Greenland’s new executive order on COVID-19 comes into effect September 30

A 2019 photo of Ilulissat, Greenland. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
With COVID-19 numbers continuing to climb in Denmark, Greenland’s home rule government has issued a new executive order that will come into effect on September 30.

“The number of infected people is increasing in Denmark and internationally, and therefore the Naalakkersuisut [Greenland’s home rule government] has just adopted a new executive order for travel in and to Greenland,” the government said in a news release on Tuesday.  “It’s based on the previous executive order, and builds on tools used in the fight against the infection’s spread.”

All travellers to Greenland from Denmark will now be required to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within five days of departure, at Copenhagen’s Kastrup airport. This was previously not the case for children under 12, and the requirement for them will come into effect October 7 to allow a transition period.

The government has also reintroduced quarantine rules upon entry, which include either a 14–day quarantine, or getting retested for COVID-19 five days or later after arrival.

Exclusions from new rule
An Air Greenland plane in an undated photo. (Government of Greenland)

With some exceptions, people intending to travel on to Greenland’s smaller communities will not be allowed to board domestic flights until they’ve completed the two-week quarantine or received their second negative test.The towns and villages excluded from the above domestic travel rule include the following:

  • Ilulissat
  • Aasiaat
  • Qasigiannguit
  • Qeqertarsuaq
  • Kangerlussuaq
  • Maniitsoq
  • Sisimiut
  • Nuuk
  • Paamiut
  • Narsaq
  • Narsarsuaq
  • Qaqortoq
Masks recommended

The government also requires mask or face coverings for passengers over 12 years old or airline crew while in aircraft, as well as in airports and terminal areas.

Greenland has largely kept COVID-19 out of the territory with only 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic. All individuals have since recovered. 

Meanwhile, Denmark has experienced a surge of cases this month, with 392 new cases confirmed on Tuesday alone.

Denmark has reported 27,464 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with 650 deaths.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at) 

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Chamber of Commerce in Canada’s Northwest Territories balks at price tag for new COVID-19 secretariat, CBC News

Finland:  Finnair to end flights to five regional airports, including to Kemi, Lapland, Yle News

Denmark: Faroe Islands updates COVID-19 guidelines for travellers, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland approves revised COVID-19 strategy, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland extends bar, nightclub COVID-19 closures in capital area until September 27, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Finland, UK to remove travel restrictions on Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: To stop coronavirus, Arctic communities took matters into their own hands. Can it last?, Blog by Mia Bennett

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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