The Government of Yukon has released A Path Forward: Next Steps, a strategy outlining how Yukon will move forward through the next phases of the pandemic. The approach focuses on reducing or modifying COVID-19 restrictions. It is contingent on the territory's overall vaccination rate, the new case count remaining low, the understanding and impact of the COVID-19 variants, and ongoing adherence to public health measures.
The strategy includes details on how Yukon will transition to the next phase of the pandemic response and how citizens can begin living sustainably with the virus as part of our everyday lives. A Path Forward: Next Steps replaces A Path Forward: Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, which was released in May 2020. The new approach stresses that in order to reduce the importation and transmission of the virus, we will need to strengthen some measures and ensure greater compliance with existing measures. As spring approaches, this will allow the flexibility to provide some relief from restrictions that affect the daily lives of Yukoners and move us into the next phase of recovery.
This may include: reducing constraints on the size of our social bubbles to allow us to connect with family and friends more easily; increasing indoor and outdoor gathering sizes when it is safe to do so, and increasing capacity for food and beverage businesses.
Adjustments to public health measures may also include determining how to make events, such as potlatches, weddings, funerals and celebrations of life, safer.
The next phases also consider how to adjust self-isolation requirements to support businesses who rely on external clients or employees from outside the territory.
We continue to be focused on protecting our communities and our most vulnerable residents. We are preparing to relax some restrictions for Yukoners when it is safe to do so. The coming weeks will be a balance between keeping some key measures in place while easing others. Restrictions will need to remain in place as we work to immunize as many Yukoners as possible. Measures such as the requirement to self-isolate upon entry to Yukon continue to be our best means of keeping the virus out of our communities.
Premier Sandy Silver
The need to create and maintain the best balance between protecting Yukoners from the spread of COVID-19 and protecting their health and well-being will be our biggest challenge in the coming months. We are facing very different circumstances today than when we released our original Path Forward plan in May. We will need to maintain some restrictions in order to reduce others. There is no quick or easy resolution to living with COVID-19.
Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley
The Path Forward: Next Steps strategy includes details about how and when Yukon will transition to the next phase of the pandemic response. A start date for this next phase is dependent on vaccinating as many adult Yukoners as possible, keeping new cases low and better understanding the impacts of the COVID-19 variants.
Yukon has been able to vaccinate its citizens at a greater per capita rate than most other Canadian jurisdictions. While others are beginning to vaccinate seniors this week, Yukon is many months ahead as we start administering doses to the general population over the age of 18.
There are currently no active cases of COVID-19 in the territory.
There is still considerable information to be gathered about the variants that have been discovered and how they can impact our plans to lift restrictions.