Health restrictions to be removed as more vaccinated

Public health restrictions will be eased as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19.

The provincial government released a three-step reopening process on May 4.

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“The road to the end of this pandemic runs through the vaccination clinics, and today we are providing Saskatchewan people with a clear roadmap of how we will get there and some important markers along the way,” Premier Scott Moe said in a media release.

“This is not only a reopening plan. It's also a plan to encourage people to get vaccinated and to keep following all the public health orders and guidelines.  Those are the two things we all need to do in order to move forward through the three steps of re-opening so we can enjoy a great Saskatchewan summer and get back to normal.”

Step 1 will take place when three weeks have passed since 70 per cent of people age 40 and above have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and vaccine eligibility open to all adults (18+) province-wide. So far, 65 per cent of those 40+ have received their first dose.

Changes to public health orders in Step 1 will include:

  • Restaurants and bars open, maximum of six at a table, two metres or structural barriers between tables, dance floors and buffets remain closed, VLTs may re-open;
  • 30 per cent of capacity or 150 people, whichever is less, at places of worship, with physical distancing between households;
  • Group fitness classes involving intense training, like aerobics and spin, can resume, with three metres between participants;
  • Current restrictions remain in place for retail, personal care services, event facilities, casinos, bingo halls, theatres, art galleries, libraries and recreational facilities;
  • Current protocols remain in place for primary, secondary and post-secondary education and for childcare;
  • Limit of 10 people at private indoor and outdoor gatherings, including household gatherings;
  • Limit of 30 people at public indoor gatherings;
  • Limit of 150 people at public outdoor gatherings; and
  • Current province-wide masking mandate remains in place.

Step 2 will take place when three weeks have passed since 70 per cent of people age 30 have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. As well, three weeks must have passed since the start of Step 1. So far, 53 per cent of those 30+ have received their first dose.

Changes in Step 2 include:

  • No capacity thresholds on retail and personal care services, must maintain an occupancy that allows for physical distancing;
  • Restaurants and bars will have no table capacity thresholds, must maintain two metres of physical distancing or structural barriers between tables, dance floors and buffets remain closed;
  • 150-person maximum capacity at event facilities, casinos, bingo halls, theatres, art galleries, libraries and recreational facilities, must maintain an occupancy that allows for physical distancing, restaurant guidelines apply at venues that serve food;
  • No change from Step One at gyms and fitness facilities, primary, secondary and post-secondary education and childcare;
  • All remaining restrictions on youth and adult sports will be lifted;
  • Limit of 15 people at private indoor gatherings, including household gatherings;
  • Limit of 150 people at public indoor gatherings and private and public outdoor gatherings; and
  • Current province-wide masking mandate remains in place.

Step 3 will take place three weeks have passed since 70 per cent of people age 18 and above have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. As well, three weeks must have passed since the start of Step 2. So far, 44 per cent of those 18+ have received their first dose.

The province said most remaining restrictions will be lifted in Step 3. Guidance on gathering sizes and indoor masking will be developed based on the progress of the first two steps. Public health orders from Step 2 on gathering sizes and indoor masking will remain in place until that guidance is finalized.

© Copyright Humboldt Journal

May 4, 2021 POLL

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