'Enough is enough': Sask. premier threatens tougher penalties for not following COVID-19 restrictions
REGINA -- Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe had strong words for businesses and individuals who are not complying with the province’s public health measures.
"Enough is enough," Moe said during Tuesday’s provincial COVID-19 update. "It’s time for us to start enforcing those that are not following those measures."
Over the weekend, a video on social media showed individuals disregarding the current restrictions at The Tap in Regina. The bar and restaurant has since apologized, stating it was an isolated incident.
Crackers in Saskatoon has also come under fire after an outbreak at the bar was linked to 75 cases.
Restaurants and bars are currently limited to four people per table and three metres between tables, with no mingling between tables.
Moe said he does not want to enact more blanketed restrictions, instead suggesting a more targeted approach may be taken.
"They do need to be punished," he said. "I’ve asked public health to look at if there is other opportunities, in addition to fines, including closing these bad actors indefinitely."
Moe pointed to the sacrifices being made by youth in the province with sports shut down and called on the adults to follow suit.
"It’s time for all of us as adults to make the same sacrifice," he said.
NO MORE RESTRICTIONS COMING YET
The Government of Saskatchewan is staying the course with its current public health measures, despite the province leading the country in active cases per capita at 363 per 100,000 people.
As of Monday, Saskatchewan had 90 more active cases per 100,000 people than Alberta, who is second in Canada with 273.
It is expected Saskatchewan’s active numbers will drop significantly over the next few days as a backlog of recoveries are reconciled.
"Even after the adjustment, it’s likely our daily seven-day average and our active case [rate] will remain the highest in Canada," Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said.
The Opposition NDP remains concerned about the Government’s unwillingness to provide a clear next step for the province.
"When we don’t hear from the Premier what happens when we cross a certain line – rate of transmission or number of cases – what restrictions will come later, it makes it much, much harder to support communities," NDP Leader Ryan Meili said.
The current public health measures are in place until Jan. 29 and while more restrictions are not expected before then, the Premier and Dr. Shahab both said they are closely monitoring the hospitalization numbers in the province, which sit near record high levels.