What to expect in Regina, Saskatoon as COVID-19 restrictions end Sunday

The municipal governments in both Regina and Saskatoon have made it clear that they will follow the guidance released by the province earlier this week.

Regina, Saskatoon to follow province's lead as COVID-19 restrictions lift

A woman wearning a mask is seen walking in Saskatoon in a July 2020 file photo. The City of Saskatoon and City of Regina both say they will lift mask restrictions entirely on July 11, when pandemic restrictions end across the province. (CBC/Radio-Canada)

The City of Saskatoon and the City of Regina have released their plans for what life will look like for residents once Saskatchewan's COVID-19 restrictions are lifted this Sunday. 

Both have made it clear that they will follow the guidance released by the province earlier this week

That means dropping requirements for masking and physical distancing in their community spaces and in municipal workplaces such as recreation centres, landfills, cemeteries, as well as in municipal buildings and municipal transit. 

The provincial government has said that businesses and organizations will be allowed to create their own policies around masking and that patrons should respect whatever decision is made. 

Both cities have decided on pulling the restrictions entirely on July 11, which includes removing them for municipal workers, except in some specific positions.

However, both cities say employees or residents can wear masks at municipal centres if that is what makes them feel comfortable. 

"People are welcome and it's optional, obviously, to wear masks," said Chris Holden, Regina's city manager, at a news conference on Thursday. "There's going to be a different level of comfort and safety in terms of how people respond."

The City of Saskatoon says it will continue the use of plexiglass barriers at city hall and other locations, while both cities say they will continue to employ increased cleaning procedures. 

Hand sanitizer will be available at municipal buildings.

Recreational facilities 

Regina says that it will drop all of its COVID-19 pre-registration requirements for drop-in activities at recreation centres as of July 11. 

However, don't expect every recreational centre to have its signage removed or be up to full speed by Sunday. 

The city says some facilities may need an additional 24 to 48 hours to fully restore pre-COVID-19 service levels. 

WATCH | What's the COVID-19 risk for unvaccinated kids under 12?

What’s the COVID-19 risk for unvaccinated kids under 12?

2 years ago
Duration 6:26

The City of Saskatoon is striking a similar tune. 

"In the next few weeks there will be many adjustments and I encourage residents to continue to be patient and kind with each other and city staff as we all move forward together again," said Pamela Goulden-McLeod, Saskatoon's director of emergency management organization.

Leisure centres and seasonal facilities will begin ramping up up to regular programming by the fall. 

Details are still being worked out and will be available by Aug. 6, once the city's leisure guide is published. 

Information regarding swimming lessons and other programming the requires registration will shared in the coming weeks, the city said. 

Drop-in program will immediately increase capacity as of Sunday. 

The city says that the Saskatoon Forestry Farm & Zoo will have most areas open without restrictions and one-way pathways on July 11. 

However, the children's zoo will remain closed at this time. 


Both cities say they are planning to return transit services to normal, or at least as normal as they are comfortable with. 

In Saskatoon, physical distancing at shelters and on the bus will no longer be promoted and all vehicles will begin operating at full capacity. 

Masks will now be considered optional on buses, for both riders and drivers, in both Saskatoon and Regina. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Masks will now be considered optional on buses, for both riders and drivers, and will no longer have to be worn at transit service centres. 

Transit drivers will be encouraged to use the vinyl barriers installed during the pandemic, but are no longer required to do so. 

In Regina, transit services have been operating at approximately 80 per cent of normal capacity during the pandemic. 

Operations will ramp up to 100 per cent by the start of September, the city said Thursday. 

Masks will no longer be required but buses will continue to be sanitized through fogging on a daily basis. 

Similar to Saskatoon, Regina transit buses were equipped with plastic shields to protect drivers.

The shields will remain in place but up to drivers whether to use them or not.

Holden confirmed the City of Regina will undertake a capital project to add shields on all buses on a permanent basis.