Yukon closes its borders to non-essential travel

Apr 18 2020, 6:12 pm

The Yukon government has implemented tough new measures regarding its borders in an effort to mitigate the spread and effect of coronavirus in the territory.

The new measures are in effect following the signing of a Ministerial Order under the Civil Emergency Measures Act, by Yukon’s Minister of Community Services John Streicker.

The order gives enforcement officers stationed at Yukon’s borders the legal authority to deny entry to non-essential travellers, while still permitting essential and critical services and people to return home. It also specifies who will be permitted under what circumstances, and requires travellers entering Yukon to produce appropriate identification, documentation, and a detailed self-isolation plan.

In a release, the Yukon government said that while these new measures have been brought in, the order “will not impact the delivery of critical and essential services, or the ability of people to transit through Yukon to another destination within 24 hours.”

However, “access to Yukon will need to be justified, based on purpose of travel, and the ability to meet requirements set by Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.”

The government said that under the new orders, entry will be permitted for individuals who provide “acceptable evidence to an enforcement officer” that they are:

  • Yukon residents;
  • Non-resident family members of Yukon residents;
  • Delivering a critical or essential service;
  • Transiting through Yukon to a neighbouring jurisdiction (24-hour limitation);
  • Exercising an aboriginal or treaty right (for the time needed to exercise the right).

To enforce these measures, Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) Enforcement Officers are at Yukon borders and the Whitehorse airport to “ensure all travellers have the information they need to keep themselves and Yukoners safe from the spread of COVID-19.”

These Government of Yukon enforcement officers will be collecting:

  • Contact information of all travellers coming through Yukon or returning home;
  • Details of their 14-day self-isolation plans;
  • Declarations of any symptoms of COVID-19.

People transiting through Yukon to Alaska, Northwest Territories or other parts of Canada “are required to complete their transit in Yukon within 24 hours of their entry, and should avoid unnecessary contact with others when they stop for food or fuel,” the government added.

Currently in the Yukon, nine cases of coronavirus of been confirmed, seven people have recovered, and 852 people have been tested.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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