Saskatchewan announces all COVID-19 public health measures will end July 11

REGINA — Saskatchewan will lift all remaining public health measures meant to protect against COVID-19 as of July 11, making it the second province to do so, behind only Alberta.

The province can move to Step 3 of its pandemic reopening plan because Saskatchewan is so close to reaching the vaccination thresholds needed for a full re-opening, Premier Scott Moe said.

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"We are able to make this announcement because so many Saskatchewan residents have done their part by getting vaccinated, so I'd like to say thanks to Saskatchewan people," Moe said, announcing the news in the province's daily pandemic update on Sunday.

"Over the past 15 months, Saskatchewan residents have diligently followed public health guidelines and restrictions, and over the past months they have followed through by getting vaccinated."

The update said 70 per cent of residents over the age of 18 and 69 per cent of those over 12 have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The removal of all public health measures will include the end of the province-wide mandatory masking order, the province said, as well as all capacity limits on events and gatherings.

On Friday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said that all COVID-19 health restrictions in that province would be lifted on July 1. The decision was also made based on Alberta passing the threshold of 70 per cent of people 12 and over having received at least one dose of vaccine.

A requirement to wear masks in indoor public spaces in Alberta will also be lifted, but Kenney said face coverings may still be required in settings such as care homes.

Details of the full implementation of Saskatchewan's reopening plan came only a day after the province said 70 per cent of adults had received an initial dose of vaccine and revealed, in general terms, that public health precautions would be easing on July 11.

That announcement said other remaining restrictions could be removed as soon as Saskatchewan approached 70 per cent of residents ages 12 and older having received their first vaccine dose.

As of end of day Saturday, the province said there were an additional 16,084 vaccinations administered, bringing the total number of vaccines administered in Saskatchewan to 997,818.

Saskatchewan also reported 60 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and one additional death.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2021.

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