John Streicker, minister of community services, speak at a press conference in April. Streicker announced guidelines have been released for sports organizations and places of worship, and that guidelines for critical and essential services have been updated. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Places of worship able to reopen this Sunday, YG says

Update includes new guidelines for sports, places of worship and updates to essential services rules

Places of worship, non-contact sports and garage sales are among the things able to return according to the latest from the Yukon Government.

John Streicker, the minister of community services, and Dr. Brendan Hanley, the chief medical officer of health, made these announcements at the June 5 COVID-19 update.

Streicker said the government is looking to help people deal with mental health issues. Part of this will be allowing faith-based services to resume as of Sunday, June 7.

“This is good news for Yukoners in these uncertain times,” Streicker said. “I know that the current situation has created a lot of stress for individuals and families in and out of the territory and that many may turn to their place of worship for support and guidance.”

Places of worship as well as attendees will need to adopt steps for physical distancing. This includes limiting the seating capacity of indoor places of worship to one third of the building’s capacity with a cap at 50 people. These numbers includes services leaders and organizers.

Common and frequently-touched areas must be cleaned and disinfected with greater frequency, including things like ceremonial objects, seating and railings.

There will also need to be an operational plan, but it does not need to be approved by the chief medical officer’s office. It does, however, need to be ready to be produced if requested.

The territory also posted new guidelines for sports and recreation this week. Streicker said this too is an important aspect to mental health in the territory.

“We want to encourage sports and recreation organizations to restart non-contact activities in a safe and responsible manner because we know how important these activities are to Yukoners,” Streicker said.

Sports and recreation organizations that employ staff — like coaches, referees and coordinators — must create operational plans that will be available upon request.

Sporting events — like tournaments, meets and races — will need to submit an operational plan for review regardless of whether they have staff or not.

Social, recreational or competitive sporting teams that do not have paid staff do not have to create an operational plan, though Streicker said it might be useful for them to create a plan.

Hanley said someone in downtown Whitehorse asked him earlier this week if garage sales could return soon, and he said he thought “why not?”

He said garages sales can take place provided the items for sale are cleaned and any surfaces are sanitized. He suggested that hands be washed after every transaction or gloves be worn.

He recommends people to shop with their eyes and limit what you touch. He adds the buyer should wash the purchased items once returned home.

Streicker also acknowledged that there is concern regarding people traveling through the territory to get home to Alaska, British Columbia or the Northwest Territories. He reiterated that some of the Outside license plates are people that are here for essential services or are in transit through the territory.

He encouraged people to contact a Civil Emergency Measures Act enforcement officer instead of confronting someone about being off the designated transit routes.

“I strongly encourage you to call the COVID-19 call centre,” Streicker said.

The public can reach this centre by calling 1-877-374-0425 or email

Contact Gord Fortin at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bobcat is used to help clear snow in downtown Whitehorse on Nov. 4. According to Environment Canada, the Yukon has experienced record-breaking precipitation this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon will have “delayed spring” after heavy winter snowfall

After record levels of precipitation, cold spring will delay melt

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

A Housing First building on Fifth Avenue and Wood Street will be taken over by the Council of Yukon First Nations and John Howard Society later this month. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CYFN, John Howard Society take over downtown Housing First residence

The organizations have pledged culturally appropriate service for its many Indigenous residents

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. Politicians return for the spring sitting of the assembly March 4. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Analysis: What to expect in spring sitting of the legislature

They’re back on March 4, but election speculation is looming large

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

Most Read