Sask. restricts gathering sizes, masks now mandatory in public spaces

Days after increasing COVID-19 health measures, Saskatchewan has changed measures again, mandating masks in all public spaces and reducing gathering sizes.

The province announced the changes Nov. 17, just one day after changes announced last week went into effect. 

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Masks will be required in all public spaces beginning immediately throughout the province - the provincial government last week announced a mask mandate for all communities near Saskatchewan's three provinces or communities over 5,000 people. 

All indoor gatherings in private gatherings will be limited to five guests, down from previous provincial restrictions which allowed for 10. Families of five members or greater will not be allowed to have additional visitors, with the province discouraging any gatherings outside the household of any size. Support personnel, construction workers and tradespeople will still be allowed to work in client's homes, provided they wear a mask and maintain a two-metre distance from residents. Outdoor private gatherings will be capped at 30 people maximum - as they were under previous health orders - as long as all attendees can keep two metres of distance.

All visits to long-term care facilities and personal care homes will be suspended, with exceptions possible for compassionate reasons. 

The province also advised people to work from home as much as possible if their job allows.

Health ministry officials will meet soon with hospitality industry representatives to determine guidelines for bars, casinos, restaurants and similar businesses, along with similar meetings with athletic organizations, gyms and trainers as well as faith leaders. New rules were also put in place for what the province called "entertainment transportation" - party buses, limos and the like, which were previously not covered by provincial plans. These businesses have been closed by provincial decree until further notice.

Saskatchewan announced 240 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, the second-highest number of new cases reported in one day in the province since the pandemic began.

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