Nunavut and N.W.T. plan to ease inter-territorial travel restrictions

Plans in works to allow residents of both jurisdictions to travel back and forth without self-isolating

Passengers wait to board flights at the Iqaluit airport last year. Nunavut and the Northwest Territories plan to allow residents to travel between the two territories without self-isolating afterwards. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Government of Nunavut is planning to allow the territory’s residents to travel to the Northwest Territories and return without having to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Government of Northwest Territories announced similar plans this week.

“We’re working out the logistics to ensure it doesn’t become a loophole or a way to avoid isolation if someone is coming from outside of N.W.T. but needing to get into Nunavut,” Nunavut’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said at a news conference in Iqaluit on Thursday, June 4.

“We’ll announce it as soon as we have those details worked out.”

There are still no COVID-19 cases in Nunavut, while the N.W.T. has had five confirmed cases, all of whom have recovered.

Already, medical travel patients from Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region who get treatment in Yellowknife no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days before returning home.

Starting this week, the GN has lifted in-territory travel restrictions.

Nunavummiut can travel outside the territory, although it is not recommended; travellers are still required to quarantine for 14 days before they can return home.

The territory has now also given the green light to daycare centres to re-open, as well as territorial parks and municipal playgrounds. Outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are also now permitted.

Next week, starting on June 8, Nunavut workplaces and retail outlets can re-open, as long as they have safety measures in place.

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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Olivier on

    I assume this will mean Canadian North be reinstating the Iqaluit to Yellowknife (via Rankin Inlet) flight?

    • Posted by The Old Trapper on

      That would depend if people start travelling again for both business and pleasure. I doubt that Canadian North will reinstate this route in the next couple of months as I don’t think that the public feels safe to travel.
      This route is mainly passenger travel with a very little bit of freight. Most travel is between Iqaluit and the Kitikmeot with the obligatory overnight in Yellowknife which is often used for shopping. While I can see some government departments restarting travel I don’t think that all of the other organizations will be so quick. Also there still won’t be any sporting competitions such as hockey tournaments, basketball, indoor soccer, etc.
      No one wants to be the one to bring Covid-19 back into their community so I think (hope) that everyone will be very cautious once travel restarts.

      • Posted by Flying on

        I’d love to go to Yellowknife this summer. I won’t be going down south while the quarantine is in effect.

        I thought about going to smaller communities, but despite Minister Hickes’ plea for us to visit them I have yet to see the communities themselves make that plea. I think there’ll be suspicion and paranoia when new people step off the plane. I want to go somewhere where I’m not the talk of the town and Yellowknife is the best option.

        I know some people will chime in and say “don’t be ridiculous! Come to our community!” and that’s fair. There are always people who don’t like or trust outsiders, especially if they look different. But I guarantee the level of distrust of recent arrivals has risen in the communities.

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