Beaufort Delta residents will now be able to travel to the Yukon and back without self isolating.
A June 2 notice from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer details how the new exemption plan will work. The new system kicks in as soon as ferry operations begin along the Dempster Highway.
“NWT residents and non-residents arriving from the Yukon will still need to submit a self-isolation plan and exemption request through ProtectNWT,” reads the release. “They must receive an approved exemption letter from the CPHO before they can be exempt from self-isolation. Travellers applying for an exemption must have been in the Yukon or the NWT for at least the past 14 days.
“They will not qualify for an exemption if they have transited through another jurisdiction outside the Yukon or the NWT on their way to the NWT. This is the same process currently in place for travellers arriving from Nunavut.”
The release notes the new exemptions apply to anyone travelling in from the Yukon, regardless of vaccination status.
On top of that, the new exceptions are retroactive for anyone who is currently isolating and arrived into the NWT from the Yukon. People wanting an exception will need to apply through ProtectNWT. Upon approval from the CPHO, the person would no longer have to self isolate. Neither will household members related to the person who crossed the border.
Other conditions for the exemption include not being symptomatic, not having had any contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, not having been part of an outbreak and not having any contact with someone who has travelled out of the Yukon in the last 14 days or is under mandatory isolation.
Families travelling to the Yukon with children under 12 will soon be able to enter without isolating as long as both parents have been vaccinated, said Yukon territory’s Premier Sandy Silver.
If a community has travel restrictions in place or has been flagged as a place with community transmission, or is coming from a Yukon work camp or other work site that would bring in out-of-territory workers, the exceptions do not apply. The notice adds the CPHO can revoke an exemption plan at any time if it sees the need.
“We are taking a measured approach to easing our public health measures,” said Dr. Kami Kandola. “I am now pleased that we have taken another step forward in our pandemic response.
“As we continue to offer vaccines to our eligible population and more NWT residents build up immunity to COVID-19, we will explore ways to reduce restrictions when the scientific evidence supports it and it is safe to do so.”