What Nunavummiut need to know to travel this holiday season
Checklist for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers
With health restrictions changing in Nunavut and across the country, travelling will look different this holiday season.
Airports will soon fill up, with many people leaving Nunavut for the first time since the pandemic began.
Nunatsiaq News has compiled some need-to-know information on travel rules, vaccines, isolation and QR codes across the country, complete with two checklists.
Fully vaccinated Nunavummiut can get a printed QR code showing their proof of vaccination from their local health centre.
The paper version or a cell phone photo of it can be scanned.
Apple allows people with Iphones to store proof of vaccination in the Apple Health app by scanning it with the phone’s camera app. Devices updated to iOS 15 are capable of this.
Other provinces and territories have apps for their QR codes, but Danarae Sommerville, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, said this was never the plan for Nunavut.
“Unequal opportunities accessing technology in Nunavut make it difficult to implement,” she said in an email.
Proof of Vaccination Certificate
The printed page containing the QR code Nunavummiut get is the Proof of Vaccination Certificate, or PVC, needed for travelling within Canada
It will also allow access non-essential services, like restaurants or concerts, in provinces and territories that require it.
These documents are available at local health centres, according to the Government of Nunavut.
Provinces and territories that require QR codes or a negative COVID-19 test to access non-essential services:
- Alberta: QR code and ID (12 and older)
- British Columbia: QR code and ID (12 and older)
- Manitoba: QR code (12 and older)
- New Brunswick: QR code and ID, or PVC (12 and older)
- Newfoundland and Labrador: QR code and ID (12 and older)
- Northwest Territories: PVC, including QR code
- Nova Scotia: PVC (12 and older)
- Ontario: QR code and ID (12 and older)
- Prince Edward Island: P.E.I. Pass needed to enter the province (12 and older)
- Quebec: QR code and I.D (13 and older)
- Saskatchewan: Proof of vaccination or a rapid antigen COVID-19 test (12 and older)
- Yukon: QR code and ID (12 and older)
The Canadian government requires anyone over 12 years old travelling by plane, train or boat to show the PVC — the printed form with the QR code on it — except for medical travellers, who are exempt.
People travelling within Nunavut who aren’t departing from or travelling through Iqaluit will not need a PVC.
Those flying out of Nunavut from Rankin Inlet or Cambridge Bay with a final destination of Yellowknife or Winnipeg do not need a PVC.
Nunavummiut can use their small vaccine cards instead of the PVC to travel until Nov. 30.
To travel back to Nunavut, a letter from the chief public health officer’s office is no longer needed, as of Dec. 1.
Checklist for fully vaccinated travellers:
- Proof of vaccination certificate ( those flying to Winnipeg or Yellowknife directly from Cambridge Bay or Rankin Inlet are exempt from this).
- Wear a mask for 14 days upon return to Nunavut.
Checklist for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers
- Negative COVID-19 rapid test taken within 72 hours of departure if leaving from, or connecting through the Iqaluit airport (unless flying to Winnipeg or Yellowknife directly from Cambridge Bay or Rankin Inlet) OR a positive COVID-19 test that is at least 14 days old.
- Negative COVID-19 rapid test taken in Yellowknife or Winnipeg within 72 hours of departure to final destination OR a positive COVID-19 test that is at least 14 days old.
- Nunavut CPHO travel authorization proving completion of 14-day isolation in designated GN isolation site.
- If under 12 years old and travelling into Nunavut with a vaccinated parent or guardian, the unvaccinated youth (and other unvaccinated household members) must isolate for 14 days once back in Nunavut.
Rapid COVID-19 tests are available through airlines at the Iqaluit airport, according to the GN.
Sommerville said that no matter what, unvaccinated travellers over 12 years old must isolate before getting back into Nunavut.
“There is no documentation that supersedes isolation for unvaccinated individuals returning to Nunavut,” she said.
Travellers who test positive for COVID-19 at any time while they travel will have to isolate for 14 days or present a negative COVID-19 test.
All travel restrictions and rules, including those for remote Nunavut communities, may change when stricter rules are implemented by the federal government on Nov. 30, Sommerville said.
This article was updated to reflect changes made to travel rules on Dec. 1.