GNWT is preparing to prohibit all travel into the Northwestern Territories effective Saturday, March 21st.

The ban will extend to travel by air, land and port. With limited exceptions to combat COVID-19 in the territory.

The release late Friday night said “NWT Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola is preparing to make an order effective March 21, 2020 prohibiting all travel (by air, land, and port) into the Northwest Territories.

Furthermore, Dr. Kandola will also order those returning to the territory, to self-isolate in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik. 

This measure will be required to ensure protection of residents of our smallest communities as people return north.”

The order is set to take place Saturday March 21st. However, it will not be issued until all operation measures are in-place to ensure it is implemented in the most orderly fashion possible.

These are the details of the ban on travel into the Northwestern Territories;

Travel through all points of entry into the Northwest Territories — both air and road — will be prohibited to all travelers with the exception of:

o NWT residents.

o Import/export workers — including those providing important supply chain transportation services for food, equipment, fuel, or other goods into the territory, movers and carriers, and workers that support the supply chain industry.

o Flight crews.

o Medical Travel patients from Kitikmeot.

o Persons who support essential services — including health care professionals, law enforcement, and those who support services that if interrupted could endanger residents’ life, health or safety.

o Workers involved in the construction of GNWT capital infrastructure projects.

o Southern resident transient workers in the mineral and petroleum resources industry, and

o Persons who cross the NWT border while participating in traditional harvesting or on the land activities and who do not enter any communities as part of this.

Further Guidance and conditions will be issued as part of the order for the following persons:

o NWT residents.

o Import/export workers — including those providing important supply chain transportation services for food, equipment, fuel, or other goods into the territory, movers and carriers, and workers that support the supply chain industry.

o Flight crews.

o Persons who support essential services — including those coming to provide childcare or similar support services for essential service workers, and those participating in the COVID-19 response.

This order will be made under the NWT’s Public Health Act, using the additional powers granted to the Chief Public Health Officer during a Public Health Emergency.

Under the Public Health Act, the Chief Public Health Officer may require any Peace Officer to actively enforce orders. Disobeying them is punishable by law and may include a fine upon summary conviction of up to $10,000 and six months imprisonment.

Upon the issuance of the order, anyone who does not follow these directions will be subject to these penalties.