On June 16, 2020 the government of Saskatchewan released an updated version of Re-Open Saskatchewan (the "Plan"), the five-phase plan to slowly and responsibly lift restrictions on business and services.
The newly-revised version of the Plan contains information regarding safety procedures that are required to be followed by businesses that fall under phase four of the Plan. A more general overview of the Plan can be found in our blog here.
Phase 4 is divided into two separate subphases. Phase 4.1 is set to come into effect on June 22, 2020. Phase 4.1 allows for the re-opening of:
- Child and youth day camps;
- Outdoor pools and spray parks; and
- Seasonal/recreational outdoor sports and activities.
All businesses and activities that are set to reopen in phase 4.1 must adhere to guidelines that are generally applicable to all businesses. An overview of those guidelines can be found in our blog here. We note that the most recent provincial health order expressly states that events, activities, and outdoor spaces are required to adhere to relevant guidelines in the Plan.
As of the date of publication, indoor private and public gatherings of over 15 people are prohibited, and outdoor private and public gatherings over 30 people are prohibited except in the following circumstances where two-metre distancing between people can be maintained:
- Settings where people are distributed into multiple rooms or buildings, and workplaces; and
- Are a critical public service or an allowable business service.
In addition to following general guidelines, businesses and activities that are set to reopen as part of phase 4.1 are required to follow specific guidelines as outlined below.
Further, we note that there is an added civil law risk that arises from a business inviting members of the public onto its property when that business has not following required guidelines under the Plan. These issues should be carefully considered by business owners when considering their reopening plans. In this regard, please see our previous blog on Occupiers' Liability During COVID-19.
Child and Youth Day Camps
The Plan provides guidelines for the general operation of child and youth day camps. Examples of those guidelines include:
- A limit of 15 children per building space;
- Children and staff must stay in set groups and not mix with other groups; and
- If a day camp is located within another facility (e.g. special care or a personal care home) they are subject to the general restrictions of that facility.
The Plan also contains guidelines that are specific to the employees of day camps. Examples of those guidelines include:
- Staggering activities to limit the number of staff in a confined area;
- Wearing PPE; and
- Maintaining frequent and proper hand hygiene.
The Plan also contains guidelines for the cleaning and sanitation of day camps. Examples of those guidelines include:
- Maintaining a cleaning schedule;
- Increasing cleaning and disinfection of commonly contacted areas; and
- Decreasing the number of common use items available to children.
Further, the Plan also contains guidelines for program operators. Examples of those guidelines include:
- Closing drinking fountains
- No self-serve or family-style meal service;
- Considering the implementation of activities that require children to sit independently and distanced from each other.
Outdoor Sports and Activities Guidelines
The Plan provides guidelines for the general operation of outdoor group sports and activities. Examples of those guidelines include:
- Limiting group/team size to gathering limits as set by public health order;
- Teams are encouraged to train, practise and play/scrimmage within the team;
- Tournaments and inter-provincial travel for games and competitions are prohibited;
- Congratulatory gestures such as high-fives and handshakes are prohibited;
- Chewing tobacco, sunflower seeds, spitting, sharing beverage contains and other similar behaviours are not permitted; and
- Posting signage to caution players about the risks of COVID-19.
The Plan also provides guidelines for outdoor individual activities such as archery and gun ranges. Examples of those guidelines include:
- Increasing cleaning of common and high-touch surfaces;
- Prohibiting competitions or fundraising events;
- Suspending food and beverage services (with the exception of curbside pick-up and delivery); and
- Closing locker rooms.
Outdoor Aquatic Facilities
The Plan provides guidelines for all outdoor public swimming pools, including those that are operated by hotels and motels. The Plan contains a number of general guidelines for the use of aquatic facilities. Examples of those guidelines include:
- Proper and frequent hand hygiene;
- Posting signage to inform the public about COVID-19 precautions and restrictions; and
- Installing physical barriers and directional flow markings.
The Plan also contains guidelines that are specific to facility operators. Examples of those guidelines include:
- Requiring that aquatic facilities contact their local Saskatchewan Health Authority Public Health Inspection Office prior to re-opening;
- Limiting capacity to 100 people, subject to social distancing requirements;
- Closing whirlpools and hot tubs if physical distancing is not possible; and
- Closing saunas and steam rooms.
The Plan contains further detailed guidelines for the follow aspects of aquatic facilities:
- Lifeguarding and supervision;
- Diving boards, slides, play structures, toys and flotation aids;
- Change rooms;
- Seating areas;
- Classes, swimming lessons and training; and
- Splash pads, fill and drain paddling pools.
As outlined above, the Plan contains detailed requirements for businesses that are set to open under phase 4.1. The launch of phase 4.2 has not been released. Phase 4.2 will allow the following types of businesses and amenities to reopen:
- Indoor pools;
- Indoor rinks;
- Movie theaters;
- Casinos; and
- Bingo halls.
The MLT Aikins occupational health and safety and labour and employment team will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional updates on legal issues that may impact employers.
Originally published June 19, 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.