Understanding isolation

Last modified: 
01/14/2022 - 14:36

Self-isolation after travel

  • For travellers entering the NWT who are not fully vaccinated.

Medically-advised self-isolation (on the advise of healthcare provider)

For those who have an underlying health condition for which they have been advised to self-isolate by a healthcare provider for addition protection from COVID-19.

Medical Isolation due to COVID-19

  • For those confirmed to be COVID-19 positive.
  • For contacts of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • For those who have had an exposure to COVID-19 and who are now symptomatic.
  • For those who become symptomatic with COVID-19 symptoms.

Mandatory Federal Quarantine

  • For travellers entering Canada, regardless of citizenship. Includes testing and quarantine requirements from the federal government.

Self-isolation after travel

Self-isolation means that you must follow all conditions in your self-isolation plan.

  1. Self-isolate at home, a designated isolation centre, or private suite. 
  2. Self-isolate in a large NWT community (Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson or Norman Wells) unless you have been given OCPHO approval self-isolate elsewhere.
  3. Follow any additional approval/exemption conditions outlined in your plan if outside Canada in the 8 days before returning to the NWT.
  4. Complete symptom checks.
  5. If you are part of an outbreak, named as a contact or have symptoms of COVID-19 please use this assessment tool.

For more information see Travel Requirements


Requirements for self-isolation after travel

  • Avoid contact with other people to help prevent spread of the virus before the development of symptoms or at the earliest stage of illness
  • You can go out for fresh air if you don’t have symptoms by yourself or with other self-isolating household members while practicing physical distancing. This includes boating, unoccupied playgrounds, ski trails, drive-thrus, etc. – as long as you avoid areas that have many people and maintain your distance or wait until others leave. You cannot enter public areas such as a golf course or territorial parks as there is too much risk of contact with others.
  • If an individual is within a community’s boundary, the OCPHO asks that they limit their outings to 90 minutes as there is a higher risk of coming into contact with others if they are in town. If they are outside a community boundary they cannot enter another community boundary, but can stay out longer than 90 minutes to enjoy outdoor activities as they are less likely to come in contact with others. Self-isolating individuals must ensure they are back in their place of isolation each day and complete their symptoms checks on time. 
  • If you must run an urgent errand, try to contact a care group in your local area first. If you must run an urgent errand by yourself (e.g. picking up medication), wear a non-medical mask while practicing physical distancing.
  • Do your part to prevent the spread of disease by practicing physical distancing in your home
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms (even just one mild symptom). 
  • You and other household members should follow healthy respiratory practices:
    • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze
    • Wash your hands
    • Clean and disinfect

If symptoms develop during your self-isolation:

Seek testing if possible. Testing is recommended but not required. Testing may not be possible if demand exceeds capacity. Whether or not you are tested you still must isolate for 7 full days. You can end isolation on Day 8 if you have not had further symptoms or a fever for 24 hours.

You can reduce isolation to 5 days if:

  • You have had a booster (3 doses)
  • You don’t develop any symptoms or symptoms improved with no fever for 24 hours
  • Have not been provided any additional direction (such as additional testing) from a healthcare provider or public health official.
  • You must use a mask until 10 days have passed since symptom onset.