'Good old Sask. Common sense': Province reminds public of outdoor gathering limit amid mild streak
REGINA -- Unseasonably warm temperatures over the weekend saw many Regina residents turn to outdoor activities, but in some situations the crowds exceeded the outdoor gathering limit put in place by the province.
Outdoor private and public gatherings are both limited to 30 people maximum. However, it’s not clear how the government is supposed to enforce those numbers, especially in public and unorganized gathering places.
“Social distancing is extremely important. I understand that can be challenging on the toboggan hills because there’s usually a bunch of crashes at the bottom,” said Minister of Health Paul Merriman. “We would ask people just throw on a mask while they’re doing this to keep themselves warm and also for the public health.”
Merriman said people should use their own judgment if they see a crowded place.
“It all comes down to adhering to the public health guidelines and using some good old Saskatchewan common sense. If there’s a lot of people crowded in an area maybe that’s not an area that any individual should be in,” Merriman said.
The NDP said the message from the province needs to be clearer.
“Certainly much clearer than what we’ve seen from the premier and the health minister to this point around keeping bubbles small,” Carla Beck, NDP MLA, said.
TOUGH FOR OUTDOOR BUSINESSES
Outdoor activity businesses, like Mission Ridge Ski Hill, have invested significant resources into making sure their facilities follow the government guidelines around physical distancing.
“We spent an immense amount of time and subsequent money preparing for this,” said Anders Svenson, the business manager of Mission Ridge.
The ski hill is hoping to open Dec. 19, but needs cooler temperatures and more snowfall. Under current restrictions, they’ll be limited to 150 people, including staff, when they do open.
Unlike provincial parks and public spaces that aren’t monitoring physical distancing, Mission Ridge has staff in place to enforce that.
“[They’ll be] monitoring it will be every day,” Svenson said. “It’ll be at every point, it’ll be everywhere. [However] on an unrestricted outdoor activity, there’s no one there to police it.”