Whitehorse Daily Star

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BORDER MEASURES PLANNED – Premier Sandy Silver speaks during Tuesday afternoon’s weekly media briefing on the Yukon government’s measures to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy YUKON GOVERNMENT/ALISTAIR MAITLAND PHOTOGRAPHY

Government relaxes border restrictions

Phase two of the Yukon government’s reopening plan launched Wednesday with several changes to border control measures.

By Gabrielle Plonka on July 2, 2020

Phase two of the Yukon government’s reopening plan launched Wednesday with several changes to border control measures.

“We are in a much better position than we thought we would be just a few weeks ago,” Premier Sandy Silver told a media briefing Tuesday afternoon.

“We remain flexible and responsive to the situation – which is changing daily – but we are confident we’re in a good position now to lift our borders (Wednesday).”

Residents of B.C., the N.W.T. and Nunavut can now enter the territory and move freely without self-isolating upon arrival. 

Visitors from these three jurisdictions must provide proof of residency when they enter the territory.

They must also confirm they haven’t been outside the four authorized jurisdictions in the last 14 days.

All remaining Canadian residents are now permitted to enter the territory, but must self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving if they are not travelling from B.C., the N.W.T. and Nunavut.

Self-isolation must occur in Whitehorse.

Residents of the N.W.T. and Nunavut must also self-isolate if they flew into the Yukon with a layover outside B.C.

Exemptions to the self-isolation rule will be made for critical workers and individuals transiting through the Yukon.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, the chief medical officer, said opening the border poses a necessary risk.

He explained that the impact of closed borders is too severe, and the epidemiology of the virus in the three authorized jurisdictions means the risk is low.

“To be completely honest, I’m nervous myself about the weeks ahead of us,” Hanley said.

“This move is not without risk, but we need to be very clear that keeping the doors closed is also high risk and clearly not sustainable.”

The Yukon government is facing a petition filed with the Yukon Supreme Court. The petition, filed last month, seeks a declaration that the border closure violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The case will not be withdrawn since the border has reopened, one petitioner told the Star Thursday.

The premier denied any connection between the petition and the decision to open the border to the rest of Canada.

“They’re two unrelated situations, but I will say every decision we make takes into account the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Silver said.

The self-isolation rules have been successful in the Yukon, so far, he added.

He noted that 17,000 travellers have passed through the territory since April 2, and half of those were travelling to Alaska. The Yukon hasn’t seen a new case of COVID-19 since April 20.

The government also announced in a press release on Tuesday that face masks are now required at all Yukon airports, in response to the expected increase in airport traffic.

Other changes in effect for phase two include an increase to 50 people permitted at outdoor gatherings.

Restaurants can also operate at greater than 50 per cent capacity if possible with physical distancing maintained. 

Comments (24)

Up 13 Down 0

Yukon Cornelius on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:15 pm

Re: CBC article - 'B.C. records biggest one-day jump in COVID-19 cases since May'

Given the largest daily spike in new COVID-19 cases in BC since May, I'm thinking that Sandy may want to wipe that smug smile off his face and re-think his decision to reopen the Yukon - BC border.

[SOURCE]: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/july-10-coronavirus-update-bc-1.5645278

Up 3 Down 0

Lost In the Yukon on Jul 8, 2020 at 4:17 pm

All those saying "lock it down" are sitting at home maxing out their new internet data package watching Netflix and getting their fifth-wheel ready for camping at Fox Lake this coming weekend while collecting their Government Pay Check and those saying open it up are watching their savings disappear and their businesses going under ... meanwhile our Premier gets to go shopping in Vancouver!

Up 9 Down 10

Ty A. on Jul 8, 2020 at 6:55 am

Is the city of Whitehorse asleep at the wheel..
Please don't risk the lives of Yukoners over blind stupidity.
If it's growing world wide...give your heads a shake.
Do we need a death in the Yukon before we lock down again?
The government really needs to do the right thing for our safety!!

Up 5 Down 9

Salt on Jul 6, 2020 at 9:47 pm

@Factcheck Try some facts next time. JohnW is exactly right.

Up 12 Down 11

JohnW on Jul 6, 2020 at 5:29 pm

@Factcheck, as others have noted CNN and CBC are alarmist propaganda and not reliable sources of actual data about Covid19.
I suggest you consult:

https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus/country/united-states?country=~USA
and
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

Where you can observe that the the daily number of confirmed Covid deaths and the Case Fatality Rate have both been steadily decreasing in the US since mid May.

Stop being frightened, the pandemic scare is over. Go back to work, get out and enjoy the summer sun; that's what will keep you healthy.

Up 8 Down 6

Factcheck on Jul 6, 2020 at 3:37 pm

@Josey - Okay go to the Center for Disease Control because that's where CNN gets their numbers from and they should be the same.

Up 26 Down 16

Josey Wales on Jul 6, 2020 at 12:30 pm

@ factchecker
OK I will bite, clearly you are trolling?
Advocating for CNN as a reliable source suggests to me that-
1) you are absolutely trolling with a barbed treble hook.
2) your cognitive abilities and spatial awareness has been greatly retarded as a result of public school and political indoctrination.
Often both the same source.
CNN, the Clinton News Network seriously? Much like, our CBC is complete socialist drivel.

Up 16 Down 18

Factcheck on Jul 6, 2020 at 5:48 am

JohnW. you are dead wrong on your stats and claims. Watch CNN for the real picture of what's going on in Texas, Minnesota, California, Arizona plus some 25 more on the rise and taxing their hospital systems. Quit spreading mis-information.

Up 12 Down 6

For sale: on Jul 5, 2020 at 3:08 pm

"Yukon Home: - in an area that had zero deaths from Covid! Buy a piece of property in secluded and safe distanced Whitehorse. Includes trailer! Will have to pay pad fee. Low price of $100,000,000.00. No low ballers I know what I have!"

Wondering why the Yukon doesn't put a moratorium on Real Estate sales (the rest of the economy is ruined, may as well finish the job) to people that don't currently own a property in the Yukon.

In other words, you can upgrade or sell between Yukon residents but it'll help slow the move of people from the provinces. If you think our housing economy was inflated before watch, get read for panic buying to avoid wave 2.

Up 30 Down 5

illegal camping leads to more mess and permanent residents on Jul 5, 2020 at 9:27 am

Sweet; a family from B.C just moved their trailer, jeep + another vehicle into the old Copper mine off Sima road at the shop structure and hid it a little ways in the trees.
It may be the owner of the Copper mine; but don't be surprised if more people move here to avoid living in hard hit provinces.

Up 26 Down 28

Yukoner2 on Jul 4, 2020 at 11:30 am

Please........do not put Yukon at risk!
See plates from various states and provinces! No masks, no distancing....it's a free for all now! And we are all flying to Vancouver shopping and coming home, back to work the next day, no isolation now! How many are LTC workers are in our health system??? Do you see BC stats now, climbing - as are other provinces and states? “Yes, I am worried about the risk now” but NOBODY (border patrol, RC, COVID) is doing anything to prevent the risk. We will see what happens in a few weeks......we will be
Regretting this move!

Up 21 Down 34

Natasha on Jul 4, 2020 at 5:35 am

So....now you allow Yukon residents to go to BC and beyond on their vacations. Our “health workers” are now going, and feeling if BC shopping they can come back and go to work, no isolation. If my parent gets COVID because she/he has been shopping, and has been allowed as you say, how do you feel, knowing results will be serious? These workers feel no rules to them! This is not correct and you should rule a lockdown real fast for them re non essential travel. VERY MUCH a CONCERN for our vulnerable!

Up 24 Down 29

JohnW on Jul 3, 2020 at 6:19 pm

When more people are tested then more 'cases' of people testing positive will be found as herd immunity increases. The important metrics: ie. number of Covid hospitalizations, and number of daily deaths are decreasing in all areas of the US and Canada.
The pandemic scare is over, get back to work and get out and enjoy the summer sun; that's what will keep you healthy.

Up 35 Down 16

Thehammer on Jul 3, 2020 at 2:45 pm

Today Friday 3, I saw an Alaska plate on a jeep in the Canadian dollar store parking lot. Where is the enforcement on that situation?

Up 30 Down 31

Politico on Jul 3, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Poor Liberals, dammed no matter what they do and blamed for everything!

Up 32 Down 29

Concerned long time Yukoner on Jul 3, 2020 at 10:21 am

Two or three days ago 48 new cases for Alaska, biggest spike so far, good move Sandy keep listening to the business leaders and Donald Trump.

Up 49 Down 21

Larry Liberal on Jul 3, 2020 at 4:40 am

I know this government is working towards a healthy Yukon population but people are wondering how we are seeing American license plates all over town? For instance yesterday I followed a truck pulling a tent trailer with Arizona plates on it. Arizona has 50x covid infection than what are considered moderately infected states but are way worse than anything in Canada???
Three days ago I saw a big Winnebago parked in front of the Porter Creek super-A with the couple standing outside after having obtained groceries??? You and Hanley may mean well but your missing the boat when these potentially lethal carriers are roaming around town like they were citizens of the year.
Maybe spread out the staff from the crib trailer on the south access and place an observer at the top of two mile hill to report any U.S. plates that are heading down town. If this doesn't work perhaps convoys could be assembled and marshaled through the territory say every 24hrs.
While loving everybody I see no reason to practice social distancing with the ridiculous acceptance of potential killers being allowed to roam at will endangering my family.
You guys are going to have to wake-up on this one before it comes and bites us all in the nether regions.

Up 46 Down 11

Joe on Jul 2, 2020 at 8:57 pm

The time has come to shift. Time to clean up those bloated govy offices, streamline service to clients with on-line service, shift budgets to health and social areas and get rid of all the waste of time positions this stay at home test has shown are not required. Those govy positions who stayed at home and had little to do, you know who you are. We can’t afford to carry this extra weight anymore. Covid is a societal shift, not a passing phase, let’s adapt and move on. The City and YG could lead these inevitable changes.

Up 37 Down 23

Natasha on Jul 2, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Well......I disagree on opening up Yukon as much as we have. I see travellers from Texas, Florida, Alaska, California, alberta, Saskatchewan overnighting at our hotels and shopping in our stores.
Some more than one day. What about their self isolation which is not happening and why are hotels downtown allowing them to register for nights? If they have residences here they should be in them. I await the first case soon of COVID and we will see what happens then. Honesty is not being told or being practiced. Self distancing and masking......what's that?

Up 24 Down 10

Lost In the Yukon on Jul 2, 2020 at 6:11 pm

... obviously “someone” wanted to go shopping in Vancouver

Up 28 Down 20

Matthew on Jul 2, 2020 at 6:03 pm

Why is Sandy smiling!? Does he not know the severe impacts their policies have had on local business? Unemployment on a sharp rise along with debt, and then comes mortgage defaults... Just wait until wave 2 hits, entire country will be in SEVERE recession unlike this world has ever seen.. think 1929 was bad!? LOL childs play to whats coming... its all planned folks, look into Event 201 took place in October 2019.

Up 28 Down 10

Sheepchaser on Jul 2, 2020 at 5:36 pm

Government relaxes. Citizens pucker. Nothing new to see here. Experimenting with our lives, as usual. ‘Tis the way of things since the Pharos, so save your breath.

Was happy to see the charter challenge, but wanted the gov to have Competently and transparently proved their case by now. Worked to expedite it in the courts even. At least pretend like they had some class welcomed the engagement from the citizenry as an opportunity to demonstrate their fulfillment of their oaths and duty to act. Would not have been hard had they only tried. Such louts.

Increasingly obvious the wrong people are in charge. Sadly, the financially illiterate alternative is so much worse. Time for a new political party in the Yukon? The Rationally Pragmatic Party of normal, hard working citizens who value fiscal conservancy, social liberty and reasonable ecological protections... why am I forced into choices between ‘fad of the moment’ bootlickers and punch-drunk contrarians?

Yukoners deserve better!!!

Up 41 Down 53

I refuse and I hope other Yukoners refuse on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:29 pm

to follow your next shutdown.

You've literally hung the Yukon out to dry. The flood of B.C. vehicles is noticeable and you know what, none of them are wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Not to mention the travellers i've seen fit into the group of travelling transients. I.E. when you shut the Canada Games Centre showers down, where are these people supposed to clean themselves. Then you're allowing them to shop among the "healthy" Yukoners?

You've botched the economy and now you've botched your protections. Ontario and B.C. have had huge spikes. I've seen more than a few vehicles leave the "covid checkpoint" and head right down the south access into downtown. What your message is "We really don't have a clue but we'll keep making sh&t up as we see fit!"

How with an increase in cases in the U.S. which is allowing people into B.C. do you think it's ok to allow those same people into the Yukon?
Are you trying to have one death in the Yukon to show that your draconian measures and complete managerial failure (while collecting full pay) was necessary?

"Look at how many lives we saved but now we don't care, or we do, kind of, but not maybe now before"
A mixed message failure.

Up 79 Down 10

Doug Easley on Jul 2, 2020 at 3:38 pm

How are we in a "better situation than we were two weeks ago" when we are in the EXACT SAME SITUATION WE WERE IN TWO WEEKS AGO? Score 1 contractors.

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