Today(FridayMay 15th) the Government of the Northwest Territories took its first step towards the eventual and much-anticipated return to “normal”.

In a statement released around 4 p.m., the NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer announced phase one of the GNWT’s “Emerging Wisely” plan is officially underway. 

Dr. Kami Kandola states the territory needed to complete several essential steps to move into the first phase of easing measures outlined earlier this week. 

As of this morning, the final step was achieved by confirming no community spread for 28 days since the last negative test of the final recovered case. 

With no community spread, the territory is now implementing an order to ease up on the public health restrictions across the NWT effective immediately.

NWT residents can expect to enjoy more interpersonal contact, outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, as long as physical distance is maintained, and some businesses and organizations can open with new rules. 

Other phase one activities include outdoor sports clubs and organizations opening with restrictions, and some recreation facilities like outdoor kitchen shelters and day-use areas in parks opening.

Orders on travel restrictions, essential workers, remote camp-workers, physical distancing of two meters, and the requirement not to participate in activities if you are sick will remain in place for the foreseeable future. 

The NWT’s Minister of Health and Social Services also reminded residents that the Compliance and Enforcement Taskforce will continue to investigate and respond to reports throughout the weekend to ensure compliance with the new orders is maintained.