NWT shuts Nunavut travel bubble over community spread


The NWT said on Thursday its travel bubble with Nunavut would be terminated over “concerns about potential community spread” of Covid-19 in its neighbouring territory.

Nunavut public health officials said earlier in the day they suspect community spread as a case had been identified in a resident of Iqaluit who had not left the city in more than a month.

In response, the NWT government said it would now treat travellers from Nunavut as though they were arriving from elsewhere in Canada. Until now, Nunavut residents could travel within the NWT with few restrictions or isolation requirements.

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“This will effectively terminate the travel bubble that has been in place for much of the pandemic,” the NWT’s Covid-19 Secretariat said in a news release on Thursday.

“Nunavut residents from areas with no active Covid-19 cases, or lower-risk communities, are welcome to apply through Protect NWT for an exemption that may reduce self-isolation requirements.”

Meanwhile, the Northwest Territories reported 26 active Covid-19 cases of its own on Thursday.

Five are in the Beaufort Delta – specific communities were not given – and 21 are in Yellowknife, an increase of two on the previous day.

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There was no update to the number of confirmed Omicron variant cases in the NWT, which still stands at one. The territory has recorded 12 deaths from Covid-19 since the pandemic began.