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Chief Public Health Officer orders prohibition of travel into Nunavut with limited exceptions

23 March 2020

News Release

Chief Public Health Officer orders prohibition of travel into Nunavut with limited exceptions

IQALUIT, Nunavut (March 23, 2020) – Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO), today issued an order to prohibit most travel into Nunavut.

“It has become increasingly clear that we need to limit travel into the territory to protect Nunavummiut against COVID-19,” said Dr. Patterson. “Although there are still no confirmed cases on COVID-19 in the territory, we are taking extraordinary measures to limit travel, in an effort to slow its possible spread.”

Starting Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m.:

Only Nunavut residents and critical workers will be allowed into the territory.

Residents will have to provide proof of residency to be allowed to fly into Nunavut. Prior to boarding a plane into the territory, they will undergo a mandatory 14 day isolation period in either Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton or Yellowknife. At the end of the 14 days, asymptomatic residents will be cleared and able to return to their home community. This also includes medical travel patients.

Critical workers will have to provide written permission from the Nunavut CPHO to be allowed to fly into the territory. Critical workers returning from another Canadian jurisdiction who are asymptomatic and cleared will be allowed to resume work and travel in communities with the approval of the territorial health team. Any critical workers from outside Canada will be required to isolate for 14 days prior coming to Nunavut.

Nunavut’s post-secondary students and their families currently studying outside the territory will go into a 14 day mandatory isolation period in either Ottawa or Winnipeg, and then be chartered directly to their home community. These students have been contacted and are preparing for their isolation periods.

Accommodation, food and necessities for all travelers will be provided during the isolation period.

Additionally, all public gatherings are now banned.

“These are remarkable times and we need to do everything we can to protect one another,” said Dr. Patterson. “It is vital that everyone practice social distancing of two metres, avoid contact with others and touching your face, and cough and sneeze into your elbow. We all have a role to play, let’s all do our part.”


Media Contact:

Chris Puglia
Communications Specialist
Department of Health

Cate Macleod
Press Secretary to Premier Savikataaq