Gatherings and events

Last modified: 
06/12/2021 - 07:12

Some gatherings can have a higher risk than others of allowing COVID-19 transmission. The safest gatherings have good air ventilation, and provide for safe distancing between people who are not likely to have travelled outside the NWT.

Outdoor gatherings

Outside gatherings are lower risk because there is a lot of space to distance and more air flow so COVID-19 has less of a chance to hang around. That means we can enjoy outdoor sports, music festivals, food and drink on patios and have garage sales and parades. Activities involving less than 200 people can go ahead with minimal restrictions:

Physical Distancing 

  • Not applicable to children less than 12 years old. Children can play outside without having to physically distance.   

Outdoor sports

  • Participants must follow the COVID-19 guidelines from their applicable national and provincial sports organizations, and physically distance from participants outside of their household when possible.

Food and drink venues

  • An exposure control plan must be submitted to the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer that shows a limit of 200 people outdoors with the ability to physically distance (2 metres) between people from separate households.
  • If this is not possible, one of the following two options may apply:
    • Submission of a mitigation plan to ProtectNWT outlining conditions for approval by the Chief Public Health Officer. 
    • An exemption that outlines conditions previously approved by the Chief Public Health Officer before June 12, 2020 order.


If you’re planning events involving over 200 people you will need to apply through ProtectNWT for approval. The CPHO will assist businesses and organizations who would like to hold these events and are looking for ways to decrease risk and protect anyone attending. Businesses and organizations that already have approval in place to hold these events can continue to follow their approved plan or reapply if things have changed.

Indoor gatherings

Risk Threshold:
66-75% Partial Vaccination or 75% Full vaccination

Anticipated Timeline:
Early July - after the school year ends

  • We will be able to gather indoors again, with some limits on the highest risk activities. All indoor public spaces can return to pre-pandemic capacities. That means we can gather in restaurants, stores, places of worship, offices and other businesses as we did before the pandemic. You can go over to people’s houses and host friends and family in your home. We can look forward to events like family reunions, workplace get-togethers and parties. You should consider the risk of getting COVID-19 before taking part in indoor activities and ways to mitigate that risk. If physical distancing can’t be done, we recommend you wear a mask indoors. Higher risk indoor facilities such as healthcare, long-term care and corrections may have more stringent policies.
  • Up to 200 people can gather indoors in one space without an exemption. This limit allows our health care system to better respond should there be COVID-19 cases linked to an indoor gathering. If you’re planning events involving over 200 people you will need to apply through ProtectNWT for approval.
  • The following activities will still require an exposure plan to decrease risk. Organizations can request assessment and approval from
    • Live singing (choral or congregational singing): Existing guidance and exceptions that have already been approved for indoor live singing will remain in effect. 
    • Wind instrument performances
    • Hand games
    • Funerals
    • Indoor Winter Sports

Contact Us

Call 811 or Email (8am to 8 pm daily)