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Non-Resident Lawyers and COVID-19

Non-Resident Lawyers and COVID-19

For general up to date information from the Government of the Northwest Territories on non-residents who want to enter the NWT while the current self-isolation measures are in place, click here.

 

What follows is specific information for non-resident members who want to seek a partial exemption from the 14 day self-isolation period.

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR OUT OF TERRITORY MEMBERS OF THE NWT BAR

SEEKING TO COME INTO THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

 

The Northwest Territories has a 14-day self-isolation period for non-residents entering the Northwest Territories from outside the Territories.

Non-resident lawyers who are members of the Law Society of the NWT can be partially exempted from that self-isolation period, by following this process, and by obtaining approval.

If a lawyer is approved, this is the process the lawyer MUST follow for 14 days before coming into the Northwest Territories and during the first 14 days after entering the Northwest Territories.

 

  1.       For the 14 days prior to entering the Northwest Territories:

NOTE – Lawyers are required to social distance, but not self-isolate, for 14 days prior to entering the Northwest Territories.  This is a condition of being partially exempted from the self-isolation period that would otherwise apply upon arrival into the Northwest Territories

 

  1.       For the first 14 days after entering the Northwest Territories:
    •          wear a face covering in public when it is not possible to socially distance, including but not limited to when traveling by airplane;
    •          self-isolate when not working, in accordance with the Self-Isolation Protocol;
    •          make efforts to socially distance from co-workers and members of the public while working, in accordance with protocols established by their Employer; and
    •          where not possible to socially distance in the workplace, wear a face covering or personal protective equipment to prevent the spread or transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace in accordance with WSCC Field Level Risk Assessment.

 

 

Application Process for Permission to work in the first 14 days after entering the Northwest Territories

The lawyer is required to work at their work site within the first 14 days of entry into the Northwest Territories

Step 1. The lawyer starts the process by completing an Employer Application. The lawyer should preferably attach the required WSCC Risk Assessment to this form but if not possible, they must email the completed Risk Assessment as soon as they can to ProtectNWT@gov.nt.ca referencing the name of the lawyer and the PTW number.

NOTE – Lawyers are encouraged to begin this process at the earliest opportunity. The sooner the application begins, the sooner permission can be granted for the lawyer to enter the Northwest Territories.

NOTE – when completing the Employer Application form, the information in the “Supervisor or Contracting Agent” field and the “Employee Information” field both refer to and require the Lawyer’s information.

NOTE - WSCC Risk Assessments for all Courthouses in the Northwest Territories are available from the Law Society.  Please contact the Law Society for the most up-to-date Risk Assessment.  That Risk Assessment, or a link to the Risk Assessment, must be provided to Protect NWT.

NOTE - If the lawyer is going to be working at any location in the Northwest Territories other than a Courthouse, a WSCC Risk Assessment must be prepared for that location, and submitted to Protect NWT at ProtectNWT@gov.nt.ca  along with the name of the lawyer and the PTW number the lawyer has received.

NOTE – Submitting an Employer application does not guarantee that the lawyer will be granted Permission to Work in the Northwest Territories. That decision is made by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) and communicated through Protect NWT. 

To assist the CPHO in making this decision, it is important that the lawyer set out, in Part A of the Employer Application, sufficient detail to ensure that the CPHO appreciates the importance of, and the necessity for, the lawyer to attend in the Northwest Territories.

Step 2. The lawyer then receives a confirmation email with a Permission To Work (PTW) number for the lawyer.

 Step 3. The lawyer must now complete and submit a Worker Self-Isolation Plan (SIP). In part B1 of the Worker SIP, the lawyer is asked to enter in the PTW number that they have received.

Please note that it is also very important the lawyer enter in their e-mail address correctly as processes are automated and will be linked and sent to this e-mail address. If the e-mail address is incorrect, it will stop the process, unless and until the error is identified and this can delay processing of your application.

NOTE – It can take up to 21 days for the SIP to be approved.  Once it is approved, the lawyer will receive the e-mail from Protect NWT.  The Subject Line will be “Self-Isolation Plan Approval – SIP -####  That e-mail will contain the message:

Your SIP has been approved.  You may enter the Northwest Territories under 1(d) of the COVID-19 amended Travel Restrictions and Self-Isolation Protocol.

This e-mail can be relied upon by the lawyer as confirmation of THEIR PERMISSION to enter the Northwest Territories on the date set out in the Self-Isolation Plan.  Lawyers can, on receipt of this e-mail, confirm their attendance in the NWT Subsequent steps are required in order to obtain Permission to Work once in the Northwest Territories.

Step 4. Once Protect NWT officers have reviewed the Employer Application and the Worker SIP together, they will trigger a Declaration to be sent to the lawyer's e-mail address. The lawyer will receive this e-mail from Public health Registries via Smartsheet.  It will have as a subject line that reads “Complete Declaration”.

NOTE - The Declaration form will not be provided until 14 days before the lawyer is to first arrive in the Northwest Territories.  It is important that the lawyer respond to this Declaration as soon as it is received.  The written Permission for the lawyer to enter the Northwest Territories cannot be granted until after the Declaration is electronically submitted to Protect NWT.

Step 5. Once the lawyer submits the Declaration, Protect NWT reconciles all documents, and puts the case in the queue for ‘Requests For Permission To Work’ that are reviewed by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO). If and as soon as the permission is granted, that written permission is emailed by Protect NWT to the lawyer as a pdf attachment. This e-mail will also provide the lawyer with their SIP number.

NOTE - The permission decision and letter (if approved) is provided about five days following Declaration submission. For this reason, lawyers should not wait for receipt of the permission letter to confirm their attendance in the Northwest Territories.

Step 6. The lawyer must carry a copy of this permission letter and be ready to provide their SIP number (which is also in the letter) at the border. 

NOTE – when entering the Northwest Territories, the lawyer must bring identification.  The lawyer must also bring a copy of the e-mail confirming receipt by Protect NWT of the SIP (Step 3), and the permission letter.  Failing to have all of these documents may result in the lawyer not being admitted into the Northwest Territories.

If at any time, the original date of arrival changes, the lawyer must e-mail or call Protect NWT with their full name and/or SIP number and their new date of arrival. Please put 'Change in Date of arrival for Worker SIP-XXXX and DD-MM-YYYY (date of arrival)' as the subject of your e-mail. Add in your own SIP number and date of arrival in the subject as indicated.

Step 7.  Upon entry into the NWT, the lawyer will receive emails from Public Health Registries on the 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 14th days following entry (Day 1 being the day of arrival) with unique links to complete their Mandatory Symptom Checks. The e-mail may contain one to three hyperlinks. 

  • The first hyperlink will be linked to Mandatory Symptom Check in blue underlined letters. DO NOT click on this. 
  • Underneath this in the body of the e-mail is a web address that includes the word Smartsheet. This address may or may not be hyperlinked (second hyperlink) depending on the lawyer's e-mail settings. 
    • If this address is hyperlinked, please click on it to complete your mandatory symptom check;
    • If the address is NOT hyperlinked, Copy and Paste the address into your browser (such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome etc.) and press return. Now you can complete the mandatory symptom check. 
    • Remember there is also a not so obvious third hyperlink at the bottom of the e-mail. This is an unsubscribe link. DO NOT press on this as you will be unsubscribed from receiving your automated mandated symptom checks. You are still obliged to complete the symptom checks and will need to do so by calling Protect NWT and completing the symptom check over the phone.
  • If for some reason, you have not received this e-mail and/or are unable to complete the mandatory symptom check online, please call Protect NWT at 1(833)378-8297 to complete your mandatory symptom check.

If you have any questions about these instructions, please contact us. 

 

The Law Society has the most up to date WSCC Risk Assessments for the Courthouses, which we can provide to you. If you are planning to be anywhere else in the NWT, you  will need to complete a WSCC Risk Assessment and provide that to Protect NWT.