The GNWT phones, websites and email will not be accessible starting Saturday, May 15 at 10:30pm through Sunday, May 16 at 7:00am. 9-1-1, 811, and phones for Stanton Territorial Hospital and Inuvik Hospital will continue to work.

Applying for a Travel Exemption

Last modified: 
04/23/2021 - 11:00

Planning to travel to the NWT? Complete your Self-isolation plan:

Those who do not have an exemption under the public health order, or have not been granted one for exceptional circumstances, are not allowed to travel within the Northwest Territories.

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer will consider compassionate, family reunification, and other exceptional circumstance exemptions from the travel restrictions on a case-by-case basis

What is considered a Compassionate, Family Reunification or an Exceptional Circumstance Exemption?

Compassionate Exemption

  • Death or illness in the family
  • Childcare needs
  • Fleeing domestic violence

Family Reunification

Reunite with an NWT resident(s) that fall into at least one of the following groups:

  • immediate family members,
  • close relation


  • Retrieval or drop off of family member or property
  • Pre-relocation house hunting trip

If you do not fit one of these categories and are seeking exemption, contact Protect NWT by emailing or calling 8-1-1 or 1-833-378-8297 (outside NWT) for guidance or to submit a request.

Note: Unless otherwise directed by the Chief Public Health Officer, people arriving in the NWT must self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River,  Fort Smith, Fort Simpson or Norman Wells only. In some cases, the Chief Public Health Officer may allow a person to self-isolate outside of these 6 communities for compassionate reasons. To see if you meet the criteria, please see Thresholds and Criteria For Self-isolation Exemptions to Isolate in a Non-hub Community For Compassionate Or Exceptional Reasons.

Fully vaccinated individuals and household members are eligible for shortened self-isolation. For more information see Self-Isolation for Vaccinated Individuals.​​​​​​​

How to apply

To seek a compassionate, family reunification or other exceptional circumstance exemption:

  1. Contact Protect NWT at 8-1-1 or 1-833-378-8297 (outside NWT) or email
  2. Explain your situation
    • You must be able to produce documentation to support your request
  3. Submit a self-isolation plan
  4. The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer will evaluate your request and review the documentation required, taking into consideration a public health risk assessment of the circumstance.
  5. A decision will be made, and an exceptional circumstance exemption approval will be issued, or not.
    • Due to a high volume of requests, please allow for as much time as possible. Response times are currently between 5-7 business days for non-urgent requests. Submit self-isolation plans at least 2- weeks (or more) in advance of travel date, if possible.
  6. Before travelling into the NWT, you must have your self-isolation plan approved and receive your CPHO exceptional circumstance exemption approved.

Please note: to be approved for a compassionate, family reunification, or other exceptional circumstance exemption you must be willing to self-isolate for 14 days in either Yellowknife, Hay River, Inuvik, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson or Norman Wells prior to travelling on to another community. You may or may not be able to self-isolate at a family member’s home.

For those in unsafe situations

We do not want you to be in an unsafe situation because of our orders.

If you are in a dangerous or unsafe situation, please get yourself to safety whether that is at a shelter or in the home of a trusted friend or family member. There is no need to call 8-1-1 for permission. Your safety is most important. We all have a role to play in helping friends and family members stay safe and healthy.

Territorial Family Violence Shelters are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

Frequently Asked Questions