Despite dance floors being prohibited in Saskatchewan due to the COVID-19 pandemic, videos circulating online show otherwise at a Saskatoon nightclub.
Several videos posted on Snapchat appear to show dozens of people packed on a dance floor inside Diva’s Nightclub on Saturday. No one appears to be physically distancing or wearing a mask.
According to Saskatchewan’s public health guidelines, all dance floors or spaces that promote congregation are prohibited to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While live DJs are permitted, physical distancing must be ensured at all times, according to public health guidelines.
Diva’s Nightclub owner Aaron Paetsch told Global News he is aware of the videos and posts circulating online, but he remains confident in the safety protocols he has in place.
“While we appreciate the concern, we can assure you that we continue to follow, and go above and beyond, all guidelines and rules set out by the Saskatchewan Health Authority,” Paetsch said in a statement.
Paetsch says every weekend since reopening, the venue has reached legal capacity while turning away guests at the door.
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“Tables are spaced out on the dance floor to limit gathering and discourage dancing, DJ requests are not taken, plexiglass has been installed to separate seating, distance markers are set up around the bar for spacing, and all staff are required to wear masks while they are working,” Paetsch said.
He added all patrons are encouraged to wear a mask and free masks are offered at the door.
“I assure you that we have been following all protocols as best we can as set out by the SHA. We have been inspected by the police and fire departments and the SHA multiple times since reopening and have always passed each inspection and have never received a fine contrary to online rumours,” Paetsch said.
Paetsch said the health and safety of staff and patrons is his first priority.
“But remember that once patrons are inside we can’t control every move they make, or how they decide to distance from others,” he said.
Global News has reached out to the Saskatchewan Health Authority for comment.
With files from Nathaniel Dove.