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Coronavirus: What you need to know as Saskatchewan moves to final stage of Phase 4

The final stage of Phase 4 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan starts on July 6, including a resumption of performing arts and increased seating at restaurants.
The final stage of Phase 4 of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan starts on July 6, including a resumption of performing arts and increased seating at restaurants. Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan is rolling out the final stages of Phase 4 of its reopening plan from the coronavirus pandemic.

Indoor pools and rinks, indoor sports and activities and the performing arts can open on July 6.

That is followed on July 9 by casinos and bingo halls.

Read more: Saskatchewan moving to final Phase 4 reopening schedule in July

The province is also easing restrictions on seating at restaurants and activities at bars.

Here is what you need to know.

What can the performing arts do?

Music, dance and theatre can resume on July 6, including one-on-one and group lessons.

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Groups must ensure proper physical distancing is maintained and restrictions on gatherings followed.

Gatherings are limited to a maximum of 30 people — both indoors and outdoors — and the total includes everyone involved, including teachers, conductors and the production crew.

Officials say gatherings that exceed the limits must be divided into smaller groups.

Read more: Employee at Emma Lake, Sask., business tests positive for novel coronavirus

Can choirs hold public performances or practices?

No, choirs are not allowed to hold public performances at this time.

The province said this is due, in part, to multiple instances of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 outbreaks linked to choirs.

Officials are also recommending rehearsals and practices not be held at this time due to the same concerns.

If practices or rehearsals do go ahead, everyone must wear a non-medical or procedure mask and maintain at least two metres of physical distancing.

If a mask is not worn, there must be at least four metres of physical distancing.

Read more: Here’s what you can and can’t do in Phase 4.2 of Saskatchewan’s reopen plan

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What about bands and orchestras?

They can practise and perform as long as physical distancing measures are followed.

For those playing woodwind and brass instruments, the distance should be measured between instruments.

Conductors must maintain four metres of physical distancing.

Any items that cannot be disinfected, including sheet music, must not be shared.

Officials said instruments should be cleaned and maintained at home. If this is not possible, an area can be designated for onsite cleaning and maintenance, however, the area must be used individually and cleaned/disinfected after each use.

Read more: More campsites open at Saskatchewan provincial parks

What are theatres allowed to do?

Theatres, including musicals, can restart on July 6, but performers must maintain two metres of separation if possible.

Performances involving close contact between individuals should be adapted or avoided.

Makeup should not be shared.

Sharing items such as costumes and props should be avoided and if shared, must be laundered or cleaned and disinfected after each performance.

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I heard more people will be allowed at restaurants and bars

That is correct.

Seating was previously limited to 50 per cent of capacity. As of July 6, this increases to an occupancy level that allows staff and customers to maintain appropriate physical distancing.

The new measures apply to both indoor and outdoor seating.

Other measures, including a maximum of six people at a table and no buffets, remain in place.

Read more: Canadian Elite Basketball League returning to action in July with tournament

What about VLTs, pool tables and other games?

Also starting Monday, establishments with VLT machines can reopen those to customers.

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Strict cleaning and disinfecting measures are in place. Machines must be cleaned a minimum of once an hour or after every use.

Pool tables, dartboards, arcade games and other recreation areas can open as long as physical distancing can be maintained.

The province said it was targeting a date of July 16 to allow live entertainment and said guidelines are still being developed.

What is not allowed at this time are karaoke and dancing. The province has not said when those restrictions might be eased.

Read more: Saskatchewan’s top doctor recommends wearing reusable cloth masks come the fall

Speaking of VLTs, when are casinos opening?

All casinos in Saskatchewan can open on July 9.

SIGA, which operates seven casinos in the province, said it will have strict measures in place.

Along with increased cleaning and disinfecting, all staff and customers must wear masks or a face shield.

Masks, face shields and gloves will be provided as needed to customers and they must also undergo pre-screening before entering a casino.

SIGA said limited contact tracing will also be in place for a period of time. Everyone entering a casino will be required to check in either with their player’s card or by providing their name and contact number.

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Slot machines and electronic gaming tables will be cleaned at least once an hour or on demand and people are discouraged from watching others play unless from the same household or social group.

Live table games are not allowed at this time.

SIGA said plexiglass barriers have been installed at its players’ club desk, cage cashier windows and delis.

Read more: Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer discusses provincial reopening plan

What about bingo halls?

Bingo halls can also open on July 9.

While masks aren’t mandatory, some bingo halls are recommending customers bring a mask.

All surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected after every session.

The province said bingo halls must also develop a risk mitigation strategy to manage operations in a safe and effective manner.

Full details of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan can be found on the government’s website.