North

Phase 2 of reopening in Yukon coming July 1

The Yukon-B.C. border opening is part of this phase. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley said cases are falling in B.C. and in most places around the country. 

Opening of Yukon-B.C. border included in Phase 2 plan

Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer of health, at a news conference in Whitehorse, Yukon, on April 20. (Government of Yukon/Alistair Maitland)

A date has now been confirmed for Phase 2 of Yukon's reopening: July 1.

The Yukon-B.C. border opening is part of this phase. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley said cases are falling in B.C. and in most places around the country. The territory is opening the border with B.C. because of its close working relationship with the province and because the government feels comfortable with the risk analysis.

As of Wednesday, there were still no active cases of COVID-19 in Yukon. There have been no new cases since April 20.

Hanley said the risk of someone coming from B.C. and spreading COVID-19 are low, especially given the public health measures in place to reduce the spread of the disease. 

Even accounting for people who may be positive but not tested, Hanley said there's around a 1 in 2,000 or 3,000 chance that someone coming from B.C. would be carrying COVID-19 into Yukon. 

"COVID protection can be overzealous if we are not balancing COVID risks with the health and social risks of over-restriction," Hanley said. 

Hanley said he is more worried about graduation bush parties and potlucks than he is about the border opening.

Premier Sandy Silver said what will be required of B.C. residents upon entering Yukon is still under consideration and that an announcement on that would be coming soon. Silver echoed Hanley in saying he's more concerned about Yukoners continuing to practice measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 than he is about B.C.

"We're still asking people to not travel if it's not necessary," Silver said. "We're not out of the woods. And what got us here is your vigilance."

Other notable changes

Beginning July 1, restaurants can open at full capacity. Outdoor gatherings can happen with a maximum of 50 people.

Dentists can resume non-urgent services including:

  • initial or periodic oral examinations or recall visits
  • routine dental cleaning
  • routine radiographs
  • extraction of asymptomatic teeth
  • aesthetic dental procedures
  • dental implants

This coming Friday, bars with approved operational plans can open again, too. 

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