Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Travel Restrictions for entering NWT

Last modified: 
Wed, 03/25/2020 - 14:14

I am a resident of the NWT, can I come back?

Yes. However, you must self-isolate and stay at home for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith only. You will not be allowed to self-isolate in a small community or other regional centre other than the four listed communities if they have returned from outside the NWT.

You will need to:

  • Complete the approved self-isolation plan
  • Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Follow healthy respiratory practices
  • Complete the online self-assessment to determine whether you should be arranging for a test if you begin feeling sick. If you need to be tested, contact the appropriate medical centre by phone and they will give you further instructions. Do not go in without speaking to them by phone first.

I live in a smaller community, what do I do?

You cannot go back to your home community without first self-isolating for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith. If you don’t have a place to stay, the Government of the Northwest Territories will arrange accommodations for you.

Can I leave the NWT and then come back?

We recommend that you do not leave the territory for non-essential travel. However, if you do go, on your return must self-isolate and stay at home for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith only. You will not be allowed to self-isolate in a small community or other regional centre other than the four listed communities if they have returned from outside the NWT.

You will need to:

Can I leave the NWT for a medical appointment?

Please confirm with the provider that arranged your appointment for advice. In the event you are told to go, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days upon your return in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith only. You will not be allowed to self-isolate in a small community or other regional centre other than the four listed communities if they have returned from outside the NWT.

You will need to:

Can visitors enter the NWT?

No. To limit the spread of COVID-19, visitors are not allowed entry into the NWT.

Who can enter the NWT?

Only the following can enter the NWT. However, each group will have their own self-isolation guidance:

  • Northwest Territories residents;
  • Persons providing services in the course of importation/exportation of goods and other supply chain transportation workers, including movers and carriers, and those persons who are necessary to maintain supply chain transportation services;
  • Flight crews;
  • Persons engaged in providing essential services, including but not limited to, health and social service providers, postal service workers, peace officers and others employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace, emergency responders, employees of and persons engaged by the Department of National Defence, municipal enforcement officers, community government essential service workers and, federal and territorial parks officers;
  • Persons engaged in providing support services to essential services workers;
  • Persons travelling from Nunavut for medical travel or in-transit as part of a scheduled flight;
  • Persons participating in traditional harvesting and on the land activities that cross the NWT border but do not enter any communities as part of this;
  • Transient workers in the mineral and petroleum resources industry;
  • Persons involved in working on the construction of GNWT capital infrastructure projects;
  • Corrections Officers and inmates in transit;
    • Persons otherwise exempted under exceptional circumstances by the Chief Public Health Officer.

What must Import/Export Workers and Flight Crew do when they enter NWT?

Import/export workers, supply chain and transportation services workers, and flight crews must comply with the social distancing guidelines  established by the Chief Public Health Officer and strictly practice social distancing when completing their tasks.

  • If they are required to stay overnight, they must stay in their accommodations and self-isolate until leaving.
  • If they are staying multiple nights, they are ordered to self-isolate in their accommodations as soon as their shifts end.
  • If they are sick, they must not travel into the NWT.
  • And If they get sick while they are here, they must immediately go into self-isolation.

What must individuals supporting essential services do when they enter NWT?

Persons supporting essential services must self-monitor, contact protectnwt@gov.nt.ca or 1-833-378-8297 between 8am and 8pm 7 days a week for further direction and then complete a work risk assessment. 

While they are here, they must self-isolate immediately after their shifts are complete. And if they are sick, they must not travel into the NWT. If they get sick while they are here, they must immediately go into self-isolation and arrange for testing.

If they have arrived in the NWT in the last 14 days or have been in close contact (lived, worked, traveled with or been in close quarters) with someone who has arrived in the NWT in the last 14 days and they develop symptoms, they must self-isolate and arrange to get tested.

  • 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.

What must mining and oil and gas industry employees do when they enter NWT?

The travel restriction order issued by the Chief Public Health Officer does not restrict travel in any way for transient workers in the mineral resources and petroleum industry.

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer and HSS Pandemic Planner are working closely with medical staff to develop strict screening and mitigation strategies at all remote worksites.

It is recommended that workers self-monitor for symptoms like cough and fever, and if they develop influenza-like symptoms, they must self-isolate in their accommodations, and contact their medical team.

What about Nunavut Residents in-transit through NWT?

Nunavut residents traveling in-transit through the NWT are expected to follow the social distancing guidelines established by the Chief Public Health Officer while in transit. If they are required to stay overnight, they must stay in their accommodations until leaving and practice self-isolation during that time. They must not go to restaurants or public venues. And if they are sick, they must not travel into the NWT – or immediately go into self-isolation if they get sick.

What happens if someone does not follow the order?

Under the Public Health Act, Public Health Officials may enforce orders as peace officers and may seek the assistance of any other Peace Officers, like police or municipal bylaw officers, to actively enforce orders. Disobeying the order is punishable by law and may include a fine upon summary conviction of up to $10,000 and six months imprisonment.

What should I do if I am an NWT resident driving into the NWT and need to stop for gas before I can reach one of the 4 communities for self-isolation?

NWT residents should practice social distancing and wash their hands frequently as they make their way to one of the 4 centres for self-isolation.

If stopping for gas or at rest stops, NWT residents should stay 2m away from others, eat in their vehicles, avoid using cash, and avoid socializing or delayed visits.

While using washrooms, residents should wash their hands before and after using the facilities.

If I see someone not following the order, who can I contact?

If you have a credible and specific complaint that any individual is disobeying this order, you are asked to email protectnwt@gov.nt.ca or call 1-833-378-8297 between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, 7 days a week.

Your complaint will be investigated by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer or any other person ordered to investigate the complaint.

I have questions about the travel restriction order. Who do I contact?

If you have questions about the order, please email protectnwt@gov.nt.ca.