OCPHO offers expanded exemptions to self-isolation for travelers from Nunavut

News Releases

Yellowknife — February 18, 2021

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) is now considering self isolation exemptions for travellers from Nunavut who are arriving or plan to arrive in the Northwest Territories (NWT).

They will still need to submit a self-isolation plan and exemption request through ProtectNWT and must receive an approved exemption letter from the CPHO before they can be exempt from self-isolation. Anyone who has already arrived in the NWT from Nunavut can also apply for a retroactive exemption by contacting ProtectNWT. This means anyone who has arrived in the NWT and is already self-isolating can still apply for an exemption. If it is approved by the CPHO, that person would no longer have to self-isolate.

Travelers applying for an exemption must have been in Nunavut or the NWT for at least the past 14 days. They must also:

  • Not be symptomatic.
  • Not have been named a contact of a COVID-19 diagnosis; or
  • Not have been notified that they were part of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Travelers will not be eligible for an exemption in the following circumstances:

  • If they are coming from a community with travel restrictions in place.
  • If they are coming from a community experiencing community spread of COVID-19.
  • If they are coming from a Nunavut closed camp or work site that has out-of-territory workers.


“There are strong ties between the NWT and Nunavut. Many of our residents have friends and family in Nunavut and vice-versa. As we continue our rollout of vaccinations and more NWT residents build up immunity to COVID-19, the NWT will continue looking at ways to expand our bubble across the North. Considering exemptions for travelers from Nunavut arriving in the NWT is an important step in this process as we gradually and safely emerge from this pandemic.”

- Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services

Quick facts

  • Travelers must follow additional conditions set out in the exemption letters during the first 14 days upon arrival to the NWT, such as wearing non-medical masks in public places where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Household members of a traveler with an exemption from self-isolation will also be exempt and not need to self-isolate.
  • The CPHO can revoke an exemption at any time or deny a request for exemption or alter conditions based on a current public health risk assessment.

Related links


Media Requests, please contact:

Darren Campbell

Senior Communications Officer, COVID-19 Communications

Health and Social Services

COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat

Government of the Northwest Territories