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Nunavut travel restrictions: Where you can go in May 2021

Got the travel bug? Find out if hotels, national parks and tourist attractions are open for business.

There is a strict travel ban in place in Nunavut, which means only residents can enter the province after a 14-day isolation period. While national parks remain closed, some local parks, hotels and attractions have opened to the public. For more details on what is and isn’t open, and where you can and can’t travel in Nunavut, check out this updated guide.

What are the current restrictions in Nunavut?

Nunavut currently has restrictions in place for different regions across the province. Click on the following links to find location-specific regulations that apply from 1 March 2021:

Accommodation in Nunavut

Most hotels around Nunavut are now open and accepting guests. Residents are asked to use hotels for essential reasons only, including for work or medical purposes, and to remain in their local area where possible.

In Arviat, residents must only travel with members of their household. Elsewhere, you may travel with up to 15 people who are part of, or outside of, your immediate household. However, it’s important to keep at least two metres away from members outside of your household at all times.

Staying with family or friends

In Arviat, you may stay with friends and family in an emergency situation. Otherwise, you should avoid staying with members outside of your immediate household. In other regions in Nunavut, you are allowed to stay with members outside of your household, as long as there are no more than 15 guests present.

Staying at hotels

The majority of hotels are now open in Nunavut. If you are from Arviat, you should avoid staying in hotels with members outside of your household unless it is an emergency. In all other areas, residents may stay with up to 15 people at the hotel of their choice.

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Staying in a holiday home

Staying at a holiday home with up to 15 people is allowed in Baffin, Kitikmeot, Chesterfield Inlet, Baker Lake, Coral Harbour, Naujaat, Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove. However, guests should remain at least two metres away from people outside of their household. In Arviat, you are permitted to stay in your own holiday home with members of the same household only.

Staying at hostels

Hostels are currently closed in Nunavut.

Camping and caravanning

Camping and caravanning are currently permitted in all areas except for Arviat, though all National Park campsites remain closed until further notice. You can camp with groups of up to 100 people, though members of different households should remain two metres apart at all times.

Boats and yachts

Currently, you may hire or stay in a boat with members of your own household. If you are hiring a boat, the local governments ask that you stay as local as possible and practise social distancing while out and about in public places.

Tourist attractions in Nunavut

The majority of tourist attractions are now open in Nunavut, though venues in Arviat remain closed for the time being. Galleries, museums, libraries and other attractions can host up to 25 people or 50% of their capacity (whichever is less). Tours are also restricted to a maximum of 10 people.

Popular attractions that are currently open include:

  • Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum
  • Legislative Assembly of Nunavut
  • Iqaluit Floe Edge
  • Carvings Nunavut
  • Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre

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National parks

All three of Nunavut’s national parks remain closed until further notice. This includes Auyuittuq National Park, Quttinirpaaq National Park and Sirmilik National Park.

Beaches and local parks

Local beaches and territorial parks are open across Nunavut, except in the village of Arviat. Some buildings, including visitor centres and public toilets, remain closed at some sites.

  • Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park
  • The Northwest Passage
  • Repulse Bay
  • Pond Inlet
  • Qaummaarviit Territorial Park
  • Arctic Bay

Getting to and from your holiday

Driving within Nunavut

Driving within Nunavut is allowed, but residents are reminded to stay as local as possible. You should reserve journeys outside of your local area for essential reasons such as caring for a loved one, seeking medical help or travelling to work.

When you do travel, you should only do so with members of the same household. If this isn’t possible, you should wear masks for the journey’s duration and allow fresh air into the car. Travel into and outside of Arviat is currently prohibited unless you have a letter of authorization from the Chief Public Health Officer.

Flights within Nunavut

Flights are still running between Nunavut’s largest cities. However, air travel to Arviat is only possible by those who have a letter of authorization from the Chief Public Health Officer.

Flights to Nunavut

The Canadian border is currently closed to all non-residents. Any international travellers must follow federal requirements on arrival. This includes a mandatory three-night stay at a government-approved hotel, two COVID-19 tests and a 14-day self-isolation period at home.

Anyone travelling to Nunavut from another Canadian territory or province must write to the Chief Public Health Officer to receive permission. Before boarding a plane to Nunavut, all travellers must first complete a mandatory 14-day isolation period in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton or Yellowknife.

There is currently a travel corridor between Nunavut and Churchill, Manitoba. If you are travelling from this area, you do not need to self-isolate before flying.

Which territories and provinces can I travel to?

The local government in Nunavut is advising against all but essential travel. If you do need to travel outside of the province, you will need to quarantine for 14 days before boarding your plane home. Here are the current restrictions in place across Canada:

  • Alberta – Border open for essential travel only.
  • Manitoba – Border open for essential travel only. All arrivals must complete 14 days of mandatory self-isolation.
  • New Brunswick – Border open for essential travel only. All arrivals must complete 14 days of mandatory self-isolation.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador – Border open for essential travel only. All arrivals must complete 14 days of mandatory self-isolation.
  • Northwest Territories – Border open for essential travel only. All arrivals to Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith must complete 14 days of mandatory self-isolation.
  • Nova Scotia – Border open for essential travel only. All arrivals must complete 14 days of mandatory self-isolation unless you arrive from Prince Edward Island.
  • Prince Edward Island – Unless a resident, travellers must apply in advance to travel to PEI and self-isolate for 14-days on arrival.
  • Ontario – Border open for essential travel only. On arrival, a 14-day self-isolation period is strongly advised.
  • British Columbia – Border open for essential travel only.
  • Quebec – Border open for essential travel only.
  • Saskatchewan – Border open for essential travel only. On arrival, a 14-day self-isolation period is strongly advised.
  • Yukon – Border open for essential travel only. All arrivals must complete 14 days of mandatory self-isolation.

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Frequently asked questions about travelling in Nunavut during COVID-19

How far can I travel from home?

To curb the spread of COVID-19, Nunavut residents are asked to stay local. If you do need to travel further afield for an essential journey, you can do so, but you should social distance at all times. All land and air routes to Arviat remain closed unless you are exempt.

Are there any regional travel restrictions?

Due to recent outbreaks, the town of Arviat remains closed to all travellers. It’s also important to reduce travelling outside of your local area where possible. Travelling for essential purposes, such as going to work, caring for a loved one, or receiving medical supplies, is allowed.

Can I travel to Nunavut if I live in another territory or province?

Not unless you are exempt. If you need to travel to Nunavut, you must write to the Chief Public Health Officer for permission. Once you have permission, you’ll then need to self-isolate for 14 days before you board your plane in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton or Yellowknife.

Do I need to limit the number of people I travel with?

Yes. You should only travel with people from the same household to limit the spread of COVID-19. Where this isn’t possible, it’s important to wear a mask at all times and maintain a two-metre distance where possible.

Do I need to pre-book to visit dining venues and attractions?

With most venues operating under a limited capacity, it is advisable to book your slot before you go. Dining establishments are open at 50% capacity, while museums cannot permit more than 25 inside at one time. Some restaurants and attractions may allow walk-ins, but this is not guaranteed.

Will I need to self-isolate or go into quarantine when I return from my trip?

This depends on your home province or territory. Most regions, apart from Alberta and Quebec, are asking travellers to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. In Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island and Yukon, it is mandatory for all new arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days.

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