Residents of Fort Simpson and Norman Wells can now isolate in their home communities instead of in a larger hub on return from travel outside the NWT.
Premier Caroline Cochrane made the announcement at a news conference on Thursday morning, saying the NWT’s efforts at controlling the virus responsible for Covid-19 had made the change possible.
Until now, residents of the two communities had in almost all cases been required to isolate for two weeks in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik before returning home.
The change applies only to Fort Simpson and Norman Wells. The rules remain the same for other communities.
Dr Kami Kandola, the NWT’s chief public health officer, said Thursday marked “an important day” in demonstrating the gradual easing of restrictions.
Kandola called the move “an example of the measured, step-by-step approach to easing our public health measures.”
She said the two communities would on Thursday complete second-dose Covid-19 vaccine clinics and had “adequate medical resources” to cope with new cases of the disease that may arise, alongside active sewage sampling for the virus and local enforcement officers.
“We have heard from the residents of these communities that they would like to be able to isolate in their community,” Kandola said. “Now they can.”
The change comes into effect at 5pm on Thursday.