La Ronge and Stony Rapids are now part of the travel restrictions put in place by the provincial government.

As part of an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Saskatchewan government is prohibiting all non-essential travel in and out of the Northern Saskatchewan Administrative District with few exceptions.

La Ronge town council originally asked for and was granted an exemption from the restrictions by government but has since changed its stance.

During a meeting Sunday, council passed a motion asking the province to rescind the exemption.

Jordan McPhail is the sole councillor who voted against the original request for an exemption from the travel ban.

Now restrictions have been reinstated, McPhail said he feels La Ronge will be able to work with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the Village of Air Ronge who have both been in favour of the travel ban from the beginning.

“I feel like we’ve stepped in line with our community partners here,” he said. “We’re all on the same team here now with a very like-minded goal of where we see our regional efforts going to fight the battle of COVID-19.”

Two of the questions that remain are where will the checkpoints be located and who will staff them.

La Ronge council also passed a resolution Sunday that checkpoint locations in the region will be a co-decision of the three neighbouring communities.

McPhail said working together with Air Ronge and the La Ronge band is important to council.

“We wanted to look at where the check-stops are in coalition with our regional partners. That way we are all on the same page, and we know logistically how this is going to work and we all have a say in that.”

The La Ronge councillor said the three communities still need to discuss some of the specifics of the checkpoints before getting the provincial government involved.

“We’re making sure that we’re reaching out to our regional partners first to discuss where we regionally would like these check-stops and how we would like them to operate before we move any farther on any discussions with the Minister of Government Relations on that.”

He said La Ronge will be delivering information to the public regarding the checkpoints later this week.