On Thursday afternoon, the provincial government directed Alberta Health Services to temporarily suspend parking fees at hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting April 3, parking at all AHS facilities will be free to health-care workers and the general public while the pandemic is ongoing. The temporary suspension of parking fees will end once visitor restrictions are lifted that have been place as a result of COVID-19.
This temporary measure will mean an estimated loss of parking revenue of $7.6 million a month. Alberta joins British Columbia in announcing this decision and other jurisdictions across the country are expected to follow.
Many health-care workers and physicians are working from home and others need to work at a variety of sites. Removing parking fees and the need for parking passes will make these transitions easier.
The change will also reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread from touch screens and buttons at payment sites.
“Health-care workers and the general public should not have to worry about paying for parking in the midst of responding to COVID-19. Our government will provide whatever resources are needed to protect Albertans during the COVID-19 emergency,” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health, said.
While parking will be free, visitors are asked to be respectful of spaces allocated for staff, including those for emergency use.
Parking violations, such as parking in fire lanes, will continue to be enforced.