Nunavut pubs, restaurants to move to 75% capacity as restrictions ease this week

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, announced the relaxing of public health measures across the territory later this week. That includes masks no longer being required, though still strongly recommended.

Starting Friday, masks will also no longer be required, but are still strongly recommended

Iqaluit in July of 2021. Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer, says starting on Friday, several measures meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 will be eased across the territory. (David Gunn/CBC)

Rules in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Nunavut are being relaxed starting Friday just after midnight.

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer, announced the easing of restrictions in a news release Wednesday. 

Among the handful of measures changing are masks being no longer mandatory, though residents are still strongly encouraged to wear them in public spaces.

"On Friday, it will have been more than two weeks since the outbreak in Iqaluit was declared over and there are no active cases in Nunavut," said Patterson.

"After assessing the risk, it is safe to once again ease public health measures across the territory."

Earlier this month, Patterson declared the Iqaluit outbreak, which swelled to 253 cases since April 15, to be over.

No restrictions on outdoor gatherings

At 12:01 a.m. Friday, indoor public gatherings in some facilities, like community halls, will increase to 75 per
cent capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.

Restaurants and bars will be able to open to 75 per cent capacity with two metres between tables and people in line.

There will be no restrictions on outdoor gatherings and the movie theatre will be able to increase its capacity to 75 per cent  or 100 people, whichever is less.

Gyms and fitness centres can increase group sessions to 25 people, while swimming pools can open to full capacity, except for group sessions, like swimming lessons or aquafit, which are also capped at 25 people.

Places of worship can increase capacity to 75 per cent or 100 people, whichever is less.

The territory reminds residents to isolate at home right away if they have reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, and to call the COVID-hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, or notify their community health centre immediately.

There have been 657 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory in total and four deaths. 

So far 22,719 people in Nunavut to have at lease one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 19,313 have received two.


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