Nunavummiut can to go Yukon, but Nunavut’s travel restrictions remain unchanged

Starting July 1, Nunavut residents can travel to Yukon but will still have to go into isolation on the way back

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, said although Nunavummiut can now enter Yukon without going into isolation first, Nunavut’s travel restrictions remain unchanged. (File photo)

By Emma Tranter

Starting July 1, Nunavummiut can travel to Yukon, but they’ll still have to go into isolation for 14 days on the way back, says Nunavut’s chief public health officer.

The Yukon government announced yesterday that residents of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut will be able to enter Yukon without going into isolation first.

Joe Savikataaq said Yukon Premier Sandy Silver contacted him yesterday about the change.

But if Nunavummiut travel to Yukon, they will still need to spend 14 days in isolation on their way back to Nunavut.

Yukon’s announcement follows one by the Government of the Northwest Territories on Friday, June 12, that it would allow Nunavut residents to enter the N.W.T. without undergoing a 14-day isolation period.

The N.W.T. currently requires anyone entering the territory to submit a self-isolation plan and complete a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period, but that does not apply to people travelling from Nunavut.

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, said a real travel bubble with Yukon might be a possibility in the future, but it depends on several factors. For example, Yukon also has a travel bubble with British Columbia.

“There’s a number of risk factors in there that … my counterpart in the Northwest Territories and I were both a bit leery of at this point. So we’ll wait and see how things go at this point for a bit,” he said.

That means for now, Nunavut’s travel restrictions remain unchanged, Patterson said.

“It doesn’t change our plans. It does make it easier if people had plans or wanted to travel to Yukon. But immediate impact on what we’re doing within the territory? No,” Patterson said.

Patterson also said formal inspections have been completed for businesses that opened this week as part of Nunavut’s gradual lifting of restrictions. These inspections are done to ensure businesses are meeting physical distancing requirements. The reports from those inspections have been good so far, he said.

Nunavut’s public health emergency has also been extended for another two weeks, to July 9.

Starting next week, the Government of Nunavut will hold COVID-19 news conferences only once a week, on Mondays at 11 a.m. EDT.

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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by The Native on

    Ones a week is not enough to update us. Things change rapidly and we need more frequent updates then ones a week.

    Why do we still have such travel restrictions. Nunavut started with zero cases and still has zero cases. But the GN has changed from go home and don’t leave to having the bars with no change in the numbers. Can someone explain?

    • Posted by Andy on

      Why are updates once the week are not enough? If the national situation changes, or if a resident of Nunavut will be tested positive for COVID-19, I’m sure you will be notified via public announcements. We have been very lucky so far, and I’m supporting all decisions made by the CPHO a hundred percent. Having only limited access to a bar or restaurant is a very small price to pay, isn’t it? You can travel freely within Nunavut and to the NWT without any isolation. Heck you can even travel where you want, but the mandatory 14 days of self isolation will apply. What’s wrong with this? Nothing! After all it will protect all Nunavummiut from the virus

      • Posted by The Native on

        I am not disagreeing with the CPHO I just believe we need a better explanation on why we are changing rules with no change cases or situation. I am sure he has reasons but these reasons should be made public. People would like to try and squeeze out some sort of summer vacation but YellowKnife is over $4100 dollar plus over night stays in Cambridge Bay and Ottawa is only around $1000 but you have to spend two extra weeks in quarantine. I would think most people can afford either option. So if we are going to cancel summer just to to know the reason.

  2. Posted by Illegal on

    There is no way Patterson can keep justifying blocking the border. Everywhere else let’s them quarantine at home, not in a hotel in a remote city. This is illegal and contrary to the charter which is why even NWT changed their rules. Enough is enough.

    • Posted by concerned on

      Not sure if closing the borders is “illegal” but I would certainly like to see isolating at home take place soon.
      It would surely be more cost efficient for the GN even if they had to hire people to do home checks on people who are isolating.
      Quarantining in those 3 hubs is costing millions of tax dollars.

  3. Posted by Jeff on

    He is really trying to do the right thing ,I believe that, but soon all the teachers,civil servants will be returning, and when they have to spend their vacation time in a hotel for 2 weeks watch that, covid is not going away, there is going to be a swing up again, this is the new norm.and will not be lifted till next year, if they finally develop a vaccine,welcome to the world of pandemic ..

  4. Posted by Really isolated on

    Can he open or “they” open traveling to Nunavik to sanikiluaq! Nunavik have been covid free for weeks now and we sanikiluamiuks are isolated no where to go! No other airlines travels to this community!

  5. Posted by B Aglukark on

    It’ll be interesting to see if our territorial and federal politicians are going to cower and stay home this fall while they send our children to school.

    I’m quite confident a majority of our mlas are contently and silently staying home while receiving payment, albeit for personal reasons, without really considering what the residents are asking for. They seem to be quite content by having Mr. McPherson call all the shots without political/Territorial implications.

    At this point, they should at the least should target lessening the isolation time to 3-5 days in the three southern hubs by initiating testing travellers Going North. Once a negative result is confirmed, clear them for travel into Nunavut. I totally agree with “illegal”, this government cannot continue to justify blocking the Nunavut boarder while the rest of the system opens up.

  6. Posted by iWonder on

    To everyone calling the closure of our borders illegal, on what grounds do you suggest this?

    • Posted by Andy on

      There no grounds on these statements. Public Health Emergencies provides the CPHO with a higher level of power. Besides, as long it is in the interest of Nunavumit and it is, there should be not even a discussion about it.
      Even the comment to shorten the duration to only a few days is not based on a proper and researched fact, the experts of the WHO are agreeing that the period is on the lowest end 5-6 days, but it can up to 14 days. Why playing a game?
      If there would be a proper discipline in Nunavut and the assurance that returning Nunavumiut would self isolate upon return to Nunavut for the X-amount of days, maybe it could be re-evaluated to have the isolation done in Nunavut, but it clearly shows that there seems to be no more fear of the virus, nor respect. Staying in a hotel for 14 days is not easy and surely stressful for everybody, but it’s a very small price to pay

    • Posted by Charter on

      The charter of rights does not allow the GN to breach it unless it is justified by law. Under the charter you have mobility throughout Canada. There are not actual borders here, just scopes of jurisdiction where provinces make laws over some things and the federal government over broader things. The GN has no excuse when every other province and territory either doesn’t require isolation, doesn’t discriminate entry by residency (ask what does residency have to do with risk of covid?) or allow isolation in the province itself, not a 14 day hotel prison. This is so illegal its crazy. Section 6 of charter, Google Civil liberties to see the finer details.

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