The Saskatchewan government says thanks to lowered risk of transmission in outdoor settings and a successful uptake of COVID-19 vaccination efforts, restrictions for outdoor sporting activities will soon ease.
The government has announced that outdoor sports have been added to Step One of its reopening strategy, which is set to start on May 30. Outdoor sports were originally included in Step Two of the province’s roadmap, which has a target date of June 20.
Outdoor sports competition and game play can proceed beginning May 30, however leagues will still have to follow certain requirements.
• Participants may not compete if they are feeling unwell.
• Players and coaches should be encouraged to screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to arriving to practice and play, using the self-assessment tool on the government’s website.
• League play is allowed to resume; however, tournaments are not permitted at this time. This will be revisited in Step Two of the Re-Opening Roadmap.
• No interprovincial travel. Teams competing in regional interprovincial leagues need to contact the Business Response Team prior to beginning play.
• Capacity must be in compliance with the public health order for public outdoor gatherings for each playing surface or game area. Public outdoor gatherings are set to expand to a limit of 150 people on May 30 as part of the Re-Opening Roadmap. Common areas, such as those where there are multiple playing surfaces, must also be in compliance with gathering limits in the public health order.
• Individual and protective equipment should not be shared. When helmets and bats or other equipment are shared, cleaning and disinfecting must occur between each use.
• Commonly touched equipment used for game play (e.g. game ball, football) is routinely replaced or disinfected during the course of practice or play.
• Coaches, officials, umpires, referees and players who are not on the field are not required to wear masks outdoors under the public health order. However, masks may be worn if they are more comfortable with that layer of protection.
• No shaking hands, high-fives, etc.
• Spectators not from the same household should maintain two metres of physical distancing.
• Spectators must remain in designated areas. Masks are not required to be worn outdoors under the public health order, but they may be worn if spectators are more comfortable with that layer of protection.
• Hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN) or soap and water handwashing stations should be available for participants and spectators.
• No sharing of water bottles.
• Public washrooms, when available, are cleaned and disinfected regularly, and soap and water or hand sanitizer is available.
• Contact information of the coaches, officials and players should be recorded by the home team and maintained in order to assist with contact tracing for 30 days in the case of a confirmed case of COVID-19.
I am very happy to announce that outdoor team sports and sports leagues can resume play as part of Step 1 of our Re-Opening Roadmap, starting this Sunday, May 30th.
— Scott Moe (@PremierScottMoe) May 25, 2021
“Saskatchewan people have reduced the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated,” wrote Premier Scott Moe in a statement on Monday. “So, the next time you drive by a field of happy kids playing softball or football or soccer, please know that you made that possible. Saskatchewan people are putting those kids back on to the field by doing their part, by rolling up their sleeves and sticking it to COVID.”