Isolation centres

Last modified: 
06/16/2021 - 11:16

The GNWT has designated isolation centres in Yellowknife, Hay River, Inuvik and Fort Smith for anyone who does not have a place to safely self-isolate.

Effective January 5, 2021, the GNWT will only cover the costs of isolation centre stays for non-discretionary travel as outlined below. This means those travelling for leisure purposes or other purposes not described below will need to pay for their own self-isolation costs if they require a stay in an isolation centre.

Isolation centre stays covered by the GNWT

Under the Isolation Centre Payment Policy, the GNWT will pay for the following uses of isolation centres:

Medical Travel of Northwest Territories (NWT) residents

Use of an isolation centre by an NWT resident resulting from medical travel, based on a referral by an NWT Health Practitioner to access medically necessary health services.

Medically Advised Self-Isolation (MASI)

When an NWT resident or non-resident has been advised by a health practitioner or public health official to self-isolate. This would include individuals advised to isolate while waiting for a COVID-19 test result due to contact with a confirmed positive individual.

Compassionate Travel

When an NWT resident requires use of an isolation centre after traveling to attend a funeral or serious illness in the family as-identified in a self-isolation plan , and verified by relevant documentation.

In this policy, family is defined as:

  • Grandparents
  • Parents
  • Step-parents
  • Siblings
  • Step-siblings
  • In-laws
  • Any family member residing within the same household as an individual

Returning Students

When students and their dependents, who are NWT residents, require use of an isolation centre when returning to the NWT after attending primary, secondary post-secondary education, or apprenticeship outside the territory

Legal Requirements

When an NWT resident requires use of an isolation centre after travel outside of the territory that is required by law, such as child custody arrangements or court-ordered appearances. This does not include contractual obligations related to business dealings unless it is because of a court order.

Unique Circumstances

Exceptional, unique or unforeseen circumstances where self-isolation in an isolation centre is required may be considered by the GNWT.

Please call 8-1-1 (Call 1-833-378-8297 if outside NWT) for more information about which isolation centre stays GNWT will continue to cover costs for, and whether your stay would qualify.

Isolation centre stays not covered by the GNWT

Any use of isolation centres not included in one of the above categories or granted approval under unique circumstances is not eligible for payment by the GNWT.

Leisure or personal travel of residents

NWT residents who leave the territory for leisure travel or other discretionary purposes and require the use of an isolation centre to self-isolate upon their return will need to pay for their stay or arrange other accommodations in one of the designated communities for self-isolation. Personal travel includes travel for the purpose of non-essential or non-required medical appointments

Travel for work purposes

In most cases, the GNWT expectation is that employers will pay for any required self-isolation of their employees. Individuals who enter the NWT for work purposes, including to begin employment with a NWT employer, should discuss with their employer how isolation centre costs will be covered.

How to book 

All residents must complete a Resident Self-Isolation Plan, indicate whether they require use of self-isolation centre spaces, and provide any supporting documentation to Protect NWT about their purpose for travel.  Individuals who wish to stay at an Isolation Centre will be asked to provide proof of eligibility.

NWT residents will be asked to provide information about what accommodation services they require when their Self-Isolation Plans are approved, and will then be referred to the appropriate Isolation Centre in the hub community in which they will be self-isolating.

Beginning January 5, 2021, only the groups outlined above can stay at the isolation centres free of charge. All other groups will have to pay for their stay or arrange other accommodations in one of the designated communities for self-isolation.


You will be required to submit documentation to Protect NWT to corroborate your purpose for travel to have the GNWT arrange for payment.

Purpose of Travel 

Who Pays 

Documents Required  

Medical Travel 


  • Referral by NWT health practitioner to access medically necessary health services requiring travel; or 
  • Proof of GNWT Medical Travel payment.  

Returning Student 


  • Valid student identification from institution (ISIC card not accepted);  
  • Proof of enrolment or registration confirmation; or 
  • Student financial assistance confirmation; student travel assistance, showing enrolment. 



  • Note from doctor or health care practitioner (any jurisdiction) confirming serious illness;  
  • death certificate.  

Legal Requirement 


  • Court order;  
  • Legal documents corroborating legal obligation to travel. 

Other – Unique Circumstances


  • Varies, case-by-case. Further records may be requested to corroborate.    


Individual or Employer

  • n/a 



  • n/a 



  • n/a 

If you have any questions, contact 8-1-1 (Call 1-833-378-8297 if outside NWT) or email for more information.



The GNWT isolation centres allow residents to safely self-isolate after traveling outside of the NWT or being medically advised to self-isolate.

As a baseline, individuals staying at the centres will be provided a room to isolate in, three meals a day, and a shuttle service from the airport to the centre.

Depending on individual preferences and situations (i.e. size of group, isolation requirements under federal Quarantine Act for international travellers, whether individuals wish to cook their own meals), options may be provided to accommodate these preferences and/or needs.

There are staff onsite to help guests get assistance they need. These staff can also help guests access mental health supports if-required. 


The GNWT’s isolation centres are located in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith.

More than one location is available in certain communities in order to accommodate different needs and preferences for travellers.


For more information about the GNWT Isolation Centres, or to determine if you would qualify for a free stay, please contact 8-1-1 or 1-833-378-8297 if outside NWT, or email