Iqaluit’s nightlife cleared to reopen on July 2
Limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings to be eased as well
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Iqaluit’s restaurants and bars, as well as its theatre, will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity.
The announcement comes one week after the recovery of Nunavut’s eight remaining cases of COVID-19.
“After assessing the risk, it is safe to ease public health measures in the capital,” said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, in a news release.
Restrictions were eased for some non-essential businesses in the city, such as hairdressers, earlier this month.
But other non-essential businesses such as bars, restaurants and the city’s theatre have been shuttered, or have been required to operate as takeout only, since April 15 when Iqaluit recorded its first COVID-19 case of the pandemic.
In addition to reopening some local businesses, the travel restrictions in and out of Iqaluit and isolation requirements for those leaving the city will both be lifted.
Other public health restrictions that will be eased beginning on July 2:
- Restaurants and licensed facilities may open at 25-person or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less. No singing or dancing will be permitted.
- The theatre may open to a capacity of 25 people or 25 per cent, whichever is less, per screening room with no moving between rooms.
- Limits on private indoor gatherings increase to 10 people plus household members.
- Public indoor gatherings can increase to 50 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less.
- Outdoor gathering limits increase to 50 people.
- Gym capacity for solo workouts increases to 25 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less.
- Swimming pools may open at 25 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less.
- Capacities for libraries, museums, and galleries increase to a 25-person or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less.
- Arena capacity may increase to 50 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less, as well as a maximum of 50 spectators.
- Iqaluit’s long-term care facility may allow two visitors per resident from their immediate family, when it reopens.
- Masks remain mandatory, except when eating or drinking.
Despite the announcement, the outbreak in Iqaluit remains ongoing.
In order to declare the outbreak over, there must be no new cases of the virus reported for 28 days following the last recovery. This means the earliest the outbreak can be declared over would be July 20.
To date, Nunavut has reported 657 cases of COVID-19 and four related deaths since the start of the pandemic more than a year ago.
Across Canada, 1,414,134 cases of COVID-19 have been reported and there have been 26,238 deaths as of Monday, according to the federal government’s COVID-19 website.