ontario news watch

Yukon considers easing COVID gathering restrictions to up to 100 people outdoors

WHITEHORSE — Yukon officials are looking at further easing restrictions on both indoor and outdoor social gatherings, allowing people to get together for cultural events as well as weddings and funerals.

Premier Sandy Silver told a news conference Wednesday that officials may soon allow up to 20 people to gather indoors and as many as 100 outside with physical distancing and masks. 

More than 76 per cent of the territory’s residents have their first shot while about 67 per cent have had second dose. 

Fully vaccinated people in the territory can look forward to returning to full-capacity restaurants starting May 25. 

Silver says officials are also looking at how to verify vaccination details for people travelling in and out of the territory, while keeping in mind privacy laws. 

He says those coming to Yukon will have to declare that they have been fully vaccinated, having had their second shot at least two weeks previously, and must provide their consent to verify that status. 

Silver says those who don’t comply with that request will have to self-isolate for 14 days. 

The more infectious COVID-19 variants remain a concern and Silver says they know from watching developments in other jurisdictions how quickly things can change if they aren’t careful. 

“I know that it’s been a long time since people were able to gather together to celebrate life events, and grieve the passing of loved ones,” he says. 

Yukon youth between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to get their first COVID-19 vaccine doses starting May 31. 

Clinics in communities will be held in schools. 

A news release says the first doses in Whitehorse will be given beginning June 1 and administration of second shots start June 23. 

Clinic dates will be limited and the supply will also be restricted due to strict handling procedures of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press