Nunavik announces temporary new travel restrictions

Starting Jan. 9, only residents, beneficiaries and essential workers may fly to the region

Starting Jan. 9, Nunavik health officials have imposed new temporary restrictions on travel to the region. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

In response to the Quebec government’s latest measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, Nunavik health officials have imposed new restrictions on who may travel to the region.

Starting Jan. 9, only residents, non-resident beneficiaries with family ties to the region and essential workers are allowed to travel to Nunavik.

Essential workers include those who work in public safety, justice, health, social services, education, daycare or construction.

“In view of the health situation in the south, and in order to protect our region as best as possible, new restrictions are imposed on travel between Jan. 9 and Feb. 8, 2021,” the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services said in a Jan. 8 release.

All travellers must first obtain a Nunavik Territory Access Authorization before they’ll be allowed to fly to the region.

To cut down on travel, the health board recommends employers extend work periods for their rotational staff in Nunavik.

The health board has also recommended that mining companies add a screening test on day seven of their workers’ two-week rotations at Nunavik mine sites, which continue to operate.

On Jan. 6, Quebec Premier François Legault announced a province-wide curfew starting Jan. 9 between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., with fines between $1,000 and $6,000 for those who don’t comply, as well as the closure of non-essential businesses.

But the province said the new measures won’t apply to the James Bay Eeyou Itschee region nor to Nunavik, where there are currently just two active but unrelated cases of COVID-19.

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