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Saskatchewan moving to final Phase 4 reopening schedule in July

Saskatchewan moving to final Phase 4 reopening schedule in July
WATCH: Saskatchewan is rolling out the final part of its Phase 4 reopening plan from the novel coronavirus pandemic over several dates in July. Kayleen Sawatzky reports.

Saskatchewan is rolling out the final part of its Phase 4 reopening plan from the novel coronavirus pandemic on several dates in July.

Indoor pools, indoor rinks, indoor sports and activities and the performing arts — including music, dance and theatre — can reopen on July 6.

That will be followed by casinos and bingo halls on July 9.

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Officials said seating at restaurants and licensed establishments can increase on July 6 to a level that allows staff and customers to maintain two metres of physical distancing.

In addition, officials said VLTs, pool tables, dartboards, arcade games and other recreation areas can reopen on July 6 as long as physical distancing VLTs can be maintained.

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Live entertainment in these establishments is targeted to resume on July 16.

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July 16 is also the date targeted by the province for the resumption of racetracks and rodeo-related activities. Officials said guidelines are still being developed for these activities.

“With these reopenings, virtually every kind of business, facility, service and activity in this province are now reopened,” said Premier Scott Moe.

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There is still one phase left to go in Saskatchewan’s reopening plan. Phase 5 lifts restrictions on the limits placed on the size of public gatherings.

The government has not yet said when it will consider lifting those restrictions.

“We know that in Saskatchewan and elsewhere, large gatherings have resulted in some of the largest outbreaks,” Moe said.

“So we will need to be very cautious in relaxing those restrictions.”

Moe said the government is also working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority on new guidelines for visits at long-term care homes and hospitals.

“We still have to be very careful in those facilities as that is where some of the most dangerous outbreaks in our nation and around the world have occurred,” he said.

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“So we are working to find the right balance that will keep everyone safe while recognizing how critically important it is for hospital patients and our seniors in our long-term care homes to be able to see members of their family.”

Read more: Coronavirus — Some visitor restrictions eased at Saskatchewan Health Authority facilities

Visits at long-term care homes are currently restricted for the most part to outdoor visits with at least two metres physical distancing.

There are exceptions for compassionate reasons or residents who require care beyond the needs available from staff.

At hospitals, one family member or support person can be designated for inpatient, outpatient and emergency/urgent care patients who have specific challenges resulting in compromised comprehension, decision-making or mobility due to disability or onset of a medical condition.

Health officials said those can include hearing, speech, communication barriers, intellectual or mental health disabilities, and visual or memory impairment.

There are also visitor limitations in place for people undergoing major surgery, end-of-life care and those receiving maternal and pediatric services.

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