Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley gives a COVID-19 update during a press conference in Whitehorse on May 26. The Yukon government announced on May 29 that phase two of the territory’s reopening plan could begin as early as July 1. (Alistair Maitland Photography)

Phase two of the Yukon’s reopening plan could start July 1

New phase would include travel between B.C. and the Yukon

Premier Sandy Silver stated that the Yukons’s favourable conditions are on track to lead to the implementation of the second phase of the territory’s reopening plan as early as July.

Silver and the Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley provided these details during the May 29 COVID-19 update.

The premier said phase two is on track to start on July 1, provided conditions do not change. This comes on the heels of the first phase being implemented on May 15, which allowed personal services to open as of May 27 and restaurants on May 29.

Silver is confident in the territory’s ability to track and test for the virus, explaining that phase two would see some restrictions on travel to the Yukon eased. When this phase kicks off, British Columbians and Yukoners will be able to travel freely between the two jurisdictions. There will be no demand for a 14-day self-isolation period in that scenario.

Canadians from outside B.C. or Yukon will continue to be turned away during phase two. British Columbians will still have to sign a declaration stating they have not been outside of B.C. or Yukon in the prior two weeks.

Hanley said there would still be some restrictions on where people from B.C. could go, giving the example of long-term care facilities.

Another phase two change will see changes to the limit of gathering size, currently capped at 10. Silver said this phase will allow for outside gatherings to include as many as 50 people.

The Yukon government-operated campgrounds remain set to open on June 4. Silver said Yukoners are able to travel freely throughout the territory but should be respectful of communities.

He suggested campers pack their supplies and head to their campgrounds, asking people not to linger in communities.

Contact Gord Fortin at gord.fortin@yukon-news.com

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