The Lawyer's Daily is now Law360 Canada. Click here to learn more.

Northwest Territories announces plan to end COVID restrictions

Friday, June 11, 2021 @ 12:17 PM | By Amanda Jerome

The government of the Northwest Territories (NWT) has released a step-by-step plan for “easing and ending pandemic restrictions.”

According to the plan, released June 9, the territory has eased restrictions on outdoor gatherings, allowing up to 50 people to gather. Restrictions on indoor gatherings will be eased in early July, after the school year ends.

“Waiting until the school year has finished will help to ensure that a level of safety remains in place for the most vulnerable population; children under 12 years old,” explained a government release announcing the plan.

Currently travel limits remain in place, with the government advising individuals not to leave the territory for non-essential purposes. According to the release, leisure travel into the territory is “not permitted,” with exemptions being considered for compassionate reasons, such as “family reunification, exceptional circumstances, travel from Nunavut/Yukon, and remote tourism.”

The plan is to ease travel restrictions in late summer/early fall, when 75 per cent of the Northwest Territories will be fully vaccinated.

“In the world of public health no one is safe until everyone is safe,” said chief medical health officer, Dr. Kami Kandola, in a statement.

“While I understand that individual choice about these restrictions is valuable to residents, we will continue to work toward the common health of the entire NWT population. I am pleased to see vaccination levels rising and COVID-19 cases decreasing in other jurisdictions. You have done your part well, and we need to take cautious steps toward easing restrictions so that we can continue to keep our communities and residents safe,” she added.

N.W.T. Premier Caroline Cochrane said the plan is “tailored to the Northwest Territories and will provide a path forward so we can emerge from the pandemic, safely.”

“This is an evidence-based plan built on data, rather than firm dates and supports our efforts to ensure we make the best decisions for our residents. With this new plan, we are positioned to respond to the pandemic’s evolving nature and ease restrictions as conditions and information allow, enhance restrictions as required, and target restrictions as necessary,” she added.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Daily please contact Amanda Jerome at or call 416-524-2152.