As of this afternoon, the Northwest Territories has officially moved to Relaxing Phase Two of the Emerging Wisely plan.
This means outdoor gathering limits will increase, more businesses and organizations will be able to open indoors with precautions in-place, and offices will be able to have a maximum of 25 people per floor as long as they are set up for physical distancing.
The news comes hand in hand with the NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer making some significant changes to the territorial travel restrictions.
Dr. Kami Kandola’s amendments will allow the formation of a two-territory travel bubble with Nunavut.
Now persons traveling from Nunavut, who have not recently traveled anywhere else beforehand, will be able to travel within the NWT without self-isolating when arriving.
As well as provide much-needed clarification on requirements for those moving to the NWT and traveling within the NWT for work or school.
- Out-of-territory students enrolled in a post-secondary institution in the NWT need to complete a Resident Self-Isolation Plan and self-isolate for their first 14 days after arriving.
Those coming up to the NWT to work, including just for a short-term on contract, will be able to travel and proceed to communities in the territories.
- They will need to complete a Worker Self-Isolation Plan and have it approved before they arrive and will need to self-isolate for 14 days once they arrive.
The changes also formalize how ProtectNWT has been managing those wanting to move and take up permanent residency in the Northwest Territories.
- New residents will need to submit a Resident Self-Isolation Plan and have it approved before they travel within the NWT and will need to self-isolate for their first 14 days.
In both cases, documentation will need to be provided to show the intent to work in or move to the NWT, and these categories will need to provide this documentation when they file a Self-Isolation Plan (SIP) before traveling within the territory in order to have it verified.
The changes also include additional clarity for family reunification as a compassionate exemption.
The Order allows the Chief Public Health Officer to grant exceptional circumstance approvals to non-resident family members to visit for the purposes of family reunification and to others for compassionate reasons, such as attending a funeral.
Individuals entering the territory, who do not meet the criteria outlined in one of the exemptions, are not allowed to travel within the Northwest Territories.
- If they arrive at an NWT border checkpoint by road, it is an offense to proceed to our communities
- If they arrive at an airport and a return flight is not immediately available they will be directed to self-isolate at a designated isolation facility until the next available flight. It is an offense to proceed to our communities
- If they arrive by water, it is an offense to proceed to our communities.
Everyone after entering the Northwest Territories must self-isolate for 14 days – unless they have an exemption.
Those exemptions for essential workers, those coming up to support them with services like childcare, remote camp workers, and infrastructure workers, remain the same.
Self-isolation must still be completed in one of the four hubs with few exceptions.
Today’s announcement comes with a notice of future amendments planned for the travel order to allow exemptions for residents of the NWT who are employed as supply chain workers, Flight crews, and Airline employees.
Here is the official documentation released by the government of the NWT on both matters;