Travel restricted, salons close in Iqaluit over likely COVID-19 community spread

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IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut is tightening COVID-19 public health restrictions in Iqaluit, including restricting travel in and out of the capital city to essential purposes only.

The territory said Thursday that the city's swimming pool, theatre and hair and nail salons must close.

Restaurants are limited to takeout food only.

Indoor gatherings in homes are limited to five people plus household members.

Indoor public gatherings in community spaces, including libraries and gyms, are capped at 25 people or 25 per cent capacity.

The territory said the changes come after a case of COVID-19 was confirmed Wednesday in a person who has not left Iqaluit for more than a month.

"This leads us to believe there may be community transmission in Iqaluit," Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory's chief public health officer, said in a release.

He added that it will take seven to 10 days before it's known if the case is the fast-spreading COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“As such, we are immediately tightening restrictions and limiting travel in and out of the city. Anyone who has travelled from Iqaluit to another community in Nunavut since Dec. 15 should self-monitor and call the COVID hotline immediately if they develop any symptoms."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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