Sask. businesses and services exercise caution as reopening Phase 4.2 begins
Most recent step in Sask.'s reopening started Monday
Monday marks the start of Phase 4.2 of Saskatchewan's reopening plan. Libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres and live theatres throughout the province are now allowed to welcome people back.
Despite the permission, many businesses and services are staying closed or remote-only at this point.
Saskatoon and Regina public libraries are now allowing curbside pickup and material returns, but they are not ready to reopen to the public yet.
Regina Public Library director and CEO Jeff Barber said they need more time to implement safety protocols such as quarantining library materials for 72 hours between uses, reworking floor plans to maintain physical distancing, monitoring how many people are in the building at a given time and figuring out how to allow people to browse the stacks.
"Typically at RPL over 80 per cent of our circulation materials is actually from browsing," Barber said.
"It sounds a little innocuous but actually, yes, it is a significant challenge for us to set that up in a safe way, according to the protocols for how people move and work in a library."
While Saskatoon Public Libraries are hoping to offer limited access to their facilities and some deliveries soon, they have not yet set a date.
Movie theatres and live theatres are now allowed to operate at a maximum of 30 per cent of their normal capacity, up to 150 people per room, so long as physical distancing can be maintained.
Theatre companies like Globe Theatre in Regina or Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon, who cancelled their remaining seasons earlier in the pandemic, will be staying dark for months to come.
While live concerts have been adapting with distanced and drive-through formats, there is no word on when people will be coming back into venues for shows.
Cinemas are not opening in Saskatchewan Monday, but both Cineplex Inc. and Landmark Theatres will be reopening their Saskatchewan locations later this week on July 3rd.
Both capacity and food options will be reduced. At Cineplex, there will be popcorn, but no hot food.
Most movie studios have delayed the releases of new films that had been planned for summer 2020. Cineplex says patrons can expect to see late-2019 and early-2020 releases such as Bad Boys For Life and Jumanji: The Next Level.
Saskatoon's Roxy Theatre will be screening Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back on July 11 to celebrate the film's 40th anniversary.
Museums and galleries
Museums and galleries throughout the province are now permitted to reopen, but for many it is still a work in progress.
In Saskatoon, Remai Modern is preparing to reopen. Staff are coming back and implementing new safety measures. However, no date is set for when they will welcome the public back to the gallery space.
Joan Kanigan, CEO of the Western Development Museum, says the WDM's four locations will remain closed until they are confident all requirements are being met to the highest possible standard.
The gallery at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, which is currently undergoing a major construction and renovation project, will not reopen until Sept. 5.
Nutrien Wonderhub, the children's museum in Saskatoon, has opened summer camp registration. During the in-person camp sessions, which will begin on July 13, children will be able to "explore the museum, design and create cool projects in our fabulous Create Space, engage with exhibits [and] explore the outdoor world around Wonderhub."