Yukon eases some limits on sports, gatherings, but keeps state of emergency
WHITEHORSE — Yukon is making tentative plans to gradually lift its COVID-19 restrictions, but the state of emergency declared in November will remain in place for another 90 days.
Premier Sandy Silver told a news conference on Thursday that starting this weekend limits on sports teams under 19 will be allowed to increase to 25 people or 50 per cent of venue capacity.
The same rules will apply a week later to those over 19 in recreation and arts events.
Indoor personal gatherings will be allowed for up to 10 people starting next week and it will no longer be limited to two households.
The following week, Silver said Yukon plans to increase the limit on indoor organized events to 50 per cent of venue capacity, while groups of up to six people per table will be allowed at bars.
He said the government aims to allow bars and restaurants to return to normal operating hours starting March 1, no longer requiring them to close at 10 p.m.
Silver said the state of emergency could be revoked if it’s no longer needed although the territory’s reopening plans may also be changed based on case counts and the number of people in hospital.
“The ultimate goal of these restrictions and the way that we lift them is to have restrictions for the least amount of time possible,” Silver said.
The premier also announced that two more people had died of COVID-19, bringing the territories death toll to 18.
He said he’s encouraging residents to get their vaccinations to mitigate the risk of overburdening hospitals.
The territory is reporting 18 new cases as of Thursday, bringing its active case count to 132.
“We all have a responsibility to do our best to ensure that resources remain available for those who need surgeries and appointments to diagnose and treat serious illness,” Silver said. “The higher the vaccine rate, the more protection we have as a territory and the less we need to use strong public health measures.”