Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

News Type: 

YELLOWKNIFE 14 March 2020 – To limit the spread of COVID-19, Global Affairs Canada is advising citizens to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Further to this advice, the Chief Public Health Officer is recommending that NWT residents avoid all non-essential travel outside of the Northwest Territories.

More information on the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice:

Travellers arriving in the NWT

Further to the above recommendation, if you are arriving in Canada from Hubei province in China, Iran or Italy, you must self-isolate and stay at home for 14 days and contact your health care provider within 24 hours of arriving in Canada.

For all other travellers returning to the NWT, you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. You will need to:

  • Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

If you do develop symptoms within 14 days continue to isolate yourself from others, call your health care provider and inform them about symptoms and travel history. They will provide advice on what you should do.

You can contact a health care provider as follows:

  • Yellowknife: 867-767-9120, or book online at www.nthssa.ca/appointments
  • Inuvik: 867-490-2225
  • Fort Smith: 867-621-2233 or 867-872-0562
  • Hay River: 867-874-7201 (between 08:30-16.30). After hours call Emergency Department at 867-874-8050.
  • Other Communities can call their local health centres, www.hss.gov.nt.ca/health-centres

If your symptoms become severe call 9-1-1.

Residents leaving the NWT

Making the choice to stay at home and to not travel outside of the NWT is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and our communities from the spread of COVID-19, and to support our health system in responding to this pandemic.

If you have plans to travel, you should consider contacting your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.

Residents outside of Canada should find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada and should consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming limited.

Although not advised, if you are still considering travel outside of Canada, you should do the following:

  • check your destination before travelling
  • know the health risks for your destination
  • understand the risks of your safety and security abroad
  • ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in case your travels are disrupted
  • be prepared if airlines revise scheduled flights to and from your destination

If you travel abroad, you could be subject to the measures of other countries. Your scheduled trip may become much longer. You may also have reduced access to quality health care and your travel health insurance will likely not provide coverage in a pandemic.

The Chief Public Health Officer would also like to reiterate that you should avoid all travel on cruise ships due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, until further notice.

Further, to ensure continuity of health and social services, there has been a strong recommendation made to staff that they cancel all personal travel outside the NWT cancelled effective today.

More information:


For more information contact:

Umesh Sutendra
Health and Social Services