The Government of Nunavut is moving to the “strictest public health restrictions” across the territory in an attempt to limit the spread of Covid-19.

“This is a circuit-breaker approach to minimize further spread to more of our communities. We need to act quickly to help trace and contain the outbreak,” chief public health officer (CPHO) Dr. Michael Patterson said Friday as the number of Covid-19 cases in Nunavut rose to eight three in Pangnirtung, three in Iqaluit, one in Sanirajak and one in Rankin Inlet. “I ask all Nunavummiut to do their part and follow all the public health measures. I understand this will make the holiday season harder for many, but it is necessary for the health and safety of our communities and loved ones.”

Effective at noon Eastern time, travel in and out of Rankin Inlet is restricted to essential purposes only. Travel remains limited for essential travel only for Iqaluit and Pangnirtung, as well. Residents of these communities are able to travel home, as are essential workers with an exemption letter from their employer or the CPHO, according to the Department of Health.

Anyone who’s not triple vaccinated is advised to isolate for 14 days upon coming into the territory.

All non-essential travel, especially between communities, is strongly discouraged.

Effective immediately, in every Nunavut community:

-Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people.

-Indoor public gatherings are not allowed.

-There may be up to five visitors in a home, for essential or emergency services.

-Libraries, galleries, theatres, fitness centres, swimming pools and arenas are closed.

-Places of worship are closed.

-All non-essential businesses and government offices are closed.

-Bars and licensed establishments are closed.

-Restaurants may open for takeout only.

-All personal services such as chiropractors, massage therapists, beauty salons and hairdressers are closed.

-In-person group counselling sessions are not allowed.

-Long-term care and Elders’ facilities are closed to visitors.

-Parks are closed.

-Daycares may open for children of essential workers.

-Schools will remain closed until January 10 or until advised by the CPHO.

Anyone who develops Covid-19 symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever or difficulty breathing, is advised to call the Covid hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. EDT or notify their community health centre right away by telephone.

Please do not go to the health centre in person.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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