A new Public Health Order will come into effect at 12:01 AM Monday October 18 that will add some businesses and retail outlets now requiring Proof of Vaccination or Negative Test for public access.
New Additions to the Public Health Order Now Requiring POV or Negative Test
Proof of vaccination or a negative test will be required at point of entry to access:
- Seated dining in all restaurants including fast food restaurants;
- Liquor manufacturers conducting retail liquor sales; and
- Liquor stores with an integrated permit that also hold a liquor restaurant or tavern permit.
“Changes being made today come into effect on Monday. It gives those fast food restaurants that weren't already requiring proof of vaccination at the point of entry for their in-person dining a little bit of time to operationalize that,” said executive director of the business response team Ken Dueck.
A POV or negative test will not be required for food pick-up or delivery, at food courts or for entering a premises to use the washroom.
Proof of vaccination or a negative test will not be required for those using pick-up or delivery services, at food courts or entering a premise to use the washroom.
Although this public health order replaces the one that came into effect on Oct. 1, proof of vaccination or negative test is still required for most non-essential businesses and entertainment venues including:
- Restaurants, including restaurants in hotels or other lodgings;
- Nightclubs, bars, taverns, and manufacturer hospitality suites, buses and other establishments and transportation licensed by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority for the sale and service of alcohol;
- Liquor stores that have been issued standalone retail store permits issued by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority; and
- Cannabis stores that have been issued standalone retail store permits by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
Event and entertainment venues including:
- conference centres, meeting rooms and banquet facilities, except when being used for the purposes of a court or tribunal proceeding;
- bingo halls, casinos and other gaming establishments;
- live-music venues;
- fitness centres and gyms; and
- facilities hosting sporting events where tickets are required that have GST charged on the ticket.
So far, Dueck said the transition has been going smoothly for businesses and they haven’t had many issues with the verifier app.
“It hasn't been a real hot topic. In terms of the calls that we get on our 800 number for the business response team, it does seem to be that businesses are finding it relatively easy to use. I won't say that there aren't any calls about that,” he said.
Exemptions are still being made for the following businesses:
- retail businesses including grocery stores;
- businesses holding an integrated liquor retail store permit that do not also hold a tavern or restaurant permit issued by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority;
- businesses holding an integrated cannabis retail store permit issued by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority;
- places of worship (including weddings/funerals/wakes);
- personal services, health care services, professional services;
- public libraries;
- hotels or lodging including self-serve food options located within the hotel or other lodging;
- facilities hosting amateur sporting events, including youth athletics and recreational leagues;
- private gatherings at public venues (weddings/funerals/wakes/meetings); and
- private gatherings at private residences.
Acceptable for proof of vaccination includes a QR code/MySaskHealthRecord certificate as a screenshot or in the SK Vax Wallet app, a printed hard copy of MySaskHealthRecord certificate, wallet cards issued at the time of vaccination or a COVID-19 vaccination printout from public health.
Negative COVID-19 test results must be from within 72 hours. Self-administered take-home rapid antigen tests will be not accepted as proof of a negative test. A list of locations and labs offering testing services can be found here.
Enforcement of Public Health Orders
With the recent implementation of proof of vaccination/proof of negative testing requirements in the province, the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) and the Ministry of Health are adding resources and personnel to support Public Health Inspectors (PHIs). This will re-establish a team of trained individuals to assist in awareness, education and compliance of the current public health order.
These personnel will not be conducting inspections but will assist in responding to complaints of non-compliance with Public Health Orders. Once complaints are substantiated through investigation, members of this team may use their discretion to determine if a ticket will be issued or if education is enough to ensure that people are following the PHOs.
This team operated throughout the previous emergency order to assist in compliance with public health orders.
The public can continue to log their inquiries at 1-855-559-5502.