Saskatchewan

Sask. playgrounds and beaches can reopen on June 12

Saskatchewan is allowing playgrounds and beaches to reopen as of Friday.

Beachgoers asked to keep two metres from those outside their groups

Beaches and playgrounds will be open around the province this Friday. (Matt Howard/CBC)

Saskatchewan is allowing playgrounds and beaches to reopen as of Friday.

"Hopefully it's a great weekend, so families can enjoy some time at the beach or at a playground," Premier Scott Moe said Monday.

Prior to Monday, there had not been any date placed on when beaches and playgrounds would be allowed to reopen. Recently, parents were asking when the province would allow more activities for children in its reopen plan.

Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said Monday that he witnessed parents' frustration first-hand this past weekend.

"I saw a bit of a toddler playground rebellion. I saw some parents actually cutting away the tape in and around the city, putting the toddlers onto swings. I think there's a lot of frustration," he said.

Shahab said people should "give space" on the beach, grass or in the water once the playgrounds and beaches are open.

Parks and outdoor playground guidelines

The Saskatchewan government has posted its guidelines for parks and outdoor playgrounds. They include:

  • People not from the same household or extended household should maintain two metres of physical distancing at all times. 
  • People who are sick are asked to stay home.
  • Gathering limits must be followed.
  • Do not share toys or sports equipment between groups.
  • Wash hands before and after visiting a playground.
  • Washrooms will be opened. Water fountains will be off.
Playgrounds in Saskatchewan have been off limits for more than two months. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

Beach guidelines 

The province also posted its guidelines for beaches around the province:

  • Stay home if sick.
  • Different groups must maintain a physical distance of two metres outdoors, indoors, on the beach and in the water.
  • Towels and beach gear should be set up with four metres between groups to allow physical distancing.
  • Groups must remain within the gathering limit.
  • Do not share towels, food or toys between groups.
  • Beaches that are controlled should enforce a maximum occupancy.
  • Public washrooms will be open.

Sports season may look very different

The province has yet to announce any guidelines around organized sports for the summer, but it indicated last week the earliest that organized sports could take place would be Phase 4.

On Monday, Dr. Shahab seemed to rule out teams travelling for sports this summer.

"The guidance that is going to be developed is going to allow training within a certain group — the same group getting together to train. It may allow some cohorting if there's play allowed within one or two teams within the same area," Shahab said.

He said teams travelling through the province or inter-provincially would be unlikely because there were transmission events in March linked to these types of interactions.

"We really can't see [travelling] happening as we go forward, as long as there is a pandemic."

About the Author

Adam Hunter

Journalist

Adam Hunter is the provincial affairs reporter at CBC Saskatchewan, based in Regina. He has been with CBC for 12 years. He hosts the CBC podcast On the Ledge. Follow him on Twitter @AHiddyCBC. Contact him: adam.hunter@cbc.ca

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