The NWT’s chief public health officer has temporarily suspended an isolation exemption for travellers from the Yukon due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the westernmost territory.
Earlier this month, Dr. Kami Kandola announced that travellers entering the NWT from the Yukon would be able to request an exemption from self-isolation requirements – the same process in place for travellers arriving from Nunavut. To be eligible for an exemption, travellers must have not been in contact with someone with Covid-19, be part of a Covid-19 outbreak, or have symptoms of the disease.
On Tuesday, Dr. Kandola stated anyone now travelling from the Yukon, including NWT residents and essential workers, are required to self-isolate after entering the NWT. Fully vaccinated individuals and their non-vaccinated household members can leave isolation before 14 days if a Covid-19 test on their eighth day of isolation comes back negative.
Fully vaccinated household members of fully vaccinated travellers do not have to isolate. They are required to self-monitor and, if they develop symptoms, must self-isolate immediately and contact public health
The office of the chief public health officer is reaching out to those who have recently returned to the NWT from the Yukon with individualized advice.
The announcement comes after Dr. Catherine Elliott, the Yukon’s acting chief medical officer of health, declared a Covid-19 outbreak in Whitehorse on Sunday. The outbreak is linked to unvaccinated youth and adults and involves the Gamma variant of Covid-19, which was first detected in Brazil in November 2020.
On Monday, the Yukon government reported it’s third death of a Yukon resident with Covid-19.
Kandola said the travel exemption will resume when it is safe to do so. She noted that the NWT is continuing to work with partners in the Yukon and Nunavut regarding pandemic decisions.
“Together, we’ve worked diligently to prevent serious outcomes from Covid-19 and minimize harms for northerners during this pandemic,” she stated. “Our thoughts are with Yukon as they manage this current Covid-19 situation.”