North

N.W.T. eases self-isolation requirements Monday

As of 5 p.m. Monday, self-isolation requirements in the Northwest Territories were eased.

On Monday afternoon, health officials announced they would ease self-isolation requirements almost immediately

Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory's chief public health officer, announced Monday that self-isolation requirements were eased, effective 5 p.m. (Steve Silva/CBC)

Self-isolation requirements for Northwest Territories residents and others have now been eased.

That's according to a news release Monday afternoon from N.W.T. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola, who rescinded her office's recommendation against non-essential travel.

Effective 5 p.m., "N.W.T. residents, non-resident essential service workers and other travellers with exemptions who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to self-isolate upon entry to the N.W.T.," the release says.

Anyone entering the territory is still required to submit a self-isolation plan for contact tracing, if necessary.

The changes to self-isolation requirements follow upon Canada having achieved a national target of fewer than 1,000 daily new cases of COVID-19 over a seven day period, and 66 to 75 per cent of the Canadian population aged 18 and older having been at least partially vaccinated.

"As vaccination rates rise in the N.W.T. and across Canada, we'll continue to see case counts drop and restrictions eased," stated Kandola in the news release.

The change is among the steps in the territory's recently renewed reopening plan announced earlier this month, which states changes to restrictions would hinge on those vaccination rates, as well as continued low daily COVID-19 cases nationally. 

"Residents and communities must now take personal responsibility to evaluate their own risk and make informed decisions."

Partially vaccinated individuals must still self-isolate for at least eight days, with a negative COVID-19 test on the eighth day. Anyone unvaccinated, including children under 12 years old, must self-isolate for at least 10 days with a negative COVID-19 test on the tenth day. Children under two years old must self-isolate for 10 days, but do not require a negative COVID-19 test.

Vaccination proof needed if inoculated outside territory

Proof of vaccination will not be required from those who have been vaccinated in the N.W.T. Anyone who has received their vaccine outside of the N.W.T. must produce proof of vaccination upon request.

Residents planning travel are asked to consider the "COVID-19 situation" at their destination, and to make "informed decisions about health, safety and risk."

"The data shows that N.W.T. residents can travel for non-essential reasons and have their self-isolation requirements eliminated or reduced," stated Health Minister Julie Green in the release.

"With this plan, we can look forward to eventually eliminating all current public health restrictions."

Among the next restrictions anticipated to lift, which could come by late summer to early fall, is leisure travel into the N.W.T. possibly permitted under the plan.

That will happen when 75 per cent of the territory's 18-and-up population is fully immunized and Canada-wide there is a weekly average of fewer than 1,000 daily new cases, with 66 to 75 per cent of Canadians 18-and-up fully immunized.

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