Nunavut lifting all COVID-19 public health restrictions on Monday
Public health emergency to end April 11, says health minister
Nunavut will end all its COVID-19-related restrictions on Monday, as well as its public health emergency.
Health Minister John Main made the announcement Wednesday morning.
He said the government believes "it is safe to lift the public health emergency and manage COVID-19 as we would any other infectious disease."
"Today, we have learned much about this virus and have the tools, such as testing options and vaccines, to help reduce the risk," Main stated.
While restrictions will lift, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson urged Nunavummiut to keep taking precautions by staying home if they are sick, wearing a mask where appropriate and avoiding gatherings if they've been exposed to the virus.
"While there are no longer restrictions in place, COVID-19 is not gone," Patterson stated.
Effective April 11, masks will no longer be required in public, though the territorial government will still require masks at all of its offices, health facilities, elders' facilities, outpatient clinics, Iqaluit Public Health and the Akausisarvik mental health treatment centre.
All restrictions on gathering sizes, capacity limits and physical distancing will lift.
Nunavummiut will no longer need to isolate if they have COVID-19, though the government still recommends they stay home if they test positive.
The government will also stop reporting data on COVID-19 case counts and vaccine counts.
There will no longer be isolation hubs for people who travel for medical reasons, but those people will be offered "alternative isolation according to the rules of the jurisdiction they are in," read a press release from the Department of Health.
The press release noted the government will keep its COVID-19 isolation hamper support program until the end of May, and will keep running its COVID-19 information and travel hotlines for the time being.