The COVID-19 situation in Northern Québec

INQ is keeping abreast of the directives issued by the Government of Quebec and the measures implemented in the northern administrative regions in the context of COVID-19. These directives and measures have a direct impact on research and fieldwork taking place in these territories.

The Québec government is gradually reopening the regions. Despite the reopening of most of the regions, every person is requested, as much as possible, to avoid travelling from one region to another or from one city to another.

At present, access is allowed to all regions of Québec, with the exception of the following territories: the Cree Territory of James Bay and Nunavik.

In the meantime, checkpoints are being maintained in order to limit the number of people entering and leaving these territories. Only essential travel is authorized to these regions, for humanitarian reasons, to work or to practice a profession in workplaces where activities have not been suspended, or to obtain the care or services that individuals’ health status requires.


Because of the high vulnerability of Nunavik communities, measures are in place to reduce the risk of introducing the virus into the region. All travellers entering Nunavik must complete a 14-day quarantine prior to or following their arrival. They must also complete a questionnaire before boarding their plane at the airport. In addition, COVID-19 screening for all travellers is being introduced gradually. A screening test will be performed at the airport prior to boarding, and 7 days after arrival in Nunavik.

In a press release dated June 23, the main regional organizations in Nunavik announced the gradual relaxation of measures related to COVID-19. If you are travelling to Nunavik from the South, please follow the istructions issued by the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services.

The Kativik regional government is keeping its citizens informed about COVID-19 : As of Monday June 8, Nunavimmiut will be able to fly from one Nunavik community to another. The travel ban on regular flights arriving from outside of Nunavik remains in effect. Travel from the South will remain restricted to only essential, medical and humanitarian travelers. Press release

The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services is also proactive



Eeyou Istchee Baie-James

Eeyou Istchee (region 18) is currently free of COVID-19. Forceful action is needed to maintain protection for the region’s population because of the current successful outcome, the high vulnerability of the region and its population, and the capacity of its health services.

All individuals entering one of the 9 communities in Eeyou Istchee must remain in isolation for at least 14 days following their arrival before they begin to move around the community. They are also strongly urged to take a COVID-19 screening test during the 72 hours preceding their departure from their home region in order to obtain a negative result before travelling.

The Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay is keeping citizens well informed.

The Cree Nation Government /Grand Council of the Cree works closely with the Cree Board of Health and provides information to the Cree communities.


North Shore and Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean

At the request of the Innu Nation's Strategic Cell, the Tshakapesh Institute provides support for the harmonization of communication actions of Innu communities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why the Tshakapesh Institute has brought together the initiatives and tools of First Nations communities, governments and authorities. For all information, please visit the site at the following address:

The Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach provides information on its Facebook page


Update - April 28, 2020: Innu leaders don't want hasty deconfinement



INQ relies on government and university directives regarding northern travel and research.

Please consult the websites of the following universities, which have measures in place:

  • ÉTS student researchers are able to access to their laboratories and work spaces to pursue their work, following the return of research activities on campus on May 4.
  • Following the example of all university institutions in Quebec, INRS is working to organize the gradual reopening of its laboratory and field research activities.
  • Any research conducted on the McGill University campus will require the prior approval of the corresponding Dean.
  • Consult the instructions for the gradual resumption of activities at Polytechnique Montréal.
  • Concordia University will reopen its research labs in stages
  • The resumption of face-to-face research continues at Université de Montréal
  • Research activities have been re-established at Université de Sherbrooke
  • Staff will be only be allowed access to UQAR campuses  for activities requiring mandatory attendance.
  • The Government of Québec has authorized the gradual resumption of research activities at Université Laval that require physical infrastructures such as laboratories or experimental facilitie



Update - June 22, 2020: The Centre for Northern Studies (CEN) announces the policy regarding the ongoing closure and eventual re-opening of their research stations on a case by case basis.

In response to the exceptional pandemic situation at COVID-19 and in accordance with the directives of the Government of Quebec and Université Laval , no reservations at Centre for Northern Studies (CEN) research stations will be possible until further notice. Please note that the reopening of CEN stations will be based on the evolution of research deconfinement measures put in place by the Nunavik regional authorities.  Ultimately, the reopening of our research stations in Nunavik will be done on a case-by-case basis according to the instructions and approval procedures that will be communicated to us. When we become aware of these instructions and procedures, we will inform you.

We thank you for your understanding and collaboration,

The management of Centre for Northern Studies (CEN)


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