The Yukon government has announced new restrictions for gatherings, businesses and sports teams.
The new measures are meant to slow the spread of the omicron variant and were announced after 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. They include tighter limits on many people and how many households can gather together.
The Yukon will also be going back to smaller gathering sizes in public spaces like places of worship, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Recreational sports between opposing teams will no longer be permitted.
The new rules include:
- Limits on indoor personal gatherings to 10 people from a maximum of two households if all eligible people are vaccinated; household members only if any eligible people are unvaccinated.
- Limits on outdoor personal gatherings to 25 people from a maximum of three households regardless of vaccination status.
- Limits on organized gatherings: proof of vaccination is required; indoor gatherings limited to 25 people or 50 per cent of venue capacity, whichever is less; outdoor gatherings limited to 50 people.
- Restrictions on restaurants, bars and nightclubs: proof of vaccination required for table service with a limit of six people per table; tables need to be spaced two metres (six feet) apart; no bar or counter eating or service; no moving between tables and no dancing.
- Restrictions on entertainment venues, including movie theatres, theatres and museums: proof of vaccination is required; limited to 25 people or 50 per cent venue capacity, whichever is less.
- Restrictions on recreation and leisure sites, including gyms, fitness studios, sports facilities and arts studios: proof of vaccination is required; limited to 25 people or 50 per cent of venue capacity, whichever is less.
- Recreational team sports: proof of vaccination is required; activities within cohort or teams only up to a limit of 25 people (e.g., practice, skills and drills); no games between teams. Out of territory travel for sporting events is not recommended.
- Limits on businesses and retail: maximum 50 per cent capacity. Businesses are strongly recommended to have operational plans in place to limit close contact between people and keep their employees and customers safe.
- Restrictions on personal services establishments: proof of vaccination is required; limited to 25 people or 50 per cent of venue, whichever is less.
- Restrictions on faith-based services: proof of vaccination is required; limited to 25 people or 50 per cent of venue capacity, whichever is less.
- Public saunas and steam rooms or baths are not allowed to operate.
Yukoners are encouraged to adopt the new standards right away, but they will come into force officially on Jan. 7, when they will be enforced under the Civil Emergency Measures Act.
“I can’t emphasize enough that layering on the Safe 6 plus 1 protections in combination with a full suite of vaccinations is critical to controlling the spread of the Omicron variant. These new measures are also critical in that effort,” said acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott in a statement.
New vaccination appointments for regular vaccines and boosters have opened up online.
The government releases also notes that the safe six plus one is still in effect, including carefully monitoring for sickness, keeping hands clean, avoiding crowds and unnecessary travel and wearing a mask.
It is strongly recommended that Yukoners entering or returning to the territory limit contacts to their household only during the first three days upon return.