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COVID-19 in Sask: Five-phase plan to reopen province set to begin May 4

The Saskatchewan government’s five-phase plan to reopen the province is set to begin on May 4.

The plan, which was unveiled Thursday by Premier Scott Moe and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab, will guide the province as it restarts its economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the next several weeks, restrictions will be gradually lifted by adding more types of businesses to the allowable businesses list, meaning that they can reopen if they so choose,” Moe said in a news release.

“All businesses and public venues will be required to continue following physical distancing and cleaning and disinfection practices to protect both employees and customers. Members of the public will be expected to follow physical distancing rules and to stay home if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.”

Many dates still being determined

The Murray Golf Course in Regina is operated by Western Golf Management. Golf courses will be some of the first businesses to reopen in Saskatchewan. (Glenn Reid/CBC)

 

Phase 1, set to begin on May 4, will see restrictions lifted on certain medical services alongside a focus on outdoor recreation:

  • Medical services including dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, opticians, podiatry, occupational therapy and chiropractic treatment.
  • Facilities to accommodate low-risk outdoor activities, like boating and fishing.
  • Online reservations for campgrounds, which are then to be opened on June 1.
  • Golf courses will reopen with restrictions beginning May 15.

Phase 2, set to begin May 19, will include the opening of retail businesses and personal services not initially allowed under Saskatchewan’s state of emergency:

  • Clothing stores, sporting good stores, vaping supply shops, bookstores, jewelry stores, boat and ATV dealerships, accessory stores, music stores, electronic stores, pawnshops and travel agencies.
  • Personal services including hairdressers, registered massage therapists, acupuncturists and acupressurists.

Businesses are expected to continue practising physical distancing and implement screening measures if physical distancing is not possible.

Jody Spychej, the owner of Ink Addiction Tattoos, is seen working on a client in February. Tattoo artists will be allowed to operate again during Phase 3 of the province’s reopening plan. However, an exact date for the start of this phase has yet to be determined. (Matt Garrand/CBC )

 

Phase 3, to be enacted at a date still to be determined, will see the reopening of the remaining personal services and a relaxing of the restrictions on public gatherings:

  • Aestheticians, tattoo artists, cosmetologists, electrologists, manicurists, pedicurists, suntanning parlours, body piercing, bone grafting or scarification services, and other personal service providers.
  • Restaurant and food services, to operate at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Gyms.
  • Child-care centres.
  • Licensed establishments.
  • Limits on public gatherings will increase to 15 people.

Phase 4, on a date also yet to be determined, will see further openings:

  • Casinos, bingo halls, curling rinks, swimming pools, municipal parks and playgrounds, movie theatres, museums and similar facilities.
  • Seasonal programming such as camps, recreational activities and athletic activities.
  • Limits on public gatherings will increase to 30 people.

Phase 5, which Moe said will be dependent on factors such as the COVID-19 case count, will include the lifting of long-term restrictions.

CBC

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