Information current

July 10, 2020

We're in Phase 2 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions. If you have non-medical questions, email covid19info@gov.yk.ca or phone 1-877-374-0425.

For medical questions or if you feel ill, phone 811, or launch the COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

Reopening food premises guidelines: COVID-19

From July 1, 2020, food premises may operate at 100% capacity if physical distancing can be maintained.

This means restaurants and cafés can again provide seated services from that date, as long as they:

How to get approval to reopen

You have to take specific steps to reopen your business. 

  1. Develop an operational plan related to COVID-19 using this template.
  2. Submit that operational plan to the Health Emergency Operation Centre.
  3. The Health Emergency Operation Centre approves the operational plan within 48 hours. 
  4. Follow the guidelines set out by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

What you need to know about the spread of COVID-19

In the absence of a vaccine, there is a continued need to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when they cough or sneeze;
  • close prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; or
  • touching something with the virus on it then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Do your part to stop the spread: follow these guidelines

These guidelines outline key steps to put in place to help prevent COVID-19 in your food premises by ensuring:

  • physical distancing;
  • good hygiene practice; and
  • enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection.

Print this webpage to post the guidelines in your business.

What staff and businesses must do

Staff must:

Businesses must:

  • Post signs advising customers who arrive with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms to return home.
  • Ensure hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is available upon entry and exit for the public and staff to use.
  • Allows all admitted clients and staff to safely distance.
  • Only members of the same party can be seated together.
  • A maximum of 6 people can be seated together at the same table. Larger groups must occupy more than one table, maintaining physical distancing between tables.
  • Deliver food and drinks directly to patrons. Buffet service is not permitted.

Businesses may:

Continue to provide take-out and delivery services for orders placed online by telephone or other remote means.

Physical distancing
  • Place signs near entrances telling customers about the physical distancing methods you’re using in your food premises.
  • Place floor markers where service is provided or where lines form to ensure a 2-metre (6-feet) distance between customers at all times.
  • Maintain a single point of entry into your establishment:
    • regulate entry, including lines and waiting areas, to prevent congestion; and
    • maintain physical spacing of 2 metres (6 feet).
  • Educate staff on the importance of physical distancing.
  • Install high sneeze guards (Plexiglass barriers or dividers) where staff are required to be in close contact with customers. This best practice should be considered to protect employees who encounter many people.
  • Space tables 2 metres (6 feet) apart. Sitting or standing at counters is not permitted unless you can maintain a 2-metre (6-feet)separation between people or groups.
  • Arrange staff rooms and break rooms to allow for physical distancing practices.
  • Consider staggered break times to limit the number of employees in those rooms.
  • Do not hold events involving more than 10 people at your establishment.
Good hygiene practice
  • Ensure staff are practising proper hygiene. This includes:
    • frequent hand washing;
    • coughing or sneezing into your elbow rather than your hand or the environment; and
    • avoiding touching your face.
  • Encourage customers to use hand sanitizer when they enter your premises.
  • Remove papers, magazines, menus, candy and other unnecessary items that may be shared between customers from waiting or service desk areas.
  • Clean waiting chairs between each use.
  • Remove table items such as napkins, condiments, menus and décor unless they can be cleaned between customers.
  • Clean surfaces such as tables, chairs and booths between customers.
  • For food premises with no table service, tables must be cleaned between each customer use. Consider dedicating staff to this task. You may wish to distinguish clean and dirty tables so patrons and staff are aware of cleaning. 
  • Where self-serve beverage refills are available, provide patrons with a new cup. Do not allow the refilling of used cups by patrons. 
  • Keep cups, straws, lids behind the counter and provide them to customers at the time of sale.
  • If there are self-service stations (for example, food, coffee, condiments or water), you must:
    • provide hand washing facilities or alcohol-based sanitizers within reach of the station;
    • post signs reminding patrons:
      • to wash or sanitize their hands before touching self-service food or other items; and
      • to maintain a two metre distance from other patrons, or parties of patrons;
    • clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces at the station; and
    • clean utensils that are used for self-service.
  • Where it is not possible to sanitize and clean, remove self-service condiments. Provide condiments to customers upon request.
  • Staff should hand out tableware or utensils to customers. Where possible, use rolled silverware.
  • Develop measures for servers to limit contact with customers:
    • have guests pour their own beverages or pre-pour beverages before delivering them;
    • remove one chair per table. Use that space as a designated place for the server to stand at the table, like at the open end of a booth;
    • leave food and drinks at the front of the table;
    • avoid touching cups and glasses for refills;
    • provide single-use containers for leftover or take-out foods. Allow customers to package their own leftovers; and
    • remind customers that reusable or customer supplied containers are not permitted.
  • Employees who choose to use gloves must ensure they thoroughly wash their hands before and after each change of gloves. Gloves are not a substitute for proper hand hygiene. It's important to:
    • remove gloves when changing tasks;
    • use new gloves each time gloves are removed; and
    • use new gloves for each client.
  • Encourage payments through contactless methods such as tap or e-transfer.
  • Clean and disinfect pin pads and card readers after each use.
  • Limit the exchange of papers such as receipts.

There is currently no evidence that communicable diseases, including COVID-19, can be passed on through touching or handling cash. Using cash is important for some people who have no other way of paying. Staff must wash their hands after accepting cash.

Enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection
  • Enhance your cleaning and disinfection policies and procedures.
  • Increase the cleaning and disinfection of essential shared facilities, such as telephones, computers and washrooms.
  • Cleaning means the removal of dirt and organic material from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill or deactivate germs.
  • Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill or deactivate germs on surfaces. This process does not work effectively if you do not clean surfaces first.
  • Disinfectants should have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an 8-digit number given by Health Canada that confirms it’s approved for use in Canada.
  • Refer to Health Canada’s guidance: Hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Check the expiry dates of products you use and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use chlorine bleach solutions for disinfection if it’s appropriate for the surface.
  • Prepare chlorine bleach solutions according to the instructions on the label or in a ratio of:
    • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) bleach per cup (250 millilitres) of water; or
    • 4 teaspoons (20 millilitres) bleach per litre (1,000 millilitres) of water.
    • Ensure a minimum of 2 minutes’ contact time and allow to air dry.
    • Prepare a fresh bleach solution daily.
  • Educate staff on how to use cleaning agents and disinfectants:
    • Required disinfectant contact times (that’s the amount of time that the product will need to remain wet on a surface to achieve disinfection).
    • Safety precautions and required personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Directions for where and how to securely store cleaning and disinfectant supplies.
  • Clean and disinfect high traffic areas and frequently touched surfaces and objects such as door handles, light switches, counters and faucets.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
    • Ensure enough time is spent cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Ensure washrooms are always well-stocked with liquid soap, paper towels and toilet paper and that warm running water is available.
  • Antibacterial soap is not required to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Washrooms must be available for customers and staff to use at all times.
Do you have further questions?

We know this is a challenging time and we thank you for your dedication and support of others in our community.

Refer to Yukon.ca for further up-to-date information on COVID-19.

Contact Environmental Health Services with questions about food premises and health protection. Phone 867-667-8391 or email environmental.health@gov.yk.ca.

If staff have individual health concerns, they should phone Yukon’s HealthLine at 811.

The information we provide in these guidelines is based on current recommendations and may change. All food safety and sanitation requirements for food premises continue under the Public Health and Safety Act Eating or Drinking Places Regulation.

  • Place signs near entrances telling customers about the physical distancing methods you’re using in your food premises.
  • Place floor markers where service is provided or where lines form to ensure a 2-metre (6-feet) distance between customers at all times.
  • Maintain a single point of entry into your establishment:
    • regulate entry, including lines and waiting areas, to prevent congestion; and
    • maintain physical spacing of 2 metres (6 feet).
  • Educate staff on the importance of physical distancing.
  • Install high sneeze guards (Plexiglass barriers or dividers) where staff are required to be in close contact with customers. This best practice should be considered to protect employees who encounter many people.
  • Space tables 2 metres (6 feet) apart. Sitting or standing at counters is not permitted unless you can maintain a 2-metre (6-feet)separation between people or groups.
  • Arrange staff rooms and break rooms to allow for physical distancing practices.
  • Consider staggered break times to limit the number of employees in those rooms.
  • Do not hold events involving more than 10 people at your establishment.

  • Ensure staff are practising proper hygiene. This includes:
    • frequent hand washing;
    • coughing or sneezing into your elbow rather than your hand or the environment; and
    • avoiding touching your face.
  • Encourage customers to use hand sanitizer when they enter your premises.
  • Remove papers, magazines, menus, candy and other unnecessary items that may be shared between customers from waiting or service desk areas.
  • Clean waiting chairs between each use.
  • Remove table items such as napkins, condiments, menus and décor unless they can be cleaned between customers.
  • Clean surfaces such as tables, chairs and booths between customers.
  • For food premises with no table service, tables must be cleaned between each customer use. Consider dedicating staff to this task. You may wish to distinguish clean and dirty tables so patrons and staff are aware of cleaning. 
  • Where self-serve beverage refills are available, provide patrons with a new cup. Do not allow the refilling of used cups by patrons. 
  • Keep cups, straws, lids behind the counter and provide them to customers at the time of sale.
  • If there are self-service stations (for example, food, coffee, condiments or water), you must:
    • provide hand washing facilities or alcohol-based sanitizers within reach of the station;
    • post signs reminding patrons:
      • to wash or sanitize their hands before touching self-service food or other items; and
      • to maintain a two metre distance from other patrons, or parties of patrons;
    • clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces at the station; and
    • clean utensils that are used for self-service.
  • Where it is not possible to sanitize and clean, remove self-service condiments. Provide condiments to customers upon request.
  • Staff should hand out tableware or utensils to customers. Where possible, use rolled silverware.
  • Develop measures for servers to limit contact with customers:
    • have guests pour their own beverages or pre-pour beverages before delivering them;
    • remove one chair per table. Use that space as a designated place for the server to stand at the table, like at the open end of a booth;
    • leave food and drinks at the front of the table;
    • avoid touching cups and glasses for refills;
    • provide single-use containers for leftover or take-out foods. Allow customers to package their own leftovers; and
    • remind customers that reusable or customer supplied containers are not permitted.
  • Employees who choose to use gloves must ensure they thoroughly wash their hands before and after each change of gloves. Gloves are not a substitute for proper hand hygiene. It's important to:
    • remove gloves when changing tasks;
    • use new gloves each time gloves are removed; and
    • use new gloves for each client.
  • Encourage payments through contactless methods such as tap or e-transfer.
  • Clean and disinfect pin pads and card readers after each use.
  • Limit the exchange of papers such as receipts.

There is currently no evidence that communicable diseases, including COVID-19, can be passed on through touching or handling cash. Using cash is important for some people who have no other way of paying. Staff must wash their hands after accepting cash.

  • Enhance your cleaning and disinfection policies and procedures.
  • Increase the cleaning and disinfection of essential shared facilities, such as telephones, computers and washrooms.
  • Cleaning means the removal of dirt and organic material from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill or deactivate germs.
  • Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill or deactivate germs on surfaces. This process does not work effectively if you do not clean surfaces first.
  • Disinfectants should have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an 8-digit number given by Health Canada that confirms it’s approved for use in Canada.
  • Refer to Health Canada’s guidance: Hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Check the expiry dates of products you use and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use chlorine bleach solutions for disinfection if it’s appropriate for the surface.
  • Prepare chlorine bleach solutions according to the instructions on the label or in a ratio of:
    • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) bleach per cup (250 millilitres) of water; or
    • 4 teaspoons (20 millilitres) bleach per litre (1,000 millilitres) of water.
    • Ensure a minimum of 2 minutes’ contact time and allow to air dry.
    • Prepare a fresh bleach solution daily.
  • Educate staff on how to use cleaning agents and disinfectants:
    • Required disinfectant contact times (that’s the amount of time that the product will need to remain wet on a surface to achieve disinfection).
    • Safety precautions and required personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Directions for where and how to securely store cleaning and disinfectant supplies.
  • Clean and disinfect high traffic areas and frequently touched surfaces and objects such as door handles, light switches, counters and faucets.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
    • Ensure enough time is spent cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Ensure washrooms are always well-stocked with liquid soap, paper towels and toilet paper and that warm running water is available.
  • Antibacterial soap is not required to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Washrooms must be available for customers and staff to use at all times.

We know this is a challenging time and we thank you for your dedication and support of others in our community.

Refer to Yukon.ca for further up-to-date information on COVID-19.

Contact Environmental Health Services with questions about food premises and health protection. Phone 867-667-8391 or email environmental.health@gov.yk.ca.

If staff have individual health concerns, they should phone Yukon’s HealthLine at 811.

The information we provide in these guidelines is based on current recommendations and may change. All food safety and sanitation requirements for food premises continue under the Public Health and Safety Act Eating or Drinking Places Regulation.