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Coronavirus: What you can and can’t do as Saskatchewan moves to Phase 3 of its reopening plan

More businesses and personal care services can reopen in Saskatchewan on June 8 as the province moves to Phase 3 of its reopening plan.
More businesses and personal care services can reopen in Saskatchewan on June 8 as the province moves to Phase 3 of its reopening plan. File / Global News

Phase 3 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan amid the novel coronavirus pandemic starts on June 8.

Restaurants, licensed establishments, gyms and fitness centres, churches and child-care facilities can all reopen, but with limitations.

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

All remaining personal care services, such as manicurists and tattoo artists, can also reopen.

Other restrictions, such as the size of public and private gatherings, are changing.

Here is what you need to know as Saskatchewan continues to reopen.

Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan premier urges residents to shop local as Phase 3 of reopening approaches
Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan premier urges residents to shop local as Phase 3 of reopening approaches

I heard the size of public gatherings is increasing

That is correct.

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You can now gather in groups of up to 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.

The increase to 30 people for outdoor gatherings was originally part of Phase 4.

“(It) doesn’t mean every gathering has to be 30. You still want to maintain physical distancing,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer.

“You still need special precautions around people who are elderly or may have other risk factors.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Large gatherings in Saskatchewan not likely until 2021 says top doctor

Premier Scott Moe said the increase will allow some activities to go ahead.

“While 30 may not seem like a lot of people, it would allow for such occasions as a small outdoor wedding ceremony or a small graveside memorial service for a loved one who may have passed over the course of the past the last few weeks,” Moe said.

Can I now go to my favourite restaurant for a meal?

Maybe.

Restaurants are allowed to open — but only at 50 per cent capacity and it will be a different dining experience.

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Tables must be at least two metres apart and no more than six people can be seated together. Larger groups must sit at separate tables with proper social distancing.

Buffets and self-serve food lines remain closed. This includes refill stations and condiment stations.

Not all restaurants are opening, with some saying it is a financial balancing act to determine the right time to open.

READ MORE: Phase 3 restrictions see Saskatchewan restaurants, bars staying closed

“Every day is different, we could have a second wave, we could be shut down like what happened in Calgary,” said Steve Kosabek, the owner of 20 Ten Eatery in Regina.

“I don’t want to be replenishing my whole stock of food and liquor and everything like that, and then have us shut down the day of.”

Dale Mackay, co-founder of Grassroots Restaurant Group, said opening on June 8 isn’t sustainable, so the group’s Saskatoon and Regina restaurants won’t open.

“When you can only seat 50 per cent of people, that doesn’t mean 50 per cent of your costs have gone down,” MacKay told Global News.

“Unless you’ve got … a good amount of cushion in your bank account, you might be reopening just to lose more money than you’re losing being closed.”

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Saskatoon restaurants want free patio space to serve customers, but it’s not an easy get
Saskatoon restaurants want free patio space to serve customers, but it’s not an easy get

The best advice? Call ahead to see if your favourite restaurant is open.

How about a drink at a bar or pub?

Yes, but there are additional measures in place.

Physical-distancing measures must be maintained and no movement is allowed between bars and eating areas.

All recreational areas must remain closed.

“Recreation in bars and restaurants must remain closed for now. This includes dance floors, pool tables, VLTs and darts and video games,” Moe said.

And you won’t be able to watch your favourite artist. Live entertainment is not allowed, although the government said it will be considered in future phases.

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How about heading to the gym for a workout?

Yes, this is allowed under Phase 3, but it may not be the same experience as before.

The number of people allowed in is restricted to ensure minimum distancing; gyms and fitness centres are being encouraged to implement a booking system with set durations for workouts.

You won’t be able to change or clean up. Locker rooms and showers facilities must remain closed. However, washrooms can open.

Unless your gym has a water bottle filling station, you will need to bring your own water — drinking fountains have to be closed.

Group facilities and equipment, such as sports courts and other group sports areas, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms, are off-limits.

READ MORE: Closed for public health safety, loss of Saskatchewan recreation spaces felt by families

There are limits on group class sizes.

Group fitness classes involving intense aerobic or physical training, such as aerobics, Zumba and spin, are limited to 15 people, including the instructor, and there must be four metres of physical distancing at all times.

For lower-intensity activities such as yoga and Pilates, class sizes are limited to 15 people, including the instructor, with two metres of physical distancing.

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“We would space out our classes… maybe a 15-minute break in between classes to alleviate the strain of that many people in one spot, and give us a chance to do the cleaning that’s necessary to make sure we are being safe,” said Josh Roundell, CrossFit Regina co-owner and coach.

Phase 3 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan challenging for some fitness, dance studios
Phase 3 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan challenging for some fitness, dance studios

Can my children go back to child care?

Yes, but there are limitations.

No more than 15 children are allowed in a defined space and groups of children and assigned staff must stay together throughout the day.

Children must be picked up outside the facility unless there is a need for the parent or caregiver to enter.

Non-essential visitors are not allowed in any child-care facility.

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READ MORE: Saskatchewan increases access to child-care for working parents ahead of Phase 3

What about places of worship?

Churches and places of worship are allowed to open but are limited to one-third of the defined occupancy of the facility to a maximum of 30 people.

The start and end times of services must be spaced to allow those attending one gathering to exit safely to avoid contact with those arriving for the next gathering.

Common surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected between services.

A number of high-risk activities are not allowed, such as handshaking or passing offering baskets.

Restrictions are in place for other high-risk activities such as singing, ceremonies, rituals and communion.

“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.

READ MORE: Places of worship in Saskatchewan prepare for Phase 3 of province’s reopen plan

What about going for a manicure or a tattoo?

All personal care services that remained closed in Phase 2 of the reopening plan can open on June 8.

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This includes estheticians, tattoo artists, makeup applications, electrologists, manicurists, pedicurists, sun tanning parlours, and facilities where body piercing, bone grafting or scarification services are provided.

Strict guidelines must be followed by those personal care services that do open.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn by staff when two-metre physical distancing from clients is not possible.

Physical spaces must be adjusted to allow for social distancing between clients where possible.

READ MORE: Hair salons and barbershops are reopening — but your visit won’t be the same

Other guidelines include clients attending appointments alone and arriving no more than five minutes beforehand.

All commonly touched surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected after contact by individuals, including tanning beds, foot tubs and client chairs.

Full details on all measures can be found at the Saskatchewan government’s website.

—With files from Jonathan Guignard, Mickey Djuric and Elise Darwish