Canada

Saskatchewan reopening step 2 starts June 20, but 20K more first doses needed to end restrictions

Saskatchewan businesses have adapted and found new ways to adjust to COVID-19 measures.

Now they’re getting ready for fewer restrictions as the province enters step two on June 20.

Looser measures mean gatherings in large spaces can have as many as 150 people and restaurants won’t be required to have table limits.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccination rates on the Prairies grow slowly after rush of ‘keeners’

“Being able to put more bums in seats certainly in the restaurants is going to help. Certainly more of those seats are available in the hotel sector (for things like) weddings, graduations, all of those different things that hotels are really dependent upon,” Hospitality Saskatchewan president Jim Bence said.

While they are gearing up for the changes coming for the next step of reopening, Saskatchewan hasn’t reached the threshold for step three yet.

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It can be triggered as early as June 20, which means more restrictions would be loosened by July 11.

Read more: COVID-19: Saskatchewan pushing first doses in bid to reach last reopening threshold

Part one of step three lifts almost all restrictions and requires 70 per cent of adults to receive the first COVID-19 shot.

As of June 18, 5,520 more people over 18 years old needed their first shot.

The second part would lift mask and gathering size restrictions.

In order to reach that, 70 per cent of everyone older than 12 needs their first shot.

Saskatchewan is short 20,169 first jabs to reach that mark.

Saskatchewan ramping up access to first dose vaccinations with more clinics

The team at Hairstyle Inn is used to being in close contact with people.

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Its general manager noted hair stylists are often in close quarters for a longer amount of time than essential workers.

But Laddie James said the industry, particularly in Saskatchewan, has adapted to keep customers and staff safe.

“I think this industry is a great example of where we’ve been able to remain open and work in those environments,” he told Global News.

Read more: COVID-19: Saskatchewan ramping up access to first dose vaccinations with more clinics

Even though they know the province will reach the point of removing the mask mandate at some point, the business hasn’t decided when it will make that call.

“The smart decision will be based on what’s the comfort of the public and how people are feeling at the time. We still don’t know what the outcome is going to be as we go through (step two),” James said.

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