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Coronavirus: Gyms, restaurants set to open in Saskatchewan on June 8

Gyms, restaurants set to open in Saskatchewan on June 8
Come June 8, restaurants, bars, gyms and places of worship can reopen. Allison Bamford has the story.

Gyms, restaurants and churches are scheduled to reopen on June 8 during Phase 3 of Saskatchewan’s reopen plan.

The announcement was made Thursday by Premier Scott Moe who encouraged people to support local in an effort to reopen the economy. Additional guidelines for businesses to operate safely during the coronavirus pandemic will be released in the days ahead.

“We feel very confident that Phase 2 is going smoothly, and we will be well prepared for a smooth reopening for most of Saskatchewan in Phase 3,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan gyms prepare to reopen as province announces set date for Phase 3

Restaruants and licensed establishments will be able to open at 50 per cent capacity with table service only.

“There will be no buffets or salad bars available,” Moe said. “Recreation in bars and restaurants must remain closed for now. This includes dancefloors, pool tables, VLTs and darts and video games.”

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Gyms and fitness facilities will require stringent cleaning procedures.

Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan sets target date of June 8 for ‘Phase 3’ of reopening
Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan sets target date of June 8 for ‘Phase 3’ of reopening

As for churches, the province has been working with faith leaders across the province to see what’s possible for congregations. Food and drinks will be limited, and the passing of items will have to be avoided. Most importantly, space will be needed.

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“We have seen in other jurisdictions…where there’s a lot of singing involved, there needs to be a bigger separation because singing, talking, shouting, crying all these things increase transmission risk,” Shahab said. “So those are all considerations as we plan the opening of faith based gatherings.”

Childcare facilities will be able to open with a limit of 15 children per building space. Childcare facilities attached to long-term care homes must have their own private entrance and separate space. No common areas will be allowed.

Other businesses included in the Phase 3 reopening plan includes estheticians, tattoo artists, make-up applicators, electrologists, manicurists, pedicurists, sun tanning parlours and facilities where body piercings, bone grafting or scarification services are provided.

SARCAN is also preparing to resume its recycling operations. On 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.

“We just begun Phase 2 [on Monday], so it’s too early to tell what impact – if any – it would have on our numbers. But we thought it was important to announce the date now so those Phase 3 businesses could begin preparing,” Moe said.
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READ MORE: The gym will be one of the toughest spaces to reopen, experts say

In the third phase, the province will increase the size of indoor gatherings – both public and private – to 15 from 10.

The size of outdoor gatherings will increase to 30 people.

“Ultimately the most important factor in the success of the reopening plan as a whole is… all of us have to continue doing our part. Physical distancing, washing hands, avoiding large gatherings,” Moe said. “Good news is we can do all of these things and at the same time continue to go out and support our local businesses.”

And Moe is encouraging people to do so on June 8.

“Now is a great time to support Saskatchewan business as they reopen and bring back jobs into your community and mine,” Moe said. “We just need to remember to do it safely, and I know we can because we have to.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Phase 2 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan begins

All businesses that reopen will have to follow provincial guidelines, which are being developed by the province. The most up-to-date version of the reopen Saskatchewan plan can be found here.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.