Mask mandate in effect September 17, vaccine mandate October 1 in Sask.
September 16, 2021, 2:24 pm
The Government of Saskatchewan is announcing new measures to address health care capacity pressures caused by rising case rates, primarily driven by the unvaccinated population.
Effective Friday, September 17, an interim province-wide mandatory masking order will be implemented for all indoor public spaces.
Effective October 1, a proof of vaccination or negative test requirement will be implemented for all provincial and crown employees.
Also effective October 1, a proof of vaccination or negative test requirement will be applied to several establishments, businesses and event venues.
Interim Provincial Mandatory Masking Order Effective September 17
Effective Friday, September 17, an interim public health order will be in effect requiring the use of non-medical masks in all indoor public spaces in Saskatchewan. The order is targeted to be lifted in late October at which time a full proof of vaccination or negative test requirement will have been fully implemented for approximately three weeks.
Indoor public spaces are any enclosed space other than a private home or dwelling. This may include workplaces, retail locations, recreational venues, eating and dining establishments and professional buildings. “Indoor public spaces” includes those areas of a business or venue that are restricted to staff only (areas where there is no access for the public).
Exempt from the masking order will be indoor youth athletics for those under the age of 18 while they are actively engaged in athletic activity. Masking in venues hosting youth athletics will remain required for general entry and exit into the facility, along with for spectators.
Wear your "best mask" properly.
Proof of Vaccination or Negative Test Requirements Effective October 1
Effective October 1, a proof of vaccination or negative test requirement will be implemented for all Government of Saskatchewan ministry, crown and agency employees.
Employees of all Government of Saskatchewan ministries, crowns and agencies will be required to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine by October 1.
Employees that do not provide proof of vaccination will be required to provide proof of a negative test result on a consistent basis. In conjunction with the Public Service Commission and Crown Investments Corporation, the Government of Saskatchewan will communicate the associated protocols to employees in the coming days.
The Government of Saskatchewan is also encouraging other employers, including School Divisions, to implement a similar proof of vaccination or negative-test requirement for employees in the workplace.
Effective October 1 a provincial requirement for proof of vaccination or negative test will be implemented for public access to a list of establishments, businesses and event venues that bring groups of people together, including:
Indoor dining at restaurants;
Nightclubs, bars, taverns and other licensed establishments;
Event and entertainment venues, including conference centres, casinos, movie theatres, concert venues, live-music venues, museums, and indoor facilities hosting ticketed sporting events;
Indoor fitness centres, and gyms.
Proof of vaccination will not be required for the following:
Retail businesses, including grocery stores;
Places of worship;
Fast food restaurants offering takeout and delivery;
Health care services, professional services, or personal services;
Hotels or other lodging;
Facilities hosting non-ticketed amateur sporting events, including youth athletics and recreational leagues;
Business meetings and places of business closed to the general public, unless otherwise directed by the business or employer;
Private gatherings held at an indoor public residence.
Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the proof of vaccination or negative test requirement.
To facilitate verifiable proof of vaccination, Saskatchewan's verifiable vaccination record will be launched on the week of September 20.
Implementation of the proof of vaccination requirement on October 1 will enable residents and facilities required to obtain proof of vaccination to download and become familiar with the provincial proof of vaccination verification platform.
Details including instructional materials on how to download and utilize the platform will be shared by the Ministry of Health prior to the launch of the verifiable vaccination record.
Protocols regarding proof of negative test requirements are currently under development for those residents opting to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and will include the provision of documentation demonstrating proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test provided by a certified healthcare provider, including private providers of COVID-19 tests.
Expanded Access to Rapid-Antigen Tests for Self-Administration
The Government of Saskatchewan will be working to immediately expand widespread access to rapid-antigen tests for home-based self administration screening. Widespread access to rapid-antigen tests for self-administration will provide residents with a screening tool as Saskatchewan experiences increased rates of COVID-19 transmission.
The Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement in conjunction with the Ministry of Health is working to procure and distribute rapid-antigen tests for widespread access. Residents will be able to obtain rapid-antigen tests for use as a self-administered screening tool from several locations operated by the Saskatchewan Health Authority and partner agencies. Locations will be published in the coming days as rapid-antigen tests are delivered.
Rapid-antigen tests are to be used only as a self-screening tool. The recommendation to seek PCR testing through the Saskatchewan Health Authority and stay home at the first-sign of any symptoms will continue.