Saskatchewan to reopen after coronavirus pandemic on May 4

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Saskatchewan will reopen its economy and services in five phases starting May 4.

Premier Scott Moe said on Wednesday that the coronavirus curve has flattened in the province and that the reopening will be gradual and orderly.

These plans have now been made public.

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The first phase is the reopening of medical services previously prohibited under the current public health order. This includes access to dentistry, optometry, physiotherapy, opticians, podiatry, occupational therapy and chiropractic treatment.

The resumption of elective surgeries, diagnostics, and other non-essential procedures that are currently on hold are not included. The government has said it is being considered separately and that updates on the date of their resumption will be released in the near future.

The resumption of low-risk outdoor activities, with precautionary measures, is also implemented in stages during the first phase.

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Fishing and boat launches are allowed from May 4, and golf courses will be allowed to open from May 15 with physical distance guidelines.

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The online reservation system for provincial parks will be launched on May 4 and overnight camping will be authorized from June 1. Access to the park is restricted to residents of Saskatchewan only.

The size of public and private gatherings will remain limited to a maximum of 10 people.

“Over the next few weeks, the restrictions will be gradually lifted by adding more types of businesses to the list of licensed businesses, which means they can reopen if they wish,” said Moe on Thursday.

However, any deployment is subject to change depending on transmission models and other factors, officials said.

The COVID-19 numbers will be monitored daily, which will guide decisions made about the timing of lifting the restrictions, or vice versa.

Saskatchewan reported 326 total cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday, of which 61 were reported to be active.

There have been four deaths related to COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.

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The second phase will be launched on May 19 and will include businesses and certain private services that were previously deemed unauthorized.

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The businesses included in the second phase are clothing and shoe stores, flower stores, and gift, book, and stationery stores.

Hairdressers and barbers, registered massage therapists, acupuncturists and acupressurists can also begin providing services from May 19.

“All businesses and public places will need to continue to follow physical distancing and cleaning and disinfection practices to protect employees and customers,” said Moe.

“Members of the public will have to follow the rules for physical distance and stay at home if they have symptoms of COVID-19.”

Restrictions on travel, mass gatherings and retirement homes will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

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The dates for the remaining three phases – which include restaurants, daycares, remaining personal services, and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities – have yet to be determined.

As these phases are rolled out, the size of the gatherings will increase.

No date has been announced for the reopening of the schools.

More soon.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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