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Remainder of Saskatchewan businesses ready to reopen by middle of July

Remainder of Saskatchewan businesses ready to reopen by middle of July
WATCH: On Monday, indoor sports facilities will be allowed to reopen.

UPDATE: Pending Saskatchewan Health Authority’s approval, the City of Regina is opening its North West Leisure Centre on July 8 and its Lawson Aquatic Centre on July 13.

With all businesses in Saskatchewan permitted to operate by mid-July, those included under the latest 4.2 dates say they are ready.

July 3 has movie theatres opening up in the province, and Landmark Cinemas Canada has a long list of new protocols in place.

Physical distancing will be enforced in a number of ways, including reducing available seating, concession queue lines on the floor, and asking moviegoers to arrive no sooner than 20 minutes before show time.

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The company said it will also be enhancing health and safety measures by disinfecting seating surfaces, washrooms and common areas often.

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CEO Bill Walker said Landmark Cinemas has been targeting their preparations to please even the most hesitant customer when deciding to return to theatres.

“It’s about when people have those first interaction or hear that first word of mouth, about what cinema going looks like,” Walker explained.

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“They realize that it can be a safe choice for them, maintaining distancing, and still be one of the unique entertainment options that is available at this time.”

Restaurants in the province have been allowed to resume dine-in options since June 8, and some of the restrictions are being loosened as of July 6.

In addition to an increased seating capacity, recreation areas can now open — including video lottery terminals (VLTs), pool tables, dart boards, and arcade games.

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Bar manager at Bushwakker Brewpub Grant Frew feels the increase in seating capacity sounds better than it actually is.

“As long as there is that two-metre minimum physical distancing in place, even if they increase the capacity allowable for a restaurant, we are still going to have to stay at that 35-per cent capacity,” said Frew.

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“So this announcement does not really help us out very much.”

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Bushwakker Brewpub — along with all other restaurants — will also be allowed to host live entertainment again as of July 16, however Frew isn’t sure they will start right away.

“Operating at a greatly limited capacity will make it a little bit challenging,” he said.

“I’m also wondering, are people going to be ready to come in and take in a live music performance?”

Casino Regina said its live showroom be staying closed for the foreseeable future, although the gaming floor will reopen on July 9.

Read more: More than 160,000 N95 masks in Saskatchewan expired before coronavirus hit

Physical distancing will be encouraged, capacity will be limited and guests will be screened at the door.

“Mask use is encouraged for guests, and gloves are also welcomed in the casino,” said Shanna Schulhauser, Director of Communications at SaskGaming.

“We’re going to be increasing cleaning and sanitation, every third slot machine will be open and our table game services will be closed.”

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Also included in the newly announced dates are indoor sporting facilities and performing arts centres (July 6), bingo halls (July 9), as well as racetracks and rodeo-related activities (July 16).