More details on Phase 3; includes outdoor gatherings, religious services

A few more details were provided about Phase 3 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan at the daily COVID-19 news conference in Regina.

A target date of June 8 has been set, and some details were provided about the expansion of gathering sizes on that date. Gathering sizes have been set at 15, but upwards of 30 people are being allowed for outdoor gatherings.

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That would allow for such gatherings as outdoor weddings or graveside memorial services. Dr. Saqib Shabab, chief medical health officer, advised that this still meant keeping physical distancing and making sure you did not go if you were unwell, and to take precautions around those who are elderly and had risk factors. Buffet-style food service can be “problematic,” he added.

Dr. Shahab said we should “continue to apply the knowledge we all gained over the past two or three months in planning outdoor gatherings.” He added that while Phase 2 seems to be going smoothly, there were reports of crowding in businesses and action in an aisle that should not be happening.

Places of worship have been added to Phase 3 and Premier Scott Moe said discussion with leaders in the faith-based communities on how to safely expand worship activities would happen in the coming days.

Dr. Shahab said they would be looking at ways to ensure physical distancing, and to not have items handed back and forth. Where singing is involved, “then maybe there needs to bigger separation, because talking, shouting, singing, crying, all these things increase transmission risk.”      

Premier Moe was asked why there was no decision on resuming the legislature as part of Phase 3. Moe responded that was a separate discussion that is going on among respective house leaders of the two parties.

“The option we have put forward is the most comprehensive opportunity for budgetary and legislative scrutiny of any option put forward in this nation,” Moe said. It was the preference of the government to pass a budget and “have it have the legislative scrutiny it deserves,” he said.    


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