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COVID-19 Leave Requirements for Travel Outside the NWT and Nunavut

Choosing not to travel outside the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the territory. The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) strongly urges all employees to avoid all non-essential, out-of-territory travel.

Those employees who choose to travel outside the NWT and Nunavut during the pandemic are subject to all Orders from the Chief Public Health Officer, including the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith. Like all residents, any employee who leaves the territories will also need to have an isolation plan approved by Protect NWT in place for their return.

The following information is provided so employees can make informed decisions about their leave during the pandemic. All employees are encouraged to discuss their travel plans with their supervisors in advance. For further assistance, contact the HR HelpDesk.


  • Employees will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return if they travel outside the NWT and Nunavut.
  • Employees will need to have an isolation plan approved by Protect NWT for when you return.
  • Employees will also need to consider where they will self-isolate. Residents who have travelled outside of the territories may only self-isolate in one of Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith. Employees may also be required to self-isolate at one of the isolation centres in these communities if they cannot safely self-isolate at home.

Leave requirements

  • Employees must request leave for their vacation and any required self-isolation before they travel if they cannot work remotely. Employees should speak with their supervisor before they travel to confirm whether they will be able to work remotely during self-isolation.
  • If you left the NWT and Nunavut on non-essential travel, you will be required to use annual, lieu or leave without pay for the 14-day self-isolation period.
  • If your trip was essential (i.e. medical travel), you may be able to use sick leave or special leave.