Re-opening roadmap in Sask. looks like this

The Government of Saskatchewan today released the "Re-Opening Roadmap" - a three-step plan to gradually lift current public health restrictions as Saskatchewan reaches significant vaccination levels.  The Re-Opening Roadmap also provides Saskatchewan people with an incentive to continue following public health measures and a clear reason to get vaccinated.

"The road to the end of this pandemic runs through the vaccination clinics, and today we are providing Saskatchewan people with a clear roadmap of how we will get there and some important markers along the way," Premier Scott Moe said.  "This is not only a re-opening plan. It's also a plan to encourage people to get vaccinated and to keep following all the public health orders and guidelines.  Those are the two things we all need to do in order to move forward through the three steps of re-opening so we can enjoy a great Saskatchewan summer and get back to normal."

"As the provincial vaccination campaign continues and we see our way out of the pandemic event, all residents must continue those best practices to protect us all against transmission," Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said.  "Get vaccinated when it is your turn, mask whenever you are in an indoor public place outside your household, particularly in the workplace; keep your number of contacts low and restrict gatherings in accordance with public health measures; and get tested for even the mildest symptoms or if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19."

The Re-Opening Roadmap includes three steps based on vaccination thresholds, vaccine availability and timing between steps.  The thresholds are as follows:

Threshold

Current level

Step One

•Three weeks have passed since 70 per cent of people age 40 and above have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

•Vaccine eligibility open to all adults (18+) province-wide.

65%

of 40+

Step Two

•Three weeks have passed since 70 per cent of people age 30 have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

•Three weeks have passed since the beginning of Step One.

53%

of 30+

Step Three

•Three weeks have passed since 70 per cent of people age 18 and above have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

•Three weeks have passed since the beginning of Step Two.

44%

of 18+

 Based on the current pace of vaccinations, it is estimated that Saskatchewan could enter Step One about the last week in May, Step Two the third week in June and Step Three the second week in July.  These are estimates only.   Three weeks is used as a buffer between the threshold and the easing of public health measures as it is the length of time it takes for an individual to achieve the necessary immune response to a dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Provincial hospitalization rates will continue to be monitored throughout the re-opening.   If acute care pressures require, a re-opening step may be paused to respond to COVID-transmission trends at regional or provincial levels.

All current public health orders will remain in place until reviewed as part of implementing Step One.

Step One:

Step One of the re-opening roadmap will commence three weeks after 70 per cent of residents age 40 and above have received their first dose, and once vaccine eligibility has opened to all adults age 18 and older across the province.

Step One will see the cautious easing of public health measures across the province, including bringing Regina and the surrounding communities in line with public health orders that apply to the rest of the province.   Changes to public health orders in Step One will include:

•Restaurants and bars open, maximum of six at a table, two metres or structural barriers between tables, dance floors and buffets remain closed, VLTs may re-open;

•30 per cent of capacity or 150 people, whichever is less, at places of worship, with physical distancing between households;

•Group fitness classes involving intense training, like aerobics and spin, can resume, with three metres between participants;

•Current restrictions remain in place for retail, personal care services, event facilities, casinos, bingo halls, theatres, art galleries, libraries and recreational facilities;

•Current protocols remain in place for primary, secondary and post-secondary education and for childcare;

•Limit of 10 people at private indoor and outdoor gatherings, including household gatherings;

•Limit of 30 people at public indoor gatherings;

•Limit of 150 people at public outdoor gatherings; and 

•Current province-wide masking mandate remains in place.

Step Two:

Step Two of the re-opening roadmap will commence three weeks after 70 per cent of residents age 30 and above have received their first dose, with at least three weeks passing since the commencement of Step One.   Public health measures in Step Two are planned to be eased as follows:

•No capacity thresholds on retail and personal care services, must maintain an occupancy that allows for physical distancing;

•Restaurants and bars will have no table capacity thresholds, must maintain two metres of physical distancing or structural barriers between tables, dance floors and buffets remain closed;

•150-person maximum capacity at event facilities, casinos, bingo halls, theatres, art galleries, libraries and recreational facilities, must maintain an occupancy that allows for physical distancing, restaurant guidelines apply at venues that serve food;

•No change from Step One at gyms and fitness facilities, primary, secondary and post-secondary education and childcare;

•All remaining restrictions on youth and adult sports will be lifted;

•Limit of 15 people at private indoor gatherings, including household gatherings;

•Limit of 150 people at public indoor gatherings and private and public outdoor gatherings; and 

•Current province-wide masking mandate remains in place.

Step Three:

Step Three of the re-opening roadmap will commence three weeks after 70 per cent of residents age 18 and older have received their first dose, with at least three weeks passing since the commencement of Step Two.

In Step Three, most remaining restrictions will be lifted.   Guidance on gathering sizes and indoor masking will be developed based on the progress of the first two steps.   Public health orders from Step Two on gathering sizes and indoor masking will remain in place until that guidance is finalized.

Aggressive Vaccination Campaign to Continue 

Even after the vaccination thresholds are met, the province's aggressive vaccination program will continue at full pace until all Saskatchewan residents have the opportunity to be fully vaccinated. 

"Even after we hit these targets, we need to keep going to get as many people vaccinated as possible and everyone still needs to get their second dose so you are fully protected," Moe said.

"We need to achieve the highest vaccination rate possible to protect ourselves and those in our province who are unable to receive a vaccine," Shahab said.  "It's only a matter of a few weeks before we begin providing the second doses of our two-dose vaccines, providing full protection to Saskatchewan residents."

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