Policy Changes on the Isolation Centre Coverage and Revised Travel Restriction and Self-Isolation Protocol Public Health Order

News Releases

Yellowknife — December 1, 2020

The Northwest Territories’ isolation centre cost-coverage payment policies will shift in the New Year.

Beginning on January 5, 2021, the GNWT will no longer cover costs for isolation centre stays related to discretionary or personal travel.

This means those travelling for leisure purposes will need to pay for their own self-isolation costs if they require stays in an isolation centre.

Residents are encouraged to make their own arrangements for self-isolation in private residences or other paid accommodations.

The GNWT will continue to cover costs for isolation centre stays related to:

·       Medical travel

·       Medically-Advised Self-Isolation

·       Compassionate travel

·       Unforeseen or exceptional circumstances.


This shift responds to engagement with Indigenous government leadership, community governments, and business stakeholders – and to the urging of the Chief Public Health Officer for everyone to avoid all non-essential travel outside the NWT.

In addition to these changes, enforcement of the protocols for behaviour in the self-isolation centers will be stepped up. Non-compliance may result in a warning and repeated non-compliance may result in a fine of $1,725. It is important to manage the risk of COVID-19 by having people staying in isolation centres remain isolated for the whole 14-day period.

While the risk with record-levels of cases across Canada is currently too high, work will continue on building durable, safe solutions for expanding self-isolation locations at an appropriate time and with continued input from Indigenous and community leadership.


Revised Travel Restriction and Self-Isolation Protocol Order

On November 16 and 17, the Chief Public Health Officer issued verbal orders related to the Nunavut travel bubble and changes to the self-isolation protocol

A written amendment has been issued revising the July 16 Travel Restriction Order and Self Isolation Protocol to include these verbal orders from the CPHO specifically removing the Nunavut bubble and including the new self-isolation requirements. 

This ensures that everyone impacted by the travel restrictions and self-isolation is aware of their obligations.



“Keeping NWT communities and residents safe from COVID-19 is a priority for our government right now, and that includes eliminating all non-essential travel outside of the territory. This new cost coverage policy – while strict – aligns with the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer and reinforces the need for everybody to do their part to help protect our families and loved ones by making good personal choices like avoiding travel when it isn’t necessary. By pitching in and making sure we follow the direction and advice of the CPHO, we can all help make sure the NWT gets through this pandemic safely.”

-Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories; Minister responsible for the COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat


Relevant links

·       Public health orders



Media contact:

Mike Westwick

Government of the Northwest Territories

Health and Social Services

COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat