Nunavut closes common travel area with NWT

Last modified: May 3, 2021 at 3:55pm

The Nunavut government has closed its portion of the common travel area with the Northwest Territories due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19 in Yellowknife.

Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Michael Patterson, said on Monday anyone travelling to Nunavut from the NWT must isolate for 14 days at a designated isolation centre in Yellowknife before returning home.

The new policy is effective immediately.


Travellers who left Yellowknife to return to Nunavut on or after April 28 must isolate immediately for 14 days from the day they returned home.

Patterson said exemptions to that requirement include “travellers with a same-ticket layover through Yellowknife, critical workers with an authorized travel letter, medical travellers, or those granted compassionate exemption.”

The announcement comes after the NWT government closed all schools in Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ and suspended youth activities in Yellowknife as the city’s caseload rises.

As of Monday lunchtime, there were eight confirmed and 12 probable cases of Covid-19 connected to the outbreak at NJ MacPherson School.


Many businesses and organizations are temporarily shutting their doors in Yellowknife.

Masks are now mandatory in indoor public spaces in Yellowknife and several hundred people in the city are isolating.

All non-essential travel continues to be “highly discouraged” by both the Nunavut and NWT governments.