Hopping in a vehicle or boat for outings in the summer with other people is a natural part of life in the North but like all actions during the Covid-19 pandemic it requires caution.
“Travel should be done by household group wherever possible. People can also travel with their friendship circle – the five additional people (up to a maximum of 10) who your household regularly visits with (is) our recommendation,” said Mike Westwick, spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services. “Cars are effectively treated as indoors.”
For better health safeguards in these situations, people should wear non-medical face masks which can reduce the chance of spreading viruses by up to 90 per cent, said Westwick, citing international medical studies showing the effectiveness of masks in blocking respiratory droplets released when we speak or cough.
The GNWT’s Emerging Wisely Covid recovery plan also has specifications for people travelling in vehicles.
In the first phase of the plan, tourism operators transporting people can have up to 10 people in their vehicles.
“However, depending on the size of said vehicles, a risk assessment could identify that they should have less depending on the equipment they’re using. All businesses must complete a risk assessment through Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission to open up – and stick to the requirements identified there,” Westwick said.
In phase two of the recovery plan, a maximum of 25 people could be inside a vehicle, subject to the same conditions of wearing masks.