NWT to lift some Omicron-related restrictions on Sunday
The Northwest Territories government will be lifting table limits at bars and lounges, and a ban on high-risk activities, while household gathering caps will continue.
In an update on Friday evening, the office of the chief public health officer said changes to temporary public health orders would be effective as of 5pm on January 30.
That includes ending a limit of six people per table at establishments that serve alcohol, although mingling between tables will remain banned.
The territory is also lifting a ban on activities deemed high-risk for Covid-19 like contact sports, indoor winter sports, dancing, singing, and hand games. They can resume under conditions that have previously been approved by the chief public health officer for individual businesses and organizations.
Household gatherings will continue to be limited to five guests up to a maximum of 10 people in the home at a time.
The temporary restrictions were enacted earlier this month in response to a growing wave of Omicron infections across the territory. Previously, household gatherings were allowed to have up to 25 people, as long as everyone was fully vaccinated.
Beginning on Monday, deputy chief public health officer André Corriveau said residents in Fort Smith and Inuvik are encouraged to return to workplaces, and schools can resume in-person learning. The communities had previously been discouraged from doing so due to increasing caseloads and community spread.
As of Friday evening, there were 1,039 active cases of Covid-19 across the NWT.
Public health officials have said Covid-19 modelling predicts the territory will continue to see more than 100 new daily infections until mid-February. Real data suggests the peak of the current Omicron wave may have already passed in mid-January.
The office of the chief public health officer said residents should continue to take measures to protect themselves against Covid-19.
“Covid-19 is not going away. As we all continue to learn about Covid, we must improve our ability to make decisions about our own personal acceptable level of risk and also consider how these decisions impact others in our families and communities,” the update states.