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Northwest Territories eases self-isolation requirements

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 @ 1:03 PM | By Amanda Jerome

On June 21, the Northwest Territories’ Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) altered the self-isolation requirements, so that fully vaccinated individuals would not have to self-isolate when they enter the territory.

“We have learned a lot about COVID-19 since the pandemic began and are using that knowledge to relax public health restrictions that we have all been struggling with. As vaccination rates rise in the NWT and across Canada, we’ll continue to see case counts drop and restrictions eased. Residents and communities must now take personal responsibility to evaluate their own risk and make informed decisions,” said CPHO  Dr. Kami Kandola in a statement.

According to a news release, “NWT residents, non-resident essential service workers and other travellers with exemptions who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to self-isolate," but they are “still required to submit a Self-isolation Plan for potential contact tracing purposes.”

The release also noted that the CPHO’s recommendation “to travel only for essential reasons has also been rescinded.”

“Residents are advised to be familiar with the public health orders in the jurisdiction they are visiting and to be aware of locations where COVID infections are increasing, especially those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated,” the release added.

Individuals “who are partially vaccinated are still required to self-isolate for a minimum of eight days with a day eight negative test. People who are unvaccinated, including children under 12, are required to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days with a day 10 negative test. Children under two will not be required to get a test on day 10 but only isolate until then,” the release explained.

The release stressed that a day-one COVID-19 test and a day-14 test are “required for people travelling from outside of the NWT to a small community and for some essential workers.”

“For mixed households who are travelling together, it is only the least vaccinated traveller(s) who will be required to get a test,” the release added.

According to the release, the reduced self-isolation requirements “also apply to non-residents that have been granted permission to travel into the NWT through an exemption process.” Examples include people who need to travel for “work, study, reunite with family, or for compassionate reasons.”

“For those who have not received their vaccine within the NWT, proof of vaccination status will need to be provided upon request. It is recommended these travellers have this available before applying to travel to the NWT, along with their Self-Isolation Plan,” the release added.

Premier of the Northwest Territories, Caroline Cochrane, said the territories’ “self-isolation requirements have been one of the pillars of our COVID-19 pandemic response.”

“We have always said that we would ease public health measures when it was safe to do so. With vaccination uptake strong in the NWT, and having reached our target national vaccination rates and new daily cases outlined in Emerging Wisely 2021, we are now able to ease these restrictions for residents and some visitors. I encourage everyone to make informed decisions about managing the risk of COVID-19,” she added in a statement.

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