GNWT to keep funding isolation for returning students and legally required travel

News Releases

Yellowknife — December 18, 2020

Returning students and persons with specific legal situations requiring travel will continue to have their stays at regional isolation centres fully covered by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) in the New Year.

Changes to the GNWT’s Isolation Payment Policy were unveiled December 1 and take effect beginning January 5, 2021.

Students and apprentices who live in the Northwest Territories and are required to travel beyond the border for education and training will have their costs covered for required stays in an isolation centre, if they cannot safely isolate elsewhere.

Persons required to travel outside the territory to comply with legal requirements, such as child custody arrangements or court-ordered addictions treatment, will also have their isolation centre costs covered.

Further details regarding education and legal travel for which the government will continue to fund isolation centre stays is available online.

Earlier this month, the GNWT announced it will no longer cover costs for isolation centre stays related to discretionary or personal travel. Isolation costs for medical travel, medically advised self-isolation, compassionate travel and unforeseen or exceptional circumstances will continue to be paid by the government.



“It’s important we consider the needs of all residents as we make decisions.  Therefore, we will continue to cover stays for returning students and those with legal requirements for travel where safe isolation at home or another location is not available. We need to continue to ensure that we protect our residents and communities from COVID-19.”

- Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories


“The health and safety of residents and communities is our top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Self-isolation is the most effective way to break the chain of infection and prevent outbreaks. It is critical that we support people who must leave the territory for education and legal purposes. Paying isolation centre stays for these travellers will help to keep us all safe.”

- Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer of the Northwest Territories


Quick facts

·       4,621 guests stayed at Northwest Territories’ four isolation centres from the opening of these facilities through to December 16.

·       Cost to the Government of the Northwest Territories for these stays was approximately $18.5 million.


Related links

·       Self-Isolation Planning

·       Isolation Centre Payment Policy


For Media Requests, please contact:

Mike Westwick

COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat

Government of the Northwest Territories