SASKATOON -- On Tuesday, the provincial government relaxed its COVID-19 travel restrictions for some communities in Saskatchewan's far north and provided clearer guidelines for those still affected by the ban.

On April 24 the province restricted all non-essential travel to and from the province's Northern Saskatchewan Administration District (NASD).

Those restrictions were further tightened a few days later, with the province placing controls on travel between communities inside the NASD.

On Tuesday, in a news release, the Government of Saskatchewan said because the COVID-19 risk of transmission has "regionalized" in the north the current public health order has been amended to only restrict travel in the northwest portion of the NASD.

All seven of the province's new COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday where in the northwest, with four postive test results in Beauval and three in La Loche — both communties still covered by the travel ban.

In its release, the province also said the updated public health order provides "clarity" on the restrictions for community leaders, residents and checkpoint workers.

The checkpoints had come under criticism after reports of people being turned back while engaged in essential travel.

The communities and recreational areas where travel restrictions will still apply are:

  • Bear Creek
  • Beauval
  • Birch Narrows Dene Nation
  • Black Point
  • Buffalo Narrows
  • Buffalo River Dene Nation
  • Canoe Lake First Nation
  • Clearwater River Dene Nation
  • Cole Bay
  • Descharme Lake
  • Dillon, Dore Lake
  • English River First Nation
  • Garson Lake
  • Green Lake
  • Ile a la Crosse
  • Jan’s Bay
  • Lac La Plonge
  • La Loche
  • Little Amyot Lake
  • Michel Village
  • Patuanak