Additional public health measures introduced in response to spread of Omicron variant in the Yukon

Please note Yukoners are strongly encouraged to follow these new measures immediately and they will be enforced under the Civil Emergency Measures Act starting on January 7, 2022 . 

Based on new recommendations from the Yukon’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, additional temporary public health measures are being introduced in the Yukon to limit the spread of COVID-19. In recent days there has been a significant increase in active cases of COVID-19 in the territory as well as community transmission of the Omicron variant.

The Yukon remains in a State of Emergency due to COVID-19. Several public health measures are currently in place.

Additional measures are being introduced to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and limit impacts on the Yukon’s health care system. New temporary public health measures 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 strongly encouraged to follow these new measures immediately and they will be enforced under the Civil Emergency Measures Act starting on January 7, 2022. 

Mandatory masking continues to be in effect in all indoor public settings and in outdoor public settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. All Yukoners are strongly encouraged to continue practising the Safe 6 at all times:

  1. Keep your distance – keep a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from people not in your household.
  2. Keep your hands clean – wash or sanitize your hands often.
  3. If you are feeling sick, stay home – If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay home and avoid going to work or other social places.
  4. Avoid crowds – follow public health recommendations for gatherings.
  5. Avoid unnecessary travel to communities – travel only for essential purposes and travel respectfully.
  6. Self-isolate as required – self-isolate if you have COVID-19, if you are waiting test results for COVID-19, or if you have been advised to do so by public health officials.

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. To prevent the spread, it is recommended that during the first five days of entry or return, people should only go into their community for essential needs. It is strongly recommended that all close contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 isolate for seven days if the close contact has not received their booster shot.

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to actively assess the risk levels in the territory associated with COVID-19 transmission and adjust recommendations as necessary.

In addition to following public health measures, vaccination increases protection against COVID-19. All eligible Yukoners are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and receive a booster shot as soon as possible. Additional clinic appointment times have been made available online at Yukon.ca/this-is-our-shot. The Vaccine Clinic in Whitehorse will be open Monday to Saturday starting on January 3. Booking an appointment is recommended. Walk-ins will be accommodated as much as possible.

With the new Omicron variant spreading quickly in the territory, we need to take action to protect the health and safety of all Yukoners and ensure our health care system is not overwhelmed. These new temporary public health measures are intended to limit the number of contacts between individuals and reduce transmission. We all have a role to play in keeping our territory safe and we all need to take precautions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in our communities.

Premier Sandy Silver

2022 will be the start of year three in our fight against COVID-19, a new year with new public health measures to reduce the transmission of Omicron. 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.

acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott

Quick facts 
  • To date, evidence indicates Omicron is more transmissible than other variants of COVID-19; however, there is limited evidence to date on severity of illness.

  • New vaccination appointments are regularly added online for eligible people to receive a shot, including a booster shot. The clinic in Whitehorse is located at the Yukon Convention Centre, 4051-4th Avenue. In communities, people should contact their local health centre.

Contact 

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications
867-334-9194
renee.francoeur@yukon.ca

Julie Ménard
Communications, Health and Social Services
867-667-8478
julie.menard@yukon.ca

News release #: 
21-496