Out-of-province shoppers welcome in Yorkton following increased Manitoba COVID-19 restrictions
YORKTON, SASK. -- Yorkton serves as a hub for shoppers in surrounding rural communities and seeing a Manitoba plate in the Parkland is not out of the ordinary on any given day.
"Somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 people we look after for a city that is 18,000, so the big box stores are a big draw and we're very lucky to have shoppers come to town," Mitch Hippsley, the mayor of Yorkton, said.
Mayor Hippsley said shoppers are always welcome and encouraged, but the concern surrounding rising COVID-19 cases across the border is not lost on him.
"We just hope that they will follow the code of health law as in social distancing and masks and hand sanitizing and that goes without saying," Hippsley added.
The Yorkton Business Improvement District (YBID) echoes the city on its stance by encouraging Manitoba residents to shop local and follow health guidelines.
Manitoba saw new restrictions for the in-person purchasing of non-essential items come into effect on Monday with clothing, electronics and toys are just some of the items to fall under the non-essential umbrella.
"The right to shop is not as important as the right life," said Brian Pallister, the premier of Manitoba, at a press conference.
Some business owners in Yorkton are not worried about the potential influx of out-of-province shoppers these restrictions may bring.
These owners were not willing to comment on-camera, but the ones CTV News spoke to said these shoppers have been coming in to their stores for decades and come from communities with little to no cases.
While inter-provincial travel is permitted between the two provinces, public health recommends it be limited if possible.
“Residents of other provinces coming to Saskatchewan should observe all public health measures, including physical distancing and restrictions on the maximum number of people allowed to gather,” the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health said, in a statement to CTV News.