Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your visit to Sirmilik National Park
Openings and services differ across the country. Please check the Parks Canada national information portal dedicated to COVID-19 for regular updates.
The latest information you need to know about your visit to Sirmilik National Park
Pursuant to subsection 7(1) of the National Park General Regulations and 12(1) of the National Historic Parks General Regulations, the following sites are hereby temporarily closed for all persons not exercising harvesting rights under the Nunavut Agreement by Order of Superintendent, Nunavut Field Unit.
Where: Auyuittuq, Sirmilik, Qausuittuq, Quttinirpaaq and Ukkusiksalik National Parks, and the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site, including all terrestrial and marine areas. See attached map.
When: December 23, 2021 until further notice.
Why: In the interest of protecting the health and safety of visitors, Nunavummiut and employees as the country responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, Parks Canada will focus on basic critical operations.
Persons contravening this closure may be subject to prosecution under the Canada National Parks Act; maximum fine $100 000.
Covid-19 pandemic and Parks Canada closures in Nunavut
IQALUIT, NUNAVUT, December 23, 2021 – The health and safety of Canadians, Nunavummiut and employees is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada.
Building on previous advice from joint Inuit / Government Planning and Management Committee and current Nunavut public health guidance, and making every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, Parks Canada is closing Auyuittuq National Park to visitors and researchers until further notice. Inuit may continue to access the parks for rights-based activities under the Nunavut Agreement during this time.
Parks Canada Nunavut sites closed on March 18, 2020 to reduce the exposure of Nunavut communities and Parks Canada employees to the COVID-19 virus. Auyuittuq National Park partially reopened on August 6, 2021. Considering the COVID-19 Omicron variant spread in Canada and globally, the closure of Auyuittuq National Park is a necessary element in supporting public safety.
Parks Canada is advising Inuit accessing national parks and the national historic site for rights-based activities that they do so at their own risk. Parks Canada employees will work alongside local, territorial and municipal search and rescue organizations, and in the event of an emergency, call for service. Any individuals requiring emergency service from Parks Canada should call Jasper Dispatch at 1-877-852-3100 or 1-780-852-3100 (for satellite phones).
Research activities are not permitted during this closure. Parks Canada is evaluating planned research and work objectives slated for next year. Research and monitoring activities within Parks Canada places that employ the use of remote sensing technology will continue to collect information during this closure.
Parks Canada recognizes that these temporary closures have impacts on many including outfitters, artists, Inuit firms, and service providers. Future decisions regarding the re-opening of Auyuittuq, Sirmilik, Ukkusiksalik, Qausuittuq and Quttinirpaaq National Parks, and the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site will continue to align with municipal, territorial and federal public health guidance and in consideration of advice from joint Inuit / Government planning and management committees.
Parks Canada offices in Nunavut are currently closed to the public. We request that members of the public contact their local Parks Canada office by phone or email for any inquiries, or to call Parks Canada’s toll-free general inquires line at 1-877-773-8888.