Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on May 22. (Alistair Maitland Photography)

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

Travel restrictions will be lifted between Yukon and B.C. after July 1 under the second phase of the territory’s pandemic restart plan.

Premier Sandy Silver and chief medical health officer Dr. Brendan Hanley say after that date, travellers between the province and territory will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Yukon has been gradually easing pandemic restrictions since May 15 with dine-in restaurants, day cares and recreational centres reopening.

Territorial parks and campgrounds will open for the summer next week.

The government says in a news release it will be guided on what restrictions are necessary by risk assessments, including the amount of health space available and whether it can quickly test and contact trace for COVID-19.

Other new guidelines put in place Friday outline how to travel responsibly within Yukon and how to respect the wishes of communities and First Nations.

Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

“We recognize the impact that COVID-19 restrictions are having on our physical, emotional and economic well-being and are striving to reach the proper balance between public safety and Yukoners’ desire to resume their lives,” he says in a statement.

The territory hasn’t had any new cases of COVID-19 since April 20. All 11 people diagnosed with the disease have recovered.

Hanley says monitoring the status of neighbouring jurisdictions will determine if it’s safe to further lift restrictions.

“British Columbia has shown great success in managing COVID-19 within the province and based on their epidemiology, and ours, I am confident that this is a safe way for us to progress as we transition out of our cocoon,” he says.

The Canadian Press

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