EDMONTON -- The Northwest Territories has suspended all travel into the territory to combat the spread of COVID-19.

All people returning to the territory are being ordered to self-isolate in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River or Inuvik.

The territories chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola said in a release the measure will be required to ensure protection of residents of the smallest communities as people return.

The order will also require those who have returned to the N.W.T.within the preceding 14 days, to self-isolate in their current community.  All individuals will be required to complete a self-isolation plan.

Travel through all points of entry into the N.W.T.— both air and road — will be prohibited to all travelers with the exception of:

·         N.W.T.residents.

·         Import/export workers — including those providing important supply chain transportation services for food, equipment, fuel, or other goods into the territory, movers and carriers, and workers that support the supply chain industry.

·         Flight crews.

·         Medical travel patients from Kitikmeot.

·         Persons who support essential services — including health care professionals, law enforcement, and those who support services that if interrupted could endanger residents’ life, health or safety.

·         Workers involved in the construction of G.N.W.T.capital infrastructure projects.

·         Southern resident transient workers in the mineral and petroleum resources industry, and

·         Persons who cross the N.W.T.border while participating in traditional harvesting or on the land activities and who do not enter any communities as part of this.

There are 1,147 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, but no cases confirmed in the N.W.T.