Nunavut bans most travel into the territory

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, today banned most travel into Nunavut to protect the territory from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Although there are still no confirmed cases on COVID-19 in the territory, we are taking extraordinary measures to limit travel, in an effort to slow its possible spread,” he said in a news release. As of Wednesday, March 25, only Nunavut residents and critical workers will be allowed into the territory. Nunavut residents seeking to fly home must first isolate themselves for 14 days in either Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton or Yellowknife. If they display no symptoms at that point they will be allowed to return home. This includes medical travel patients. The Government of Nunavut says it will help provide accommodation, food and necessities to travellers during their isolation periods. As well, all public gatherings in the territory are now banned. More to come. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Concerned citizen on

    Finally. This policy should have been started long ago. If covid 19 were to hit any community in Nunavut it would be disastrous especially with the limited infrastructure available in our communities and cramped living conditions.

  2. Posted by tuktuborel on

    So when does the 14 day southern isolation start and how is it monitored? And after the isolation how do they travel to the airport and check in without possible exposure on the way to the airport and while at the airport waiting for the flight.

    I agree that everyone that arrives in Nunavut must be isolated for 14 days but question a 14 day isolation in the south first before travel to Nunavut. I think after the airline asks the manditory questions and the responces are good to go then residents should be allowed to travel home and then go into isolation at their residents. To reduce the risk even more the temperatures of the travellers could be taken also before boarding.

    Be safe and as one said, be distant also.

    • Posted by M on

      I agree with this, it doesn’t make sense to me to quarantine them then send them right back to the major airports that are spreading so many of these cases. Be safe about getting them home and if their case is mild let them isolate where they are comfortable and can be easily monitored.
      I’ve been told that they will be taking everyone’s temperatures at the airports now before going up and anyone who has symptoms will be banned from flying. But with so many cases being asymptomatic, it’s going to be too late regardless. I wish they’d get serious and ban all southern workers from travelling up there, suspend operations for a few months, at some point this has to start being about people’s wellbeing up there ?

  3. Posted by Security line on

    The security line at the Ottawa or Edmonton airports would be a huge transmission risk – everyone standing close to each other, touching and sharing bins, some being patted down. How is that being controlled for since the security line is after the isolation?

  4. Posted by TundraTom on

    I am halfway through a self-isolation in a Canadian city and was expecting to fly back next week. Now I am being told I must self-isolate in a city where I have no access to resources (people to shop and drop off food) at what I assume is my own expense (GN?). Will I need to provide some form of proof?
    And then must I self-isolate upon arrival.
    We applaud the efforts to keep Nunavut free of the COVID-19 as it’s communities are not capable of handling the virus. Yes, the GN must act quickly BUT now they must tweak this policy otherwise people will ignore it and we risk grave danger.

    • Posted by TundraTom on

      Answering my own question brings with it others (From the official order):

      “Accommodation, food and necessities for all travelers will be provided during the isolation period.” What are the logistics around this? Do I show up at one of the Larga hotels and check in?

      Is there a number one can call to get answers/clarification?

  5. Posted by Name Withheld on

    This Virus has been in Canada 8-9 weeks and still yet you see ppl traveling south for holidays,

    Pay the change fee, rebook you’re travel and stay put until this is under control, now those same travelers are asking who do they call in Nunavut to seek assistance in their hotel etc …

    Haven’t anyone learn from other pandemic we had in the past?

    What will it take for you to use common sense?

    I’m very happy with this decision that the GN made. We are not equipped to handle 30,000.00 let alone 500

  6. Posted by baffoon on

    since when is working at an iron ore mine ,a critical job

  7. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    The procedures may seem harsh and draconian, but consider the alternative; a young student is stressed, missing their family, and decides that they must get home as soon as possible. They feel fine, no symptoms, no temperature, but got infected 5 days ago and are just now starting to shed the virus. They lie that they have self isolated and give the virus to the airport agent, flight attendant, and of course their whole family in Iqaluit as soon as they get home.
    As simple as that and Iqaluit, then every Baffin community is infected, followed by the Kivalliq. The Kitikmeot is spared, for a couple of days until another student does the same thing out of Edmonton.
    Before this scenario ends Nunavut’s health care centres are overwhelmed, most doctors and nurses get sick, and 30% of elders die from the virus. That’s only one scenario.
    Having all returning people quarantine for 14 days no longer seems so bad, if you consider some of the worst case alternatives.
    For those wondering how you get from the hotel to the aircraft, it is with a mask, gloves, dedicated sterile vehicle, chaperones, etc.
    Be smart, stay safe. Stay 2 meters away from all non-family.

  8. Posted by May on

    So Public Health has a great challenge ahead of them.Rankin Airport has no physical distancing for passengers waiting for departures or arrivals.
    Gatherings in groups with hugging and touching are not being monitored or restricted.No Temperatures being done,
    No markings to help customers to distance themselves, no security guards,
    No visible cleaning.
    Nunavut needs help from the GN and Public Health to address these breach of protocols.

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