All non-essential services across Nunavut will be required to close to limit the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, the travel bubble between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories is officially suspended.
Dr. Kami Kandola, the NWT’s chief public health officer, confirmed in a press release that starting Tuesday, Nunavut travelers are subject to self-isolation protocols and travel restrictions until further notice.
Chris Puglia, a spokesperson for the Government of Nunavut, says in an email there are no restrictions against Nunavummiut returning from the NWT.
(1/2) @JSavikataaq and his government have done an exceptional job protecting #Nunavut residents and communities from #COVID19 since the beginning of the pandemic. With cases in the south rising at a high rate, it was only a matter of time before the North would see more cases.
— Caroline Cochrane (@CCochrane_NWT) November 17, 2020
The number of COVID-19 cases in Nunavut has risen to 60, with 46 of them in Arviat.
On Tuesday, 26 new cases were identified in Arviat and eight in Whale Cove.
The press release says anyone currently within the NWT who has traveled from Arviat, Rankin Inlet, or Sanikiluaq within the last 14 days must self-isolate immediately for 14 days.
Dr. Michael Patterson is Nunavut’s chief public health officer.
“Limiting any potential exposure to the virus is our best possible defense in Nunavut. We will re-evaluate the effectiveness of these measures on December 2, to determine if they need to continue or are working the way we hope,” he says.
Starting Wednesday, Nunavut is closing all schools and moving to remote learning, childcare centers will only be available for essential workers.
Outdoor gatherings of over five people are no longer permitted and no gatherings are allowed in homes.
The mining industry will not be affected by the restrictions, Puglia adds.
Nunavut’s restrictions will be in place for two weeks.