Yukon reverses suspension on high-intensity fitness classes as new COVID-19 measures take effect

·2 min read
Dr. Catherine Elliott, Yukon's acting chief medical officer of health is shown on Nov. 3, 2021. New public health measures in the territory kicked in on Saturday to curb the spread of COVID-19, including mandatory masking and a proof-of-vaccination program. (Jackie Hong/CBC  - image credit)
Dr. Catherine Elliott, Yukon's acting chief medical officer of health is shown on Nov. 3, 2021. New public health measures in the territory kicked in on Saturday to curb the spread of COVID-19, including mandatory masking and a proof-of-vaccination program. (Jackie Hong/CBC - image credit)

Yukon's acting chief medical officer of health has decided to allow high-intensity exercise classes to continue so long as participants provide proof they're vaccinated.

When new emergency measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 were first announced last week, Dr. Catherine Elliot ordered that the classes be halted.

But, in a Saturday news release, she reversed course.

"The acting medical officer of health has revoked her recommendation regarding the suspension of high-intensity exercise classes," it said. "The benefits of allowing high-intensity sports and activities were considered to be greater at this time than the benefits of suspending all high-intensity activities."

High-intensity exercise classes, along with other high-intensity sports like hockey, basketball and soccer, will be allowed to continue with a proof-of-vaccination requirement, it said.

The proof-of-vaccination system, which took effect Saturday, applies for a range of settings, including restaurants, ticketed events, fitness facilities and personal service businesses as well as faith-based and cultural gatherings.

Other measures that also took effect Saturday include mandatory masks in all indoor public settings and outdoor public settings where physical distancing isn't possible, as well as capacity limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Personal gatherings are now limited to up to 10 people from two households "if all eligible people" are vaccinated. The limit is set at one household if anyone is unvaccinated.

Organized gatherings, such as conferences and weddings, will be limited to 25 people with proof of vaccination for events held indoors, while up to 50 people may gather outdoors.

Ticketed events with seating, as well as faith-based and cultural gatherings, are limited to whatever is lower — 25 people or 50 per cent of venue capacity — with proof of vaccination required. Gyms and fitness centres are subject to the same occupancy limits.

People must also show proof of vaccination for table service at bars, restaurants and nightclubs with a limit of six people per table and no moving between tables.

The territory said the new measures will be in place until at least Dec. 3.

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