When will football return to Sask.? Too soon to tell, province says
REGINA -- It will still be months before Saskatchewan sees entertainment and major sporting events return to the province.
Phase three of the government’s plan includes re-opening gyms and fitness facilities. However, larger recreational events and facilities, like swimming pools and athletic activities, won’t resume until phase four. The second last phase still limits gatherings at 30 people.
As a result, major sporting events, including the CFL, could be months away, give the dangers presented by COVID-19 in large crowds.
“Where there’s shouting, singing, laughing, crying, hugging or other close contact, we already know transmission happens very quickly,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer.
The CFL has already said it won’t resume any earlier than July 1 and will be following government guidelines on when to begin the regular season. Premier Scott Moe says the dates for sporting events are yet to be determined.
“That would be a conversation that we will continue to have with all those that are interested in having that conversation, whether it be with the CFL or other sporting leagues,” Moe said.
Mosaic Stadium, which hosts a significant number of these events, will stay closed indefinitely according to the City of Regina.
“No timeline for that,” said Mayor Michael Fougere. “The premier spoke about larger public gatherings like concerts and in this case CFL games, there’s a lot of work to be done between now and that time.”
Three Country Thunder Events in the United States have been postponed, including Iowa on Thursday. Whether or not the show goes on in Saskatchewan in early July is still up in the air.
“We’re dealing with this the same way everybody else is dealing with everything. Day by day hour by hour week by week,” said Gerry Krochak, Country Thunder’s director of marketing and media. “I don’t know, we don’t know, hopefully we’ll be able to do something by mid-July but we don’t know.”
Krochak adding the festival will move forward as the government makes more decisions.
Moe re-iterated it’s too soon to make any decisions regarding the timeline for the later phases.
“It’s just too early for us to make any determinations with respect to whether or not those types of gatherings with that number of people would be allowed to carry on,” he said.
Shahab says Saskatchewan has already seen examples where one infectious person transmitted COVID-19 to 10 to 20 individuals at large events, which is why the government says it will continue to put a cap on gatherings.