Travelling to Nunavik? You’ll now need two COVID-19 tests

“South-North travel restrictions may be reinstated,” health board warns, if cases grow

Passengers wait to board a flight from Montreal to Kuujjuaq in 2015. The region’s health board continues to oversee screening of travellers at the Montreal airport, but the board is also in the process of setting up a new, off-site screening clinic for travellers to Nunavik. (File photo)

By Sarah Rogers

Starting next week, anyone travelling to Nunavik will require two COVID-19 tests.

One test will be conducted before travellers in southern Canada board their flights, while the second will be done seven days after arriving in Nunavik, the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services said on Thursday, Oct. 8.

The health board has not indicated on which day the new policy comes into effect, nor have they said if its own staff will administer those tests.

But as the number of COVID-19 cases grows across southern Quebec, the health board committed this week to increase preventive measures to keep the virus from reaching Nunavik, by beefing up quarantine and screening resources.

As it stands, all travellers must be screened before boarding a flight to and from the region, or they must present a negative COVID-19 test result from within 96 hours of their departure.

Now, even if the result of those tests is negative, the health board says anyone travelling to the region must complete a 14-day quarantine.

That means spending 14 uninterrupted days without contact with other people, the health board said.

If it’s not possible to quarantine alone, it should be with family or household members who are not immunocompromised or quarantining themselves. In that case, the health board recommends staying alone in a separate room in the home, wearing a mask in any common areas, using a separate bathroom and not sharing personal items.

Nunavik has seen a total of 19 cases of the virus since April, but only two of those cases are current: one in Kuujjuaraapik and another in Inukjuak.

For the time being, Nunavimmiut are able to travel outside the region, the health board said, but that could change if COVID-19 numbers continue to grow in southern Quebec.

“South-North travel restrictions may be reinstated,” the health board said. “If many communities begin to show signs of the virus circulating with a growing number of cases, imposing region-wide restrictions similar to those of last spring may be considered.”

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by pissed off on

    With all the goodwill of the authorities , it is still very difficult to be sure of anything nowadays.

    Someone close to me had a test a couple of weeks ago . It took 7 days to get the results. ( negative by the way )
    After that , you have to make your travel arrangements and fly up North.

    Sounds like exact science to you?

    On top of that he got his results by way of a phone recording.

    How do you take that to the airport?

    Thanks

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