Arriving in the NWT

Last modified: 
02/18/2021 - 12:09

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.

To protect you, your family and community from COVID-19, the NWT has put in place laws that require everyone to complete a self-isolation plan, and with few exceptions, to mandatorily self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith only

You must self-isolate in a separate dwelling from anyone else in your household who hasn't travelled. If you can't, your whole household must self-isolate. 

Residents must complete and submit their self-isolation plan before, on, or at the latest 24 hours of arrival in the NWT.

If you are a traveler from Nunavut arriving or planning to arrive in the NWT the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer is now considering self isolation exemptions.

You will still need to submit a self isolation plan and exemption request through ProtectNWT and must receive an approved exemption letter from the Chief Public Health Officer before you will be able to not self isolate. If you have already arrived in the NWT, you can also apply for a retroactive exemption by contacting Protect NWT.  

What does this mean?

You must be able to show how you can safely obey the law by self-isolating. This means staying home and avoiding situations where you could come in contact with others for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for people to begin showing COVID-19 symptoms.

What if I don’t have a place to self-isolate?

If you don’t have a place to stay or if a household member is in the high risk group, you can stay in one of the NWT’s four isolation centres in Fort Smith, Inuvik, Hay River and Yellowknife. 

What happens if I don’t complete a self-isolation plan?

Everyone’s self-isolation plan is checked by public health officials, and as part of the plan, you have to submit online (or call 8-1-1) a symptom check form that is linked to your plan on the 2nd, 6th, 10th and 14th days of self-isolation.

As completing your self-isolation plan is required by law, you can face fines for not complying.

Having a self-isolation plan and sticking to it is the best way to prevent cases.

Here is what you can do to safely self-isolate

  • Plan to stay in a separate dwelliing, or for those in your household to self-isolate as well. 
  • Plan a safe way to travel straight home. Wear a face mask if you are taking a taxi or getting a ride from a friend. Stay as far apart as possible.
  • Ask a friend, family member or neighbour to drop off groceries or pick up the things you need.
  • Stay in your room as much as possible and stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from others.
  • Use a separate bathroom if you can.
  • Wash your hands often, and clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in your home.
  • Stick to your self-isolation plan.

Don’t do the following

  • Make any stops on your way home
  • Get groceries or pickup prescriptions. If someone is dropping them off, have the leave it by your door.
  • Share dishes, glasses or cutlery with anyone.
  • Invite visitors over.
  • Isolate in a place where you will be in contact with people who are at high risk of becoming seriously sick from COVID-19.
  • Go to school, work or other public areas.
  • Leave your place of isolation, unless you are seeking urgent medical attention.

What else do I need to know?

There are additional isolation requirements that individuals must comply with when arriving in the NWT if they are:

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