Page updated

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 ‒ 16:00

Reopening food premises guidelines: COVID-19

When food premises may reopen

From May 29, 2020, food premises may reopen as long as they have sufficient physical distancing measures in place. This means restaurants and cafés can again provide seated services from that date.

Spread 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.

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.

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.
  • Limit occupancy to that which allows you to safely distance all admitted clients and staff to a maximum of 50% or less of normal occupancy.
  • 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.
  • Drink refills are not permitted.
  • Keep cups, straws, lids behind the counter and provide them to customers at the time of purchase.
  • Self-service is not permitted.
  • Remove self-service condiments. Provide condiments to customers upon request
  • Provide single-use containers for leftover or take-out foods. Allow customers to package their own leftovers.
  • 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.
  • Drink refills are not permitted.
  • Keep cups, straws, lids behind the counter and provide them to customers at the time of purchase.
  • Self-service is not permitted.
  • Remove self-service condiments. Provide condiments to customers upon request
  • Provide single-use containers for leftover or take-out foods. Allow customers to package their own leftovers.
  • 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.