If all goes to plan, Phase III of the Reopen Saskatchewan plan will start June 8.
“I want to emphasize that June 8 is a target date. We hope to begin Phase III on June 8 but that can change,” said Scott Moe, Saskatchewan's premier.
“We have just begun phase two so it is too early to tell,”
In Phase III, restaurants and licensed establishments will be able to open at 50 per cent capacity. Gyms and fitness facilities will also be able to open for business, as will childcare facilities and places of worship – subject to guidelines that are being developed.
Moe said the announcement of the Phase III target date just three days into Phase II gives businesses that will be allowed to reopen a chance to prepare.
“Ultimately, the most important factor in the success of the reopening plan as a whole is each of us,” he said.
“All of us have to continue doing our physical distancing, washing our hands and avoiding large gatherings. The good news is, we can do all of these things and at the same time continue to go out and support our local businesses.”
As restrictions on businesses and services are gradually lifted in the province, additional information continues to be added to the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan based on direction from public health officials and input from businesses and service providers. Personal service businesses that did not open in Phase II are also allowed to begin providing services.
The size of indoor public and private gatherings will increase to 15 people in Phase III, while the size of outdoor gatherings will increase to 30. Guidelines for the safe reopening of places of worship will be developed in consultation with faith leaders.
Moe said implementing Phase III will include strict guidelines for services like restaurants. Included in these guidelines are no buffets or salad bars, and the closure of recreational areas for the time being which include dance floors, VLTs, pool tables and video games.
SARCAN is also preparing to resume its recycling operations in the near future. Beginning June 8, commercial and bulk customers will be able to bring in their recycling by appointment only. SARCAN will open to the general public on June 15.
Moe said although phase three could be implemented early June, the discussion to reopen the legislature and resume business is a separate discussion that is taking place.
“My understanding is there is an option that has been provided by the government house leader to the opposition house leader. We hope that we would be able to move forward with the introduction and passage of a budget,” Moe saud.
“I won’t preclude or put that option into the public realm as I think it is important for the government leaders in their respective caucuses to discuss that."
Written with files by Jordan Stricker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Estevan Mercury