Until the end of 2021 you can have a taxi or delivery firm ferry liquor from a store to your door, a change in NWT rules brought on by people breaking isolation to buy alcohol.
In a Tuesday news release, the territorial government confirmed regulations had been amended so the NWT’s government-backed liquor stores can hand alcohol to taxi drivers or delivery drivers for transportation to people’s homes.
You send a form to your liquor store with some photo ID, and they’ll get your order ready.
Tuesday’s news release said the change would allow “home delivery of liquor to customers including those who are in isolation due to Covid-19.”
Yet the form provided to access the service states, in capital letters: “For use by isolating residents of a community with a liquor store.”
Asked if that meant only isolating people could use the service, the territory later clarified that all residents are able to use the form.
However, a spokesperson for the territorial Department of Finance – which controls liquor regulations – made clear that the introduction of home delivery was a direct response to people breaking isolation to attend liquor stores.
In recent weeks, hundreds of people have been told to isolate after exposure to a fall Covid-19 outbreak involving more than 1,500 cases across more than 20 communities since mid-August.
The sheer number of people abandoning isolation to go and get alcohol was becoming a public health concern, Cabin Radio understands.
Department of Finance spokesperson Todd Sasaki said by email: “In response to the recent Covid-19 community outbreaks, the GNWT has become aware of risks involving residents leaving isolation to access liquor.
“The GNWT has revised the NWT Liquor Regulations to address this risk and, although these changes are being implemented as part of the GNWT’s continued response to Covid-19, they apply to all NWT residents.”
Sasaki added the change is temporary and will expire at the end of the year, a fact not initially publicized by the NWT government on Tuesday.
You can have up to $200 of liquor delivered per day under the amended rules. You can’t use delivery to receive more than six 375-ml bottles of spirits each day.
The system now in place involves emailing the form to your liquor store of choice – they can only deliver to people in the same community, or Ndilǫ and Dettah in the case of the Yellowknife stores – with a photograph of your photo ID.