“Starting next week, the cost to staying in an isolation hub will be the responsibility of anyone who chooses to travel outside of Nunavut, says Premier Joe Savikataaq. Rajnesh Sharma/NNSL photo

Update: On May 6, Premier Joe Savikataaq announced the order has been reversed.  Nunavut residents do not have to pay the self-isolation fees.

Beginning May 7, any Nunavummiut, who voluntarily leaves the territory and wants to return must pay for their 14 day self-isolation period down south, announced Premier Joe Savikataaq at today’s press conference. This rule does not apply to medical travel patients and GN employees on duty travel.

Starting next week, the fee for a single individual in a hotel room will be $2,100 for a 14-day period. Each additional member in the room will have to pay $1050. All fees are expected to be paid in advance before arriving to the hotel.

Since March 25, all residents of Nunavut except critical workers have had to self-isolate in one of the four GN designated hotels in the south, before entering the territory. The GN has been covering the costs of the two-week self-isolation since then.

On April 15, Finance Minister George Hickes said, as of April 14, the GN had spent $1,904,320 to self-isolate 440 individuals down south. This is about $4,328 per individual for 14-days of self-isolation.

At today’s press conference, Hickes was not able to provide an update of the total money spent to date on self-isolation. “But we are expecting some further invoices to be coming in from the last couple of weeks,” said Hickes.

“Please remember that we have advised against any non essential travel outside of the territory since mid March,” reminded Savikataaq, adding “we do not know when the Nunavut travel restrictions will be loosened.”

Other Updates
There is still only one confirmed Covid-19 case in the territory. The infected individual, within Pond Inlet, is self-isolating and “doing well,” informed the chief public health officer.

As of last night, 13 of the swabs have arrived and been tested for Covid-19 in Iqaluit. All preliminary results are negative. Swabs are also being sent to Ontario for confirmatory testing.

Every Covid-19 test requires one cartridge for the GeneXpert testing device in Iqaluit. Currently, there are 100 Covid-19 cartridges. This shipment arrived last week, said Patterson, adding more cartridges have been ordered.

Presently, 196 people are under investigation and 406 people have been cleared.

“The plan is to announce every confirmed case within 24 hours,” assured Patterson.

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Rajnesh Sharma

Rajnesh Sharma is a Canadian journalist, who has extensively travelled the world to experience various cultures. She has lived and worked internationally over the past decade, meeting and interviewing...