The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way societies operate across the world. This is true in Saskatchewan as well. There are laws and policies in place to reduce the spread of the disease. It is important to understand the rules and obey them. This will keep you and your community safe. There are legal consequences for not following the rules.
The Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Shahab, along with the Ministry of Health have created Public Health Orders. Residents of Saskatchewan have a legal obligation to obey these orders.
Currently the Orders include the following:
- Indoor gatherings in private dwellings and out buildings associated with private dwellings (such as a garage or shed) are limited to people who ordinarily live in the private dwelling. Caregivers, support personnel and tradespersons are allowed to enter places where they are not ordinarily resident.
- There is an exception for individuals that live alone that allows them to attend another household or host another household provided that the other household has no more than 4 residents. The one chosen household must remain the same and unchanged for the duration of this order.
- There is a further exception for individuals that are co-parenting a child that allows the existing co-parenting arrangement to continue.
- All indoor public gatherings are prohibited except for critical public services or an allowable business service and workplaces or settings where people are in different rooms or buildings. Two metre distancing must be maintained. More detailed information is available in the Guidelines for the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.
- Outdoor private and public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Physical distancing of at least 2 metres between households must be maintained.
- Arenas, live theatres, movie theatres, performing arts venues and any other such facilities that are currently supporting a capacity of 150 people are now limited to 30 people.
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming halls are required to close.
- Indoor public banquets, conferences, wedding and funeral receptions in public venues are limited to 30 people. Food or beverages may not be present or served.
- Visitors to special-care homes and personal care homes are restricted to those visiting for compassionate reasons only. When childcare facilities exist on the same premises there must be a segregated private entrance and no interaction between the childcare and residents of the home.
- Team sports such as hockey, football, soccer, and basketball are not permitted. This includes competitions and games for all amateur and recreational leagues. Group training for individual athletic events (such as dance, figure skating, diving, and speed skating) is not permitted. There is an exception for people under 18. They can continue to practice or train in groups of 8 or less if they maintain 3 metres of distance between each other.
- Group fitness activities are limited to maximum of 8 people and they must be spaced at least 3 metres apart.
- Personal service facilities, such as hair or nail salons, cannot exceed 50% of their occupancy load and must maintain at least 2 metres of physical distance between non-household members. Owners and staff are not included in the occupancy load.
- Large retail stores are limited to 25% of their occupancy load at any one time. Smaller retail stores are limited to the lesser of 50% of their occupancy load or a number that allows at least 2 metres of physical distancing between non-household members.
- Masks must be worn in all public indoor spaces. This now includes when people are exercising unless they are swimming. This also now includes common areas of businesses and workplaces. Children under 2 are exempt. Children between 3 and 12 are also exempt if they are not reasonably able to wear a mask. There are other exemptions including when a someone is seated in a restaurant consuming food.
Rules for Bars & Restaurants
The public health order concerning establishments serving food, beverage and liquor, includes the following restrictions.
- No alcohol can be served after 10 pm in any bar or restaurant to anyone, including customers, staff and owners.
- Consumption of alcohol after 11 pm is prohibited.
- Music must be kept at a volume that allows customers and staff to speak at the volume of a normal conversation.
- Customers must remain seated except to use the washroom or leave.
- There must be no more than 4 customers seated at any table.
- Tables must be 3 metres apart unless they are separated by a physical barrier in which case they can be 2 metres apart.
- Establishments need to record names and contact information for every customer who dines in and supply this information to the medical health officer if it is needed for contact tracing.
If you do not obey the Public Health Orders, the police can become involved. See the following statements regarding Covid-19:
Saskatoon Police Service
City of Prince Albert Police Service
Regina Police Service
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Although the physical distancing practices, guidelines and recommendations may not be legally enforceable at this time, they are required to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Individuals should continue working from home if they can do so.
Physical distancing should be maintained, wherever possible.
People should stay at home when they are sick.
Vulnerable individuals, such as seniors and those with underlying health conditions, should continue to exercise caution and minimize high-risk exposures, such as public outings.
Frequent hand-washing is highly recommended.
Enhanced cleaning and disinfection should take place in workplaces, public spaces and recreational facilities.
Gatherings, such as weddings, reunions or funerals should be postponed or held virtually if possible.
Businesses and workplaces are expected to follow the recommended public health measures, including:
- physical distancing for staff and clients
- regular cleaning and disinfecting
- frequent hand-washing and sanitation
- use of personal protective equipment for workers who cannot maintain social distancing
- keeping staff who have or report Covid-19 symptoms out of the workplace
On April 23, 2020 Premier Scott Moe and Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab announced the Re-Opening Saskatchewan Plan, which began May 4, 2020. The plan was designed to slowly lift restrictions so that more businesses could open and employees safely return to work.
All places that are allowed to operate under the Re-opening Plan must comply with any restrictions the Government has in place for that type of activity. See the Guidelines for detailed information about the restrictions in place for different activities.
While we are following public health measures to control the spread of Covid-19, the Red Cross has compiled a resource with some great information about dealing with the changes that restrictions have brought about. Check it out here.