Cautiously Moving Forward – A Plan to Reopen Saskatchewan

For the last week or so there has been much speculation over what the upcoming plan to reopen Saskatchewan would look like. On Thursday, April 23rd Scott Moe, the Premier of Saskatchewan, along with Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab gave some insight into what the residents of Saskatchewan can expect to see in the weeks ahead. The plan consists of five phases and has been introduced with the intent of continuing to flatten the curve, while also limiting the negative impact on businesses and individuals in our province.

According to Moe, the first two phases will be introduced over the next few weeks. Phase one, which will begin on May 4th, will include medical services, angling and boat launch, golf courses, parks and campgrounds. Phase two will be the reopening of retail stores and select personal services such as hairdressers and barbers, this will begin on May 19th. Precautions and restrictions will be in place, such as limiting the capacity at campgrounds and the use of personal protective equipment by hairdressers and barbers. Strict hygienic measures will also be in place. 

The dates for phases three to five have not yet been indicated and will be determined by what is observed over the coming weeks and months. Phase three includes restaurants and bars at fifty percent capacity, childcare facilities up to a maximum of fifteen children, remaining personal services, as well as gyms and fitness centres. Phase five will be recreation and entertainment facilities as well as seasonal programs. In the final stage, stage six, we will see the lifting of long-term restrictions such as travel.

For many, the plan brings a sense of relief and a hope that we will be back to “business as usual” sooner than later, but for others, it brings a fear that we might be moving too quickly. Moe made it clear that the Province will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and will pull back, if necessary, during any of the phases. It was also made clear that we should each do our part by continuing to practice physical distancing, exercising good hygiene habits and monitoring ourselves for symptoms.

Although only time will tell what the future of Saskatchewan will look like, the Premier made it clear that now is the time for our Province to begin to move forward with caution. We have certainly shown that when we band together, we are resilient and willing to do what it takes to flatten the curve. We can now work together to navigate each of the five phases of the reopen Saskatchewan Plan for the betterment of our people and of our economy.

To stay up to date on COVID-19 situation in Saskatchewan please visit the provincial government’s website.

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