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Northwest Territories to ban non-essential travel over coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau says government doing ‘everything we can’ for northern communities
WATCH: Trudeau says government doing 'everything we can' for northern communities

The Northwest Territories is planning to ban non-essential travel into the territory over the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In a news release, the N.W.T. says chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola will make an order under the territory’s Public Health Act effective today.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Canada working with commercial airlines to repatriate stranded citizens

Residents returning to the territory will be required to self-isolate in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik.

Coronavirus outbreak: New border restrictions come into effect at midnight, Trudeau says
Coronavirus outbreak: New border restrictions come into effect at midnight, Trudeau says

The news release says disobeying the order is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and six months in jail.

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At a press conference on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government supports this step.

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“At the same time, we’re focused on ensuring essential goods get to people in these communities,” he said. “We will continue to work with partners and stakeholders on travel to the north.”