Saskatchewan Bans Household Visits, Limits Retail Capacity at Christmas

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Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe speaks during a COVID-19 media update at the Legislative Building in Regina on Dec. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell

The Saskatchewan government is tightening its public-health orders for the holidays.

Premier Scott Moe says that, starting Thursday, only immediate household members can gather inside the same home, with a few exceptions and outdoor gatherings will be restricted to 10 people.

Casinos and bingo halls must close on Saturday, and personal care services such as hair salons will be limited to 50 per cent capacity.

Starting on Christmas Day, retail stores will be required to cut their capacity to half and large retailers will be restricted to 25 per cent.

“It has been a difficult few weeks,” Moe told a news conference Monday. “I think it’s safe to say we’re all tired of this.

“This needs to be a much quieter Christmas.”

 

The new measures are to be in place until Jan. 15, when they will be reviewed. Previous rules, including wearing masks in indoor public spaces, remain in place.

On Monday, the province reported 269 new COVID-19 infections and Saskatchewan’s weekly average for new daily cases sat at 262.

The Correctional Service of Canada said 24 inmates at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert had tested positive for COVID-19 and the Canadian Red Cross was providing assistance with the outbreak. The inmates on a medium-security unit were being isolated. Visits to the facility have been suspended.

So far, no prison staff have tested positive.

The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the Saskatchewan Party government to ask the military to also help with spread of the novel coronavirus at long-term care homes.

— This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2020

New Measures Announced on December 14th

Starting December 17, all private dwelling indoor gatherings are limited to immediate households only (single individuals are permitted to meet with one household of less than five [always the same household] and single persons with minor children are permitted to follow the guideline for single individuals). Co-parenting arrangements are permitted to continue.

Starting December 17, all private and public outdoor gatherings are prohibited, except persons in groups of 10 or less may briefly meet to exchange greetings and must ensure physical distancing between households is maintained.

Starting Saturday, December 19:

  • Casinos and bingo halls must close; and
  • Personal care services must reduce customer occupancy by 50 per cent.

Beginning December 25, retail services (essential and non-essential) must reduce their capacity to 50 per cent as prescribed in the public health order. Large big box retailers, as defined in the public health order, must reduce to 25 per cent of capacity.

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