Canadian North changes schedule following new COVID-19 measures

“We’re working with the GN to look at all scenarios we will support as required”

A new schedule is now in effect for Canadian North routes and new screening measures are likely to be announced, the airline says. These follow new public health measures in the territories. (File photo)

By Jane George

Canadian North has made more adjustments to its scheduled services on routes to Arctic communities due to the intensifying COVID-19 pandemic and new public health measures.

A second schedule change went into effect on Monday, March 23, altering a new schedule announced on March 18.

The change was prompted by the Government of the Northwest Territories’ decision on Saturday, March 21, to prohibit all travel to the N.W.T., with limited exceptions.

Then, on Monday, March 23, the Government of Nunavut moved to isolate the territory.

Residents will now have to provide proof of residency to be allowed to fly into Nunavut, the GN said on March 23.

And prior to boarding a plane into the territory, travellers will undergo a mandatory 14-day isolation period in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton or Yellowknife.

At the end of the 14 days, asymptomatic residents will be cleared and able to return to their home community. This also applies to medical travel patients.

As a result, passengers on Canadian North jets are likely to see additional screening questions before boarding, only days after the initial screening measures were announced by the carrier.

“We’re working with the GN to look at all scenarios we will support as required,” said Dan Valin, Canadian North’s manager of marketing and communication.

Canadian North’s new schedule is supposed to remain in effect until April 20.

It includes:

  • Four times a week service on trunk routes (Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Yellowknife and Inuvik)
  • Three times a week service on community routes
  • Twice a week service for trans-territorial flights from Iqaluit-Rankin Inlet-Yellowknife.
  • Twice a week service to Grise Fiord and Ulukhaktok.

Calm Air has also trimmed its schedule for flights in Nunavut’s Kivalliq region and may announce further changes, the company said on Monday, March 23.

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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by Paul Murphy on

    Still a bit confused. My wife is travelling on Cdn North on April 10 from Iqaluit to Yellowknife and on to Kugluktuk on April 11. We are moving there permanently. Obviously a resident of Nunavut. As everyone knows, we have to overnight in Yellowknife and is booked at the Nova.
    So what are her responsibilities? She has basically been in self isolation sice Mid February.
    Because she has to travel thru Yellowknife, does she have to isolate there for 14 days? She will self isolate in Kugluktuk for the first 14 days she is there.

    Who has the decision making authority in cases like this. NWT?” Nunaavut? Help!! What is the process??

    • Posted by Alan Klie on

      I can’t be sure, Paul, but I think you and your wife may not be allowed to move to the NWT yet. Although you’re expecting to move there, you are not yet residents of the NWT. The only people who should be able to travel from Iqaluit to the NWT are NWT residents. The Chief Public Health Officer of the NWT has made an order banning travel into the NWT with certain exceptions. You can review the order online. As far as I’m aware, the only exceptions for Nunavut residents are transiting for medical travel and a few other more specific ones, such as exercising hunting rights. Even then, everyone, including NWT residents, arriving from outside the NWT must self-isolate in 1 of 4 communities only: Yellowknife, Inuvik, Fort Smith or Hay River. No exceptions are in the order for someone living in a small community or arriving from an area without COVID-19 (only Nunavut at this point). However, as I said, you should review the order. The order does allow for exceptions to be made by the Chief Public Health Officer, I believe, so you may need to make an application through them. I would think, though, that you should be prepared to not move to the NWT.

      • Posted by Reading is fun! on

        Mr. Murphy and his wife are not planning to move to the NWT. They are planning to move from Iqaluit to Kugluktuk. Kugluktuk is in Nunavut.

        The problem is you cannot fly from Iqaluit to Kugluktuk unless you connect through Yellowknife, which requires a stay of one night in the NWT.

        • Posted by Alan Klie on

          You are so right! I don’t know how I missed that — I should read more carefully. Here’s the URL for the NWT CPHO’s order: https://www.gov.nt.ca/en/newsroom/chief-public-health-officer-orders-travel-restrictions-and-self-isolation-those-entering. If you read the exceptions, though, at first glance they don’t seem to allow for residents of Nunavut to transit through Yellowknife unless they’re on medical travel; there’s also no apparent exemption for people who are on flights that get diverted. However, further down in the paragraphs that provide information, the information to Nunavut residents is as follows: “Nunavut residents traveling in-transit through the NWT are expected to follow the social distancing guidelines established by the Chief Public Health Officer while in transit. If they are required to stay overnight, they must stay in their accommodations until leaving and practice self-isolation during that time. They must not go to restaurants or public venues. And if they are sick, they must not travel into the NWT – or immediately go into self-isolation if they get sick.” Mr. Murphy should get in touch with the NWT’s CPHO’s office for guidance on his situation.

          • Posted by Paul Murphy on

            Thanks Alan for the feedback. However the problem is not with the NWT.

            NUNAVUT requires one to spend 14 days in isolation in YK before entering Nunavut. Because we have to spend the one night in YK, we are coming back into Nunavut from the NWT and are required to isolate for 14 DAYS.

            One easy solution would be for Cdn North to reinstate flights to the western Nunavut without routing thru YK. It used to be done in the old days.

            I should point out I have connected with the CPHO with Nunavut for an exemption of some sort. Helen has been in a self imposed isolation for at least 5 weeks now.

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