Yukon premier expects COVID-19 restrictions will be further loosened this month

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WHITEHORSE — Yukon's premier says the territory is leading Canada in COVID-19 vaccination and residents can expect further easing of restrictions in the coming weeks.

Premier Sandy Silver says more than 78 per cent of eligible Yukon residents have received their first dose of vaccine and more than 70 per cent have had two shots, while the vaccine rollout for youth between 12 and 17 has also begun.

Silver says the territory's high vaccination rate led to the loosening of some restrictions last week and Yukoners can expect more changes around mid-June.

He says the changes will include allowing unvaccinated children under 12 travelling to the Yukon with fully vaccinated caregivers to skip self-isolation, and Yukon's top doctor is looking at updating guidelines for bars and restaurants.

Yukon has no current cases of COVID-19 but has reported 84 cases since the pandemic began and two deaths.

Silver says those travelling to Yukon who don't want to self-isolate must have had their last dose of vaccine at least 14 days previously, and must sign a declaration and provide proof of immunization.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley says the uptake of vaccine means the Yukon's "susceptibility as a population has plummeted."

"We are much better equipped to live with this virus and keep its impact to a minimum, while progressively winning back our freedoms," he said Wednesday.

The Northwest Territories has announced that visitors from the Yukon may now apply for an exemption to self-isolation rules regardless of their vaccination status, while Hanley says the Yukon will continue to require full vaccination for exemption.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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