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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sask. lifts all COVID-19 restrictions. Here’s what you need to know

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REGINA — Saskatchewan is free of all COVID-19 restrictions, including the mask mandate and limits on large gatherings, as of Sunday.

Saskatchewan residents have been asked to abide by pandemic-related restrictions for 16 months. Here’s what you need to know as the province moves into a new phase of addressing COVID-19:

MASK MANDATE

Masks are no longer mandatory in public spaces. Business owners and Occupational Health and Safety will individually determine policies at businesses.

Masks have been mandated in major Saskatchewan cities since Nov. 6., and province-wide since Nov. 17.

During the province’s last scheduled COVID-19 update on Wednesday, Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, asked residents to respect masking requirements.

Dr. Shahab also said it’s a good idea to still wear a mask in crowded settings around unfamiliar people.

BACK TO SCHOOL

The province said prekindergarten to Grade 12 schools will return to regular operations for the 2021-22 school year. Licensed child care facilities can also return to regular pre-pandemic operations on July 11.

The updated guidance also states that children under 12 cannot be vaccinated and remain at risk.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

Restaurants and bars are free to operate without restrictions. Previously, establishments were ordered to stop service at 10 p.m., and limit seating at tables.

The provincial state of emergency, which was put into place in March 2020, also ended Sunday.

CARE HOME VISITATION

Saskatchewan long-term care and personal care homes will be allowed to welcome back an unlimited number of visitors and family members for their residents.

The province said COVID-19 screening and rapid testing will remain in place for visitors at these facilities. Masks and physical distancing are strongly encouraged “especially if not fully vaccinated.”

Staff will also continue to take precautions, including masking, screening, rapid testing and using of personal protective equipment.

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