Canadian province of Saskatchewan cuts large store capacities due to COVID-19

Rod Nickel
·1 min read
Paramedics in Winnipeg

By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Saskatchewan on Wednesday said it would restrict capacities of large stores and certain other public places as it aims to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The province said stores of larger than 20,000 square feet must reduce customer access to 50% capacity, restaurants and bars must limit seating to four per table and casinos, theaters and arenas must limit attendance to 30 people, effective on Friday.

Saskatchewan will require students and staff to wear masks in schools.

Saskatchewan, like all western provinces, has seen rising cases in recent weeks. Unlike provinces that have locked down like Manitoba, where the spread is worse, Saskatchewan and Alberta have largely avoided closing businesses and services because of the economic damage it would cause.

"A much better approach for us is to find ways to operate and do it more safely," Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said.

Saskatchewan, whose economy depends on farming, mining and oil drilling, has the third-highest rate of active cases among the 10 provinces.

Canada has reported 342,444 total cases of COVID-19 and 11,618 deaths.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; additional reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)