First steps back to normalcy for Saskatoon businesses, people after vaccine passports lifted

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First steps back to normalcy for Saskatoon businesses, people
WATCH: On Monday Saskatchewan will start rolling back COVID-19 restrictions, dropping the vaccine passport requirement. For those attending Super Bowl Sunday viewing parties, that last 24 hours didn't deter them from supporting their favourite local bar – Feb 13, 2022

The proof of vaccination policy ended on Monday across Saskatchewan.

That didn’t stop football fans from attending their local sports bar en masse to watch the Super Bowl the day before.

“This is our busiest day of the year by far. We are actually completed booked, with just the top bar open (for walk-ins),” said Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill owner Ryan Sutherland.

“We’ve been pretty well full with reservations for a couple of days now. A couple of tables are open for walk-ins. We are expected the place to be completely full,” said Sports On Tap supervisor Karson Bock.

Both bars were indeed full for the game.

Many businesses have had to roll with the punches of COVID-19 and its following health mandates through the last two years.

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Read more: City of Regina to remove proof of vaccination and negative testing

That didn’t stop people from attending Super Bowl parties on Sunday. Some people told Global News this is indeed the last day for them to get their phone out to show proof of vaccination.

“It was another moment in time to look at the resources and tools we have for our businesses so they can continue to operate in the evolved state of the pandemic,” said Tourism Saskatoon CEO Stephanie Clovechuk.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan businesses react to proof of vaccine requirement lifting'
Saskatchewan businesses react to proof of vaccine requirement lifting

Both business owners and workers say they have been alright through the thick and thin of the pandemic.

“We have noticed a drop in people coming out but that could be cold weather, maybe COVID-19, who knows. But that is not an issue for us on Super Bowl Sunday,” said Bock.

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“Obviously we hit a little bit of a blip when COVID and the restrictions started but we didn’t skip too much of a beat, which is pretty great.,” Sutherland said.

Read more: COVID-19 — Saskatchewan Health Authority lifting proof of vaccination for visitors, employees

Sutherland says all staff at Shoeless Joe’s decided to wear masks, even after the restrictions are lifted at the end of the month.

Royal University Hospital head clinical microbiologist Dr. Joseph Blondeau says getting vaccinated, practising handwashing and mask-wearing should all be things people take into consideration any time they go out into large groups of people.

“It’s important for people to practise personal safety. If you wear a mask or not it’s up to you. If it’s in a closed environment you will have to do that until the end of the month, then it’s your decision,” said Blondeau.

“The virus didn’t just disappear, it’s still here, we will have to live with it, but we can still go by the means of the best protection.”

Last Tuesday, Premier Scott Moe said it will be up to each individual to be accountable for managing COVID-19 with vaccinations, staying home when sick and doing at-home testing when needed.

Click to play video: 'People rally in Saskatoon to voice their concerns with provincial government'
People rally in Saskatoon to voice their concerns with provincial government

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