GNWT adjusts isolation centre payment policy

News Releases

Yellowknife — June 30, 2020

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is requiring certain non-residents to pay isolation centre costs.

Since the beginning of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GNWT has been paying the costs of all stays in the territory’s four isolation centres. The amended policy adjusts that approach for some individuals.

Non-residents who have received an exemption from the travel restrictions where alternative arrangements have not previously been made will now be required to pay for the cost of their stay at an isolation centre. This will come into effect on July 1, 2020.

The GNWT will continue to pay the costs of staying in isolation centres for residents of the NWT and those intending to become residents.

Self-isolation requirements for workers, including essential service workers, supply chain workers, and non-resident workers, who are already employed, will need to have their isolation costs arranged and paid for by the employer or as otherwise agreed to between the employer and the employee. This is the same as the existing arrangement.

As the GNWT continues to implement the Emerging Wisely plan it is critical that appropriate public health measures continue to be followed to reduce the risk of exposing residents to the virus responsible for COVID-19 and importing the virus from outside the NWT. This shift in approach is both fiscally responsible while also respecting the needs and rights of the residents of the NWT and Canada.



“Northwest Territories travel restrictions and self-isolation protocols will continue so long as they are needed to keep our people and communities safe. Requiring non-residents to pay isolation centre costs demonstrates our commitment to being fiscally responsible and sufficiently flexible to meet unique and exceptional circumstances.”

 - Caroline Cochrane, Premier and Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs


Quick facts

·       The four isolation centres are in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River and Fort Smith.

·       The average cost for one person to stay in an isolation centre for 14-day self-isolation period is approximately $4,100. 


Related links

·       NWT travel restrictions

·       Compassionate and Family Reunification Exemptions



For media requests, please contact:

Darren Campbell

Municipal and Community Affairs

Government of the Northwest Territories