept. 16

  • Mandatory work-from-home measures are in place unless the employer has determined a physical presence is required for operational effectiveness.
  • If employees are working on location, they must mask in all indoor settings, except while alone in work stations.

For more information, visit


Everyone in Banff is encouraged to receive a vaccination. All types of vaccinations are effective in preventing death and serious illness due to COVID. Vaccinations are available in Banff at locations that may not be listed on the provincial website. For more information: see Banff Vaccine Information

Relief measures for Albertans:

Financial support for Canadians from The Government of Canada:

Important updates from credible sources:

More resources for local organizations are provided below.

How to prevent spread 

 To help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19:

  • Stay home if you feel sick
  • Practice physical distancing always
  • Follow provincial guidance, including masking requirements
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
  • When coughing or sneezing:
    • cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible and wash your hands immediately
  • Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with other people
  • Avoid situations where you are in close contact with people who may be ill or where transmission is most likely

Wearing  Masks

Follow current provincial masking requirements.

Choosing a mask:

Face masks can become contaminated on the outside, or when touched by your hands. When wearing a mask:

  • avoid touching your face mask while using it
  • continue practicing good hand hygiene
  • change a cloth mask as soon as it gets damp or soiled
    • put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine and then disposed of
    • cloth masks can be laundered with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly
  • masks that cannot be washed should be discarded and replaced as soon as they get damp, soiled or crumpled
    • dispose of masks properly in a lined garbage bin
    • don’t leave discarded masks in shopping carts, on the ground, etc.


Travel information:

For the latest travel health advice and requirements, visit

Filing a complaint

For an immediate response, the Town of Banff accepts calls at 403.762.1218 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
After hours, please call the RCMP at 403.762.2226.

For complaints to AHS, submit to Alberta Health Services Complaint Form.

Complaints about people not working from home (when it is possible) can be forwarded to OHS: File an OHS complaint |

Actions taken by the Town of Banff

 (In reverse chronological order)

Late December 2021 -- the Town continues support services from its Help Desk. This team remains available for support or referral at and is available in business hours at 403-762-1251.  The Town is evaluating whether to increase services and is contacting local groceries and pharmacies to determine the status of their delivery services.

With the increased rate of positive cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19, and changes to Government of Alberta testing protocols, the Town of Banff is:

  • advocating to Alberta Health to support Banff with isolation facilities, due to the increased risk to people living in shared accommodation;
  • advocating to the local private suppliers to increase testing capacity in Banff;
  • advocating to Alberta Health for additional provincial testing in Banff; and
  • advocating to Alberta Health for additional immunization clinics in Banff, through facilities or mobile (bus) clinics, and we maintain our offer to support space requirements.

The Town continues to provide masks to all residents, available at Town Hall, however, they are the older type of mask. The Town has asked Alberta Health for a supply of N95-type masks to replace the current supply provided by the Government of Alberta, due to new information about different levels of protection for certain masks.

December 29, 2021 -- the Town cancelled its New Year’s Eve events, even though they had been designed for COVID safety. Due to uncertainty around many aspects of transmission of the new variant, activities indoors and outside were cancelled out of the abundance of caution.

December 24-31, 2021 – the Town of Banff provides “We’re Vaccinated” window decals to businesses and organizations with mandatory staff vaccination policies

November 15, 2021 – Banff’s Emergency Coordination Centre officially stands down; last meeting of agencies was July 8, 2021. Banff’s Emergency Management Team continues operations, including weekly meetings with provincial health authority and local health providers

October 6, 2021 – Banff’s Mayor urges the Prime Minister and Finance Minister to extend the Rent and Wage Subsidy programs to support the struggling community. The programs are extended the following week, with a focus on tourism supports

September 15, 2021 – Banff’s Mayor urges the Alberta Minister of Health and the Premier to implement a vaccine passport-type system and implement measures to mandate proof of vaccination to access non-essential services. Later in the week, the provincial Restriction Exemption Program is announced

September 19 and November 8-9, 2021 – the Town commissioned a Vaccination Bus to provide additional opportunities for drop-in immunization

September 2021 – the provincial vaccine passport system, called the Restriction Exemption Program, is implemented in the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre

August 12, 2021 – the Town of Banff implements a mandatory vaccine policy for all employees

July 1, 2021 – the Town cancels many Canada Day events such as the parade and participant activities, but provides live music performances in multiple locations around the downtown to distribute audiences and provide safe experiences

July 1, 2021 – Town Council ends mandatory mask bylaw for outdoors in downtown core and indoor spaces, as Provincial Public Health Order implements mandatory mask requirement inside public spaces

May 18, 2021 –Banff’s Mayor urges the Government of Canada to extend financial support programs to recently started businesses that are unable to qualify for existing supports because they cannot show a drop in revenue compared to a previous year

May 12, 2021 – the Town of Banff mourns the death of resident Ron Giesbrecht, the first Banff resident to die from COVID.

May 2021 – The Town of Banff asks visitors to avoid travelling to Banff until after the May Long Weekend, due to the very high case counts in the community

April 30, 2021 – the Town of Banff closed Banff Avenue to vehicles to create a Downtown Pedestrian Zone, for the second summer in a row, to provide more space for pedestrians and more opportunities for safe, outdoor dining and retail

April 2021 – with an increase in COVID cases, the Town lobbies the Government of Alberta for more vaccine capacity in town, and provides the Fenlands Recreation Centre for mass vaccination clinics

April 12, 2021 – Banff’s Mayor asks local MLA to reconsider criticism of provincial safety measures implemented to control spike in cases

April 12, 2021 – the Town of Banff declines a proposal for the municipality to fund a rapid test program, and instead provides help to employers in the community in accessing free rapid test kits from the Province of Alberta

January 2021 – the Town of Banff holds property taxes 6.7% below pre-pandemic level in 2019. The Town returns the tax deferral and utility payment deferral programs.

January 15, 2021 – Town’s Emergency Coordination Centre ends State of Local Emergency and its extraordinary powers

November 30, 2020 – the Town of Banff opens and operates an isolation facility for residents who need to isolate but live in shared accommodation. The Town also lobbies the Provincial Government to expand testing sites in town, and successfully establishes AHS-supported private testing station added

November 22, 2020 – the Town suspends team sports, cohorted programs, and high-intensity fitness programs in Town facilities, and closed the Town’s drop-in family programs 

November – December, 2020 – the Town implements new restrictions on businesses, including reducing restaurant capacity by 50 per cent, requiring liquor and cannabis stores to close by 10 p.m. and expanding the area where outdoor masks must be worn to include all of Banff Avenue and more of the downtown core.

November 25, 2020 --the Town of Banff declared a State of Local Emergency to support enforcement of restrictions announced in the Government of Alberta's declaration of a Public Health Emergency. The State of Local Emergency also allows the Town to act quickly to address the changing situation, and implement additional measures to stop the spread of COVID. See News Release.

October 25, 2020 – Banff’s Mayor urges the Alberta Health Minister to allow Albertans to use the federal contact tracing app

August 2020 -- the Town of Banff starts participation in a project led by the University of Alberta and other research organizations to collect wastewater and examine for the presence of the COVID virus. This data (available at is useful because it shows the trend in Banff and also includes visitors staying in accommodation (absent from case count data).

July 31, 2020 – Town of Banff implements mandatory mask bylaw for all indoor public spaces and outdoors in the busy downtown core

April 2020 – Banff Town Council cuts its overall tax levy by 17% to reduce impacts on individuals and businesses experiencing hardship due to COVID and impacts of the pandemic

March 17, 2020 -- the Town of Banff declared a State of Local Emergency. This provides authority to implement additional measures for the safety of the community.

March 13, 2020 -- the Town of Banff activated its Municipal Emergency Plan. The Town also activated its Emergency Coordination Centre. The move dedicates more resources locally to address this evolving situation.

For a summary of the first 100 days of the pandemic in Banff:

Banff and Lake Louise Economic Task Force
The Town of Banff, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT), Parks Canada, and Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association (BLLHA) created the Banff & Lake Louise Economic Task Force in May to deliver a phased plan to safely and effectively re-open the economy in Banff National Park, with five specific objectives. The task force reports positive steps in the work this summer to rebuild the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but believes more work is needed through the winter and beyond as the crisis presents significant risks to the communities.

The Town of Banff conducted a public survey in August 2020  to compile opinions, impacts and expectations related to the COVID pandemic. Read the full report:

Banff Avenue Pedestrian Zone
The 100 and 200 blocks of Banff Avenue were closed to vehicle traffic in the summer of 2020 and 2021 to provide more space for pedestrians to practice physical distancing, and to help local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Public health is the mandate of Alberta Health Services and the Province of Alberta. The Town of Banff is in daily contact with Alberta Health officials to provide support to the public health effort in Banff. The Town of Banff is responsible for ensuring essential services continue through an outbreak.

Other activities of the Town of Banff in year 1 (2020) include, in reverse chronological order:

  • Restarted the Help Team as part of Emergency Social Services support to the community, especially individuals required to be in isolation or quarantine
  • Declared State of Local Emergency in Banff to help enforce provincial public health emergency restrictions and to implement additional measures in Banff
  • Enforce new restrictions on social gatherings, occupancy limits and other measures implemented by Government of Alberta through public health emergency
  • Worked with AHS to increase COVID testing in Banff
  • Enforced provincial occupancy and gatherings limited to 50 people and closure of non-essential services
  • Established an Action Request form for residents to report concern over gatherings and non-essential businesses
  • Closed playgrounds
  • Created posters for businesses to post on doors about  closures, pick-up services, and entrance restrictions
  • Mobilized Emergency Social Services’ virtual reception centre - email support service with web page dedicated to local residents and phone help line
  • For property owners, the Town enabled residents and businesses to suspend property tax payments if they are on the monthly payment program and receive a refund on the first 3 months of payments made in 2020
  • Created print guide on safe health practices and resource info for seniors in Banff
  • Mobilized Resource Coordinator to determine status of businesses in Banff and if they have resources (like food and cleaning supplies) they can share, or if they have needs to maintain critical operations. Submit here.
  • Closed The Fenlands Banff Rec Centre and 101 Bear Street
  • Imposed restrictions on capacity of gatherings: 50% capacity, up to maximum of 50 (later included in Provincial restrictions as Alberta declares State of Emergency, and later revised to gatherings no more than 50 people)
  • Declared State of Local Emergency
  • Established virtual space for HR officers and managers in Banff to collaborate on resources and information
  • Cancelled events and courses and discouraged gatherings in the community
  • Activated the Emergency Coordination Centre
  • Activated the Municipal Emergency Plan

Impact on Council Meetings

  • All Council and Committee meetings will be conducted virtually via Zoom Meetings.
  • Public are encouraged to follow Council and Committee meetings using the live stream
  • Public wishing to make a written submission may do so using by emailing the Municipal Clerk at
  • Public wishing to speak are invited to contact the Municipal Clerk by email at or phone 403.762.1209 to register and to receive further information
  • Members of Council and other Committees will be participating remotely

About coronavirus and COVID-19 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses. Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.

The disease caused by this strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) does not appear to be as severe as other coronaviruses, such as SARS. Many patients have reported only mild symptoms. There is person-to-person spread. Respiratory infections are much more likely to be caused by a common virus, such as influenza.


COVID-19 is believed to be spread mainly by coughing, sneezing or direct contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or with surfaces they have recently touched. COVID-19 does not spread like measles. It does not travel through the air over long distances and times. However, it can spread person-to-person by larger droplets, like from a cough or sneeze or by touching contaminated objects or surfaces, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 


Symptoms for COVID-19 are similar to those for influenza or other respiratory illnesses. Visit Health Canada for information on the most common symptoms.

What you should do if you think you could have COVID-19 

If you have symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19, you must self-isolate and contact 8-1-1 for directives.

For assessment and testing information, visit

How you can prepare

Keep yourself informed from credible sources of information, such as Alberta Health Services, Health Canada and the World Health Organization.

Sign up for emergency alerts from the Town of Banff to stay up-to-date.

Plan ahead and prepare an emergency kit for your home.

Alberta public health officials recommend the following ways to prepare:

  • Create a household plan of action. This can include these elements:
    • Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan.
    • Meet with family members, friends, neighbours and co-workers to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in Banff and how you can support each other.
    • Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. This includes practical steps like ensuring you have sufficient medication and determining what supplies are needed, and if they can be delivered.
    • Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources.
    • Create an emergency contact list.
  • Practice good personal health habits and plan for home-based actions:
    • Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick.
  • Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed.
  • Plan for potential changes at your workplace.
    • Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan.
    • Ask about what sick-leave policies and telework options are available if needed.
  • Stockpiling of goods is not recommended. While it’s always best practice to have three days worth of supplies on-hand, people should avoid purchasing food or other materials in bulk due to the impact on suppliers and people who have day-to-day needs.

Information Updates: