No Easter family gatherings unless you live together, Sask. government says

The Saskatchewan government is asking people not to gather with family this Easter weekend to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Province suggests hosting virtual holiday gatherings instead

The provincial government says Easter meals and gatherings should be limited to people living under the same roof. (Micki Cowan/CBC)

The Saskatchewan government is asking people not to gather with family this holiday weekend to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It is encouraging people to "host a virtual gathering" instead of meeting in-person for Easter celebrations.

In addition to the upcoming Easter weekend, the Passover holiday begins this week. 

The government included the directive around family gatherings in its COVID-19 case update Tuesday afternoon.

Here is what the province is asking:

  • Restrict in-person holiday gatherings to only people living in the same home.
  • Beat the pre-holiday rush and purchase your Easter dinner groceries ahead of time.
  • Remember that only one person from a household should go shopping.  Make a list so you can quickly purchase your goods.
  • Always practise preventative measures — frequent hand-washing and physical distancing.

The most recent provincial public health order restricts gatherings to no more than 10 people in the same room. Chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab has said people should not visit family and friends in person.

"Some of the largest outbreaks in Canada occurred in the home setting, where people have gathered together and shared a meal," Shahab said at a news conference on March 27.

On Monday, Premier Scott Moe urged people to continue practising physical distancing and good hand hygiene.

"What we are doing is working. Together we are reducing the spread. We are flattening the curve," Moe said.

"So once again, I say to all of the people in Saskatchewan, thank you for your efforts. You are making a difference and you are saving lives. But we need to continue. We need to keep going."

NDP Leader Ryan Meili said people should resist the urge to get together, as hard as that may be.

"The COVID-19 virus is out there. Many people [who] have it don't know that they have it," Meili said

"It can be passed on without symptoms. So even if everyone in your family says they're just fine, it's not the time to come together and celebrate Easter."

Meili encouraged people to meet via video or over the phone.

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