New COVID-19 restrictions are coming for retailers, performance or gaming venues and sports under Saskatchewan’s latest Public Health Order.
The Saskatchewan Government announced the new rules on November 25th, and they will take effect at 12:01 AM on November 27th. These restrictions like the others brought in on November 17th, will be in effect until December 17th, after which they will be reviewed for effectiveness by the provincial Chief Medical Health Officer.
The additional public health measures, the province says, is to mitigate the strain on health care resources as COVID-19 cases increase.
Allowed home gathering numbers stay the same, reduced numbers allowed in some public spaces
Starting Friday, a maximum of 30 people will be allowed in casinos, bingo halls, live or movie theatres and performing arts venues. If these locations are serving food or drink, they must not have any food or drink in the activity area.
Places of Worship are also limited to 30 people, including for weddings, baptisms, funerals and their associated receptions. No food or drink can be served. These rules also stand for indoor public gatherings like banquets or conferences.
Private gathering restrictions in the home remain at five people, and Public Health is advising not having a gathering outside your immediate family at this time. If the household is made up of five or more people, additional visitors from outside the home are not allowed. This also includes areas of the home such as sheds or garages.
Most sporting events cancelled, some fitness classes or practices can go on
The Saskatchewan Government is suspending all team and group sports, activities, games, competitions, recitals, practices, for amateur or recreational leagues of all age groups. Sports covered under these rules include, but are not limited to, hockey, curling, racquet sports, cheerleading and dance.
Athletes and dancers 18 years of age and under can continue training in groups of eight or fewer, provided masking rules are followed and at least three meters of physical distancing can be maintained at all times. Coaches or trainers are not included in this number, as long as they meet these guidelines as well.
Fitness classes or group fitness classes can continue in classes of eight with three meters of distancing as well, for all ages. Mandatory, non-medical mask use will be required during all indoor fitness activities, with aquatic activities being the only exception.
Stricter measures for large retail stores, restaurants and bars
For malls and retail spaces, large retail locations are now required to limit customer access to 50 per cent capacity or four square metres of space per person, whichever is less. These locations are defined as stores larger than 20,000 square feet, and the 50 per cent capacity is based on half of the specified fire-code capacity.
It is also expected that these businesses follow the guidelines set out by the Saskatchewan Re-Open Plan, and in situations where the Public Health Order and rules under the Re-Open Plan are different, the Public Health Order should be followed.
Businesses are also expected to ramp up mask use and mitigation measures like directional flow signs, hand sanitizer and reduced traffic through more signage and staff training.
For bars and restaurants, the curfew on liquor service remains in effect, with 10 PM being the cutoff for sales and 11 PM for consumption. They are also now limited to four per table, and if there are impermeable barriers between the tables, tables must be placed two metres apart. If there are no impermeable barriers between tables, there must be a three-metre distance between all tables.
Guest or reservation information must be kept for all patrons for contact tracing purposes.
Mandatory masking expanded
All students, employees and visitors in all schools and daycares must wear a mask except for when they are eating or drinking, and when engaged in water activities. Children up to the age of two are exempt from masks, but kids aged three to twelve should wear a mask if they can.
All employees and visitors in all common areas in businesses and workplaces, even in areas which the public does not have access have to, must wear masks as well. This also applies to people in all common areas in provincial and municipal correctional facilities.
Masking also continues to be required in indoor public areas that have installed barriers. People can find more information on mask use on the Government’s website.
All enforcement of public health orders is permitted, the province says, under The Public Health Act, 1994. The City of Lloydminster in its entirety follows the Saskatchewan Public Health Order.