More restrictions are being eased in Saskatchewan on May 19 as Phase 2 of the province’s reopening plan is implemented.
It allows retail services that were not previously allowed to remain open during the state of emergency to provide services again.
Shopping malls and its tenants can resume business, and some personal service providers can start seeing customers.
Other restrictions, such as the size of public and private gatherings remain in place.
Here is what you can and can’t do as Saskatchewan continues to reopen from the coronavirus pandemic.
Can I visit family and friends?
Yes and no, according to the province.
Gatherings are still restricted to no more than 10 people, although it is no longer limited to family members in the same household.
Health officials said one or two close families or friends can form an extended household group for get-togethers of up to 10 people.
Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer, cautioned that groups must remain consistent and physical distancing practices must still be followed.
“While gatherings of up to 10 are allowed, it is a strong recommendation (to) stick to two or three friends or two, three households and meet among yourselves as a virtual household and not meet with ten new people every day,” Shahab said.
“That just increases the risk overall.”
Can we go for a walk or play in the park?
It depends where you go.
Provincial parks opened to Saskatchewan residents on May 4 for limited individual activities where physical distancing can be maintained — hiking and mountain biking. Access to boat launches also opened that day.
Access to all recreational facilities remains closed including playgrounds, beaches, picnic areas, tennis courts and swimming pools.
You still can’t camp overnight — that starts on June 1.
City parks in Regina remain closed, with the exception of open spaces and walkways. Dog parks, which had been closed, reopened on May 15.
In Saskatoon, parks, trails, dog parks and public squares remain open. Sports fields cannot be used for group activities or organized sports that put people in close contact with each other.
Community ambassadors have also been deployed to Saskatoon parks to ensure people maintain safe distancing.
Access to all recreational facilities, including playgrounds, remains closed in both cities. Those can reopen in Phase 4, but a date has not yet been set by the province.
“We need to continue (to) go out and about and enjoy the outdoors and enjoy the warm weather,” Shahab said.
“We just need to stay the course as Phase 2 opens and look at future opportunities while maintaining some discipline in our social lives.”
Golf courses around the province opened on May 15, but with a number of restrictions.
Those include leaving flagsticks in the cup, tee times being at least 12 minutes apart, no walk-ons and one person per golf cart unless they are from the same household.
Can I finally go to the mall and shop?
Yes — starting May 19, but not all stores are opening.
All retail businesses and malls that were not allowed to stay open when the state of emergency was declared can open their doors, but with restrictions.
Physical distancing must be maintained and limits will be placed on the number of people allowed in stores at the same time.
The use of dressing rooms is discouraged, and surfaces of those that are used must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
All returns must be quarantined for 72 hours before being placed back for sale.
All seating areas in food courts must remain closed, but pick-up and delivery from operators are allowed.
But some stores are waiting.
“We have folks that can open up May 19 that are planning on opening up full force; we have others that are saying, ‘Hey, we are going to take another two weeks to kind of see what the lay of the land is,’” said Judith Veresuk, Regina Downtown Business Improvement District executive director.
Restaurants remain closed except for takeout and delivery. Licensed establishments, gyms and fitness centres remain closed. Those reopen in Phase 3, but no date has been set.
The weather’s nice and I want to plant my garden — can I visit greenhouses?
Yes — but with restrictions.
While delivery and curbside pickup are encouraged, customers are allowed into greenhouses and garden centres to pick their plants.
Physical distancing rules must be followed, one-way aisles must be implemented and limits placed on the maximum number of people allowed inside the store.
Customers are also being encouraged not to touch plants unless they are buying it.
There are restrictions for those planting in one of Saskatoon’s dozens of community gardens.
City officials said additional protocols are in place to ensure proper social distancing, hand washing procedures and tool sanitization.
Similar measures are in place for community gardens in Regina, however, all gardens are closed to the public and only accessible by members.
“We’re just very happy that we are able to be open this year and getting people outside and doing healthy activities,” said Chelsea Brown with Grow Regina.
My hair is shaggy after two months — can I get it cut?
Yes, starting May 19, hair salons and barbershops can open for business.
Strict guidelines must be followed for those that do open.
Those include wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and adjusting physical spaces to allow for social distancing between clients where possible.
Other guidelines include clients attending appointments alone or waiting outside or in a socially-distanced seating area.
The same guidelines apply to registered massage therapists, acupuncturists and acupressurists, who can offer their services starting May 19.
Not all hair salons are prepared to open, with some owners saying they are not yet comfortable with reopening and still trying to obtain the proper equipment.
“The last thing we want to see is salons opening too quickly, not enough time between (reopening) phases, and then having an outbreak caused by a salon because we didn’t have that proper training,” said Clara Edvi, who owns The Make-up Lounge and Style Bar in Regina.
Edvi said she wants all salons to have proper training on COVID-19 safety measures before taking clients.
— With files from Global News’ Elise Darwish, Elisha Dacey, Laura Hensley and Derek Bidwell.View link »