Government Announces Further Restrictions on Travel in Northern Saskatchewan

Authors: John Agioritis, Rangi Jeerakathil, Tom Richards

Please refer to our New Travel Restrictions Affecting Northwest Saskatchewan published on May 20, containing information about the most recent travel restrictions.

On April 30, 2020 the government of Saskatchewan announced further travel restrictions in the Northern Saskatchewan Administrative District (the “New Restrictions”).

The New Restrictions rescind the original travel restrictions that were introduced on April 24, 2020 (the “Original Restrictions”). The New Restrictions also prevail in the event of any conflict with the province-wide public health order that was issued on April 17, 2020 or any order that replaces the latter order. You can read more about the Original Restrictions and the Northern Saskatchewan Administrative District in our Travel Restrictions to Control the Spread Of COVID-19 in Northern Saskatchewan blog. You can read more about the April 17, 2020 public health order in our blog here.

The New Restrictions impose two categories of travel restriction on the NSAD. First, as a general rule, travel to or out of the NSAD is prohibited. This prohibition extends to travel both from the NSAD from within Saskatchewan and from another jurisdiction. Second, again as a general rule, no person within the NSAD may travel outside of the community in which their primary residence is located.

That said, travel in and out of the NSAD and within NSAD communities is permitted in the following circumstances:

  • Persons may return to their primary residence.
  • Employees of, and persons delivering, critical public services and allowable business services.
  • Aboriginal persons engaging in activities that relate to their constitutionally protected right to hunt, fish and trap for food, or who are engaged in other traditional uses of land such as gathering plants for food and medicinal purposes or for carrying out ceremonial and spiritual observances and practices.
  • Persons who are travelling for medical treatment.
  • Travel to the community closest to a person’s community of primary residence to obtain essential goods and services when those goods and services are not available in the community of primary residence, subject to the following restrictions:
    • Persons must take the most direct route to obtain required essential goods and services;
    • Each household shall only utilize one vehicle and that vehicle must only contain household members; and
    • This travel may occur a maximum of two times a week.
  • Persons whose primary residence is in La Ronge or Stony Rapids may travel outside of the NSAD provided that they do not stop in other NSAD communities.
  • Persons whose primary residence is outside of the NSAD may travel to La Ronge or Stony Rapids so long as they do stop in any other NSAD community during the journey.

The New Restrictions remain in place until, the Chief Medical Health Officer declares there is no longer a public health threat.

As a result of the travel restrictions, employers would be well-advised to consider the impact of the public health order restricting travel into northern Saskatchewan and their workforces.

MLT Aikins will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates regarding the northern travel restrictions as they become available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team if you would like to discuss the potential impact of this change on your business.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.