Cab companies can now pick up passengers from different households in Nunavut, as the territorial government continues to ease Covid-19 restrictions.
Starting June 22, passengers may ride together under three conditions:
- All passengers must wear a mask if there are multiple fares.
- Cab drivers must have masks available for riders if needed.
- Taxi drivers must get the consent from passengers before picking up multiple fares.
“Any passenger who is picked up and all subsequent fares on that ride must indicate that they are OK with riding in a shared cab with others,” explained Dr. Michael Patterson, during a June 22 press conference.
“I think there will be some drivers who try to skirt the rules as there always is with every law and regulation,” said Patterson.
Taxi drivers who do not comply with the orders may face fines, he added.
“We’ll emphasize education over enforcement for the first little while.”
Patterson said he is confident the majority of drivers will comply with his order.
“They are residents, they are Nunavummiut, they want to keep everybody safe and they did a pretty good job of staying away from ride sharing in the past three months,” said Patterson.
There is no set limit to how many different-household passengers may share a ride.
Passengers still do have the option to not share their ride with others.
Since the declaration of a public health emergency in March due to Covid-19, cab companies have been limited to one-household fares.
Medical travel resumes to Churchill
Patterson also announced that regular medical travel to Churchill, Manitoba is resuming and medical travellers do not have to self-isolate before returning to Nunavut.
Churchill has not had a single confirmed case of Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic, explained the doctor.
“We have determined that the risk of resuming medical travel operations to Churchill is minimal and is greatly outweighed by the benefits of ensuring that Nunavummiut have access to the care that they need,” said Patterson.
Most of the travel to Churchill is from the Kivalliq region and presently most of it for dental travel, said Patterson.
He also said in this case it did not make sense to require medical travellers to isolate.
All medical travellers are required to remain in Churchill for the duration of their stay and return directly to Nunavut. Those who leave Churchill would “actually will increase the risk of problems,” said Patterson.
In order to board the plane back to the territory, all medical travellers will need to show a letter of approval to travel from Nunavut’s Department of Health.
All restaurants, bars, personal service providers, churches and theatres in Nunavut can reopen today.
There are still no Covid-19 cases in Nunavut. Presently, there are 139 people under investigation for Covid-19.