Chief Public Health Officer Orders Travel Restrictions and Self-Isolation for those entering NWT

Yellowknife — March 22, 2020
Public Service Announcement

Effective immediately, NWT Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola has ordered all travel into the Northwest Territories prohibited with limited exceptions to combat COVID-19 in the territory.

 

This order is made under the NWT’s Public Health Act, using the additional powers granted to the Chief Public Health Officer during a Public Health Emergency.

 

Travel through all points of entry into the Northwest Territories — both air and road — will be prohibited to all travelers with the exception of:

 

  • Northwest Territories residents;
  • Persons providing services in the course of importation/exportation of goods and other supply chain transportation workers, including movers and carriers, and those persons who are necessary to maintain supply chain transportation services;
  • Flight crews;
  • Persons engaged in providing essential services, including but not limited to, health and social service providers, postal service workers, peace officers and others employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace, emergency responders, employees of and persons engaged by the Department of National Defence, municipal enforcement officers, community government essential service workers and, federal and territorial parks officers;
  • Persons engaged in providing support services to essential services workers;
  • Persons travelling from Nunavut for medical travel;
  • Persons participating in traditional harvesting and on the land activities that cross the NWT border but do not enter any communities as part of this;
  • Transient workers in the mineral and petroleum resources industry;
  • Persons involved in working on the construction of GNWT capital infrastructure projects;
  • Corrections Officers and inmates in transit;
    • Persons otherwise exempted under exceptional circumstances by the Chief Public Health Officer.

Effective Date and Time

 

These measures are in effect March 21, 2020 at 12pm until further notice.

 

Information for NWT Residents

 

NWT residents returning from outside the NWT from any Canadian or international destination must self-isolate in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith only. No returning NWT resident is allowed to self-isolate in a small community or other regional centre other than the four communities listed above if they have returned from outside the NWT.

NWT residents who have returned within 14 days prior to this order must immediately go into self-isolation where you are and contact protectnwt@gov.nt.ca or call 1-833-378-8297 between the hours of 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week for further direction.

 

NWT residents must complete a self-isolation plan using the approved template and have it verified by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer. NWT residents self-isolating must stay at home or in one residence until a self-isolation plan has been verified and approved by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer.

 

This is a measure to avoid overwhelming health centres in small remote communities, and ensuring those exposed are close to well-equipped hospital care.

 

Those returning to the Northwest Territories who do not have accommodations in which to self-isolate when they return should contact protectnwt@gov.nt.ca or 1-833-378-8297 between 8am and 8pm 7 days a week. Each case will be assessed and appropriate measures will be taken to facilitate self-isolation.  

 

Information for Import/Export Workers & Flight Crew

 

Import/export workers, supply chain and transportation services workers, and flight crews must comply with the social distancing guidelines  established by the Chief Public Health Officer and strictly practice social distancing when completing their tasks. If they are required to stay overnight, they must stay in their accommodations until leaving. And if they are sick, they must not travel into the NWT or immediately go into self-isolation if they get sick.

 

Information for Those Supporting Essential Services

 

Persons supporting essential services must self-monitor, contact protectnwt@gov.nt.ca or 1-833-378-8297 between 8am and 8pm 7 days a week for further direction and then complete a work risk assessment.

 

If you have arrived in the NWT in the last 14 days or have been you have been in close contact (lived, worked, traveled with or been in close quarters) with someone who has arrived in the NWT in the last 14 days and you develop symptoms, you must self-isolate and arrange to get tested.

    • Yellowknife: 867-767-9120        
    • Inuvik: 867-490 –2225 or 867-777-7246
    • Fort Smith: 867-872-6219 or 867-872-6221
    • Hay River: 867-874-7201

Information for Mineral and Petroleum Industry Employees

 

This order does not restrict travel in any way for transient workers in the mineral resources and petroleum industry.

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer and HSS Pandemic Planner is working closely with medical staff to develop strict screening and mitigation strategies at all remote worksites. It is recommended that workers self-monitor for symptoms like cough and fever, and if they develop influenza-like symptoms, they must self-isolate in their accommodations, and contact their medical team.

 

Information for Nunavut Residents in-transit

 

Nunavut residents traveling in-transit through the NWT are expected to follow the social distancing guidelines established by the Chief Public Health Officer while in transit. If they are required to stay overnight, they must stay in their accommodations until leaving and practice self-isolation during that time. They must not go to restaurants or public venues. And if they are sick, they must not travel into the NWT – or immediately go into self-isolation if they get sick.

 

Information on Enforcement

 

Under the Public Health Act, Public Health Officials may enforce orders as peace officers and may seek the assistance of any other Peace Officer to actively enforce orders. Disobeying this order is punishable by law and may include a fine upon summary conviction of up to $10,000 and six months imprisonment.

 

Reporting Order Contraventions

 

If you have a credible and specific complaint that any individual is disobeying this order, you are asked to email protectnwt@gov.nt.ca or call 1-833-378-8297 between 8am and 8pm 7 days a week.

 

Your complaint will be investigated by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer or any other person ordered to investigate the complaint.