Reopening NWT in phases

Last modified: 
12/18/2020 - 10:59

Our territory’s reopening is being guided by the plan, Emerging Wisely, which outlines a path towards reopening businesses, services, and activities safely. The plan takes a five part measured approach that gradually moves from containment to where all public health restrictions are lifted.

Reopening in four phases

Guided by Emerging Wisely, we have moved to Phase 2, where nearly all businesses and activities have opened. To find out which businesses and activities can open, see: Emerging Wisely Risk Assessment Sheet.

If your business or activity is not open, you can apply for an exception by completing and submitting the Application to Vary from Public Health Order Requirements Form to protectnwt@gov.nt.ca. The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer will review your application and will let you know if you can open or if other restrictions such as increasing capacity are allowed.

Current public health measures and restrictions

Friendship (Social) Circle

We strongly recommend that in your household, you keep your circle of friends as small as possible. Here are a few good ways to do it.

  • Keep to your fave five: Stick with the same five people to invite over to your place. Remember – you could still hang out with others at a park or in your backyard as long as you keep two metres apart. Your fave five would just be for inside your house where the risk is highest.
  • Have each person in the house pick one person they will have over regularly: this is a great way to make sure your best friends can come over for a coffee, while your household’s circle stays small.
  • Pick another house with your best friends or a family you get along with and have them over regularly: this is another way to keep your circle small.

Gathering Limits as of June 12, 2020

Indoor Household Gatherings

  • 5 additional persons can visit at any given time – to a maximum of 10 persons in the house.
    • Example: A household of 2 can have a total of 7 people.
    • Example: A household of 6 can only have 4 people over.

Indoor Events for Get-Togethers, Sports and Day programming

  • 25 people or less are allowed
    • Physical distancing of 2 metres, hand washing or sanitizing, and disinfection protocols where required must be in place.

Outdoor Get-Togethers

  • 50 people or less allowed
    • Physical distancing of 2 metres, hand washing or sanitizing measures are in place.
    • Travel by household group and no sharing of food and drinks. This includes funerals.

What is allowed in Phase 2 (Current Phase)

Nearly all businesses and activities can open in Phase 2, with restrictions to gatherings increasing to 25 people for organized indoor gatherings and events and 50 people for any kind of outdoor gathering or event as long as proper health measures are followed.

What was allowed in Phase 1

Some businesses and organized outdoor activities were able to open if they met public health measures. These included, but not limited to, personal service establishments, tourism operators for staycations, museums, bottle depots, baseball and softball, and outdoor soccer. For a full list, see: Emerging Wisely Risk Assessment Sheet.

What will be allowed in Phase 3

Size limits to outdoor events and activities (including funerals) are lifted as long as proper health measures are followed.  More businesses and activities can open. For a full list, see: Emerging Wisely Risk Assessment Sheet.

When will this end – Phase 4

There is no fixed date to remove all public health measures. This will only happen if one of the following are met:

  • A COVID-19 vaccine is approved, produced and distributed, especially to:
    • Seniors
    • Individuals with compromised immune systems due to other diseases
    • Individuals who already have long-term illnesses
  • An effective treatment is approved and the majority of our population is able to access it.