North

N.W.T. gov't to close Liard Highway after chief public health officer imposes travel ban

The highway will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday from Kilometre 1 to Kilometre 5, the territorial government said in a news release on Monday. Emergency and enforcement vehicles are still allowed through.

The highway will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday from Kilometre 1 to Kilometre 5

An N.W.T. transport officer asks drivers on Highway 1 on Saturday where they are from and if they are residents of the N.W.T., and reminds them to go into self-quarantine for the next 14 days. (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

The Northwest Territories government is closing the Liard Highway (Highway 7) to traffic in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The highway will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday from Kilometre 1 to Kilometre 5, the territorial government said in a news release on Monday.

Emergency and enforcement vehicles will still be allowed through.

The Liard Highway runs south to British Columbia and is one of two highways that connect the Northwest Territories to southern Canada. The other, Highway 1, remains open "for limited exceptions," and drivers are advised to use that road to enter or leave the territory.

Dr. Kami Kandola, the N.W.T.'s chief public health officer, banned most travel into the territory by land, air and port starting on Saturday, as part of measures to protect the territory's residents against the novel coronavirus.

N.W.T. residents, supply chain workers and select others are exempt from the ban.

The commissioner of the Northwest Territories made the order to close the Liard Highway under the Public Highways Act in order to support Kandola's order related to travel restrictions.

The territorial government says it is unsafe and illegal to drive on a closed highway.

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