Canadian News Apr 23, 2020 4:58 PM EST

BREAKING: Saskatchewan to reopen starting May 4

Moe announced that over the next several weeks, restrictions would be gradually lifted, adding more types of businesses to the "allowable businesses" list, granting businesses the ability to reopen if they choose.

BREAKING: Saskatchewan to reopen starting May 4
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe revealed the province's plan to reopen the province from the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic in what is simply called the "Reopen Saskatchewan Plan."

"Today we are announcing our plan to gradually and cautiously and methodically reopen businesses and public services that were forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Moe.

Moe said that many of the rules and restrictions around travelling, physical distancing would still stay in effect.

"It's a plan that will be conducted in phases," said Moe, with each phase being closely monitored.

Moe said that contact tracing and testing will continue during the province's reopening.

Moe stressed that a middle ground had to be found that keeps cases of the virus low throughout the province, while still allowing businesses to reopen.

Moe announced that over the next several weeks, restrictions would be gradually lifted, adding more types of businesses to the "allowable businesses" list, granting businesses the ability to reopen if they choose.

All businesses and public venues will be required to continue following good physical distancing and hygiene.

Moe said that customers will be expected to follow physical distancing rules, and to stay home if feeling unwell, or showing any symptoms.

Business will be required to follow a list of regulations that has been compiled in a file called the Reopen Saskatchewan Plan, which can be found on the province's COVID-19 website.

Restrictions will be lifted in phases.

Phase one will begin on Monday, May 4, allowing medical services such as dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and occupational therapists, will be allowed to open.

Medical service providers will be required to take precautionary measures, such as the use of gloves and face masks when physical distancing is not possible.

"We recognize that it is possible that some of these providers may not be immediately able to deliver all of the services that they normally would," said Moe.

Moe also announced that "some" outdoor activity would be allowed to open, with restrictions over the next few weeks.

Parks will be open for boating and fishing on May 4, among other camping activities, which will be capped at 50 percent capacity.

Phase two is set to launch just after the May long-weekend. This phase will allow retail stores, and some personal services, to reopen. Retail stores include clothing stores, shoe stores, flower shops, sporting goods stores, and electronic stores, said Moe.

Personal services allowed in phase two will include: hair dressers, barber shops, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and more.

Moe said that protocols that were adopted by businesses that remained open would be applied to the newly re-opened stores, such as increased disinfecting and social distancing in lines.

Phase three will see the majority of other businesses reopening. Phase three will be implemented following a checklist and evaluation of the first two phases. This would include restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness facilities, childcare centers, and more, which would be capped at 50 percent capacity for restaurants and licensed bars.

"We have flattened the curb. Even as these businesses have remained open over the course of the last couple of months," said Moe. "This gives us confidence that Saskatchewan business can reopen."

Moe said that all interprovincial travel will be highly discouraged, with some of the larger outbreaks having to do with travellers and large public gatherings.

The restrictions of public gatherings will remain, with them being capped at 10 people.

All long term care facilities will stay under the current provisions.

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