Learn more about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. Daily case numbers and information for businesses and workers.

The Re-Open Saskatchewan plan was released on April 23rd.

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Banquets and Conference Facilities Guidelines

For general workplace guidelines, please refer to COVID-19 Workplace Information. The guidelines below are intended to provide information on banquet, meeting or social gatherings taking place in community halls, private rooms in restaurants, convention centres, conference and hotel meeting rooms, and other indoor venues.

It is important to note that these guidelines have been developed at a time where virus transmission rates have been reasonably low and manageable. However, should transmission rates increase and outbreaks become more widespread, more rigorous mitigation measures may be necessary, including the possibility of restricting or cancelling gatherings and events. Organizers are strongly encouraged to consider this possibility during the planning phase.


1. General Guidance

  • COVID-19 spreads from person to person, most commonly through respiratory droplets (generated by coughing, sneezing, laughing, singing, shouting or talking) during close interactions (i.e. within two metres). The virus can also spread when people touch surfaces containing the virus and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes without washing their hands.
  • Individuals who are ill or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild, must stay home and not participate in gatherings or events.
  • Seniors and those who have compromised immune systems or other underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19. Anyone who belongs to a higher risk group should consider joining gatherings remotely (e.g. via video calls, live streams) or take extra precautions, such as wearing a mask, for in-person gatherings.
  • Gathering size per banquet/conference room must comply with the public gathering restrictions as per the current public health order.
  • The person organizing the gathering or the owner/operator of the facility is responsible for ensuring these guidelines are followed. It is strongly encouraged that attendees, staff and volunteers be familiar with the guidelines.
  • Alcohol consumption reduces inhibition and could result in actions and behaviours that increase the risk of transmission. The organizer or operator of the facility must provide close and ongoing supervision of the function to ensure physical distancing requirements are met.
  • Limit the duration of the event. Encourage patrons to arrive as close to the scheduled event time and, where possible, proceed directly to their seats. Attendees should leave immediately following the event/gathering to discourage gathering in common areas.
  • Greetings that require close physical contact, such as handshakes, high fives, fist bumps and hugs, should be discouraged.
  • Microphones should not be shared by multiple people and must be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • Coat checks are not recommended at this time.
  • Dance floors and karaoke are not currently permitted.
  • Live DJs are permitted, but must ensure physical distancing at all times. Written requests cannot be accepted at this time.
  • Singing and shouting can spread droplets further than regular conversation and present an increased risk.
    • Live music, including singing, woodwind, and brass instruments, should be separated from patrons and other performers by a distance of four metres and/or a physical barrier.
    • Other musicians (e.g. guitar or percussion players) and performers are permitted with two metres of separation.
    • Performers must use their own microphones.
    • Performers from the same extended household are not required to be physically distant from each other, but must be separated from patrons and performers from outside of their extended household.
    • Music should be played at a moderate volume to prevent shouting.
  • The facility must be equipped with adequate ventilation to minimize risks associated with indoor environments.
  • Adequate handwashing and washroom facilities must be available.
  • Cashless or no-contact payment should be used as much as possible, with physical distancing being observed at all times.
  • A response plan should be in place in case a patron or staff/volunteer develops COVID-19 symptoms while at the venue.

2. Physical Distancing

  • Groups from different banquet/conference rooms must not mingle with each other.
  • Public and staff, with the exception of household and extended household contacts, must maintain a minimum physical distance of two metres from others in all areas.
  • Seating areas are subject to the following:
    • Physical distancing is required between individuals with the exception of household and/or extended household groups.
    • Leave alternating rows empty and provide signage where necessary.
    • Events and gatherings with seating should have assigned seating, where possible. Where table seating is provided, limit seating to six individuals per table, with two metres between tables.
  • Event and gathering organizers must establish facility/area plans that include visual markers, such as cordons, floor markers, signage, etc., to encourage and support proper physical distancing. Areas of concerns include common areas, seating, walkways and washrooms.
  • Avoid activities that do not allow physical distancing, such as party games or crowding together for photographs.
  • If physical distancing at a gathering/event is not possible or is unpredictable, attendees should wear a non-medical mask (e.g. cloth or other material).

3. Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Maintain a cleaning schedule and ensure staff are adequately assigned and trained for additional cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection duties to help reduce transmission of COVID-19.
  • Develop and implement procedures for increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas, common areas, and washrooms. Refer to the Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines for further information.
  • Frequently touched surfaces (e.g. washrooms, door handles, chairs and counters) should be cleaned and disinfected frequently with an approved disinfectant.
  • Disinfectants must be approved by Health Canada (DIN) and be used according to label instructions, including contact time.
  • Ensure disposable towels and spray cleaners, or disposable wipes, are available to workers, and (as necessary) patrons to regularly clean commonly used surfaces.
  • Garbage bins should be emptied frequently.

4. Hand Hygiene

  • Event/gathering organizers must promote and facilitate frequent and proper hand hygiene:
    • Provide handwashing facilities where possible.
    • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).
    • Ensure there are stations available to maintain hand hygiene.
  • Staff and volunteers must wash hands frequently with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
  • Ensure washrooms are cleaned and disinfected with increased frequency, always well stocked with liquid soap and paper towels, and that warm running water is available.
  • Organizers are strongly encouraged to post information around the event/gathering area that remind attendees to practise respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene (e.g., entrances, washrooms and staff rooms).

5. Food Services

  • Food services that are licensed under The Food Safety Regulations (i.e. restaurants, hotel banquet facilities, mobile food vendors) are subject to the requirements contained in the Restaurants and Licensed Establishments Guidelines.
  • No buffet style or self-service foods or beverages are permitted. Plated service only.
  • Single portions and pre-packaged foods may be provided.
  • Common touch items are not permitted. This includes self-serve beverages (including mix and ice), napkins, utensils and condiments.
  • Provide single-serve refreshments only.
  • Close drinking fountains. Water bottle filling stations are acceptable if appropriately and frequently sanitized.

6. Guidelines for Employees

  • Whenever possible, staff must maintain two metres of separation from other staff and customers. However, physical distancing in certain work environments may be difficult, such as kitchens. If staff are unable to maintain two metres away from co-workers, other actions may be necessary, including self-monitoring of personal health, supervision by Infection Prevention and Control or Occupational Health and Safety staff in the workplace or implementing other protective measures, such as:
    • Staggering activities to limit the number of staff in a confined area during the same period.
    • Moving activities to another room, whenever possible. For example, separating duties into unused spaces may be an option for preparation and packaging.
    • Altering shift and break times to minimize the number of staff working in close quarters.
    • Using markings or dividers in the kitchen to ensure physical distancing.
    • Considering directional arrows on the floor in the kitchen to control the flow of traffic, and clearly mark exit and entrance doors from the kitchen to service areas.
    • Wearing personal protective equipment.
  • Proper and frequent hand hygiene by staff is a vital component in preventing the transmission of illnesses. Ensure staff are practising proper hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette, including:
    • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Using hand sanitizer only when appropriate in a food service situation.
    • Only using hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN).
    • Avoiding touching their faces, mouths, noses and eyes.
    • Coughing or sneezing into a tissue, then immediately disposing of the tissue and washing hands. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into the elbow – not the hands.
  • Servers, hosts and other staff not able to maintain two metres of distance from customers must wear a non-medical mask (e.g. cloth or other materials) or procedure/surgical mask.
  • It is recommended that older staff/seniors or those with a weakened immune system wear a procedure/surgical mask.
  • Glove use is not required nor recommended. If staff are using gloves, they must be changed after every interaction, as well as when changing tasks. Hand hygiene must be performed between every glove change. This includes handwashing with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN).
  • All workers, especially those in constant contact with the public, should self-monitor for symptoms and use the Government of Saskatchewan’s self-assessment tool for COVID-19 and follow the subsequent directions.
  • It is recommended that facilities review their employee illness policies to ensure staff are able to remain home when ill (as is required). Facilities are encouraged to have plans in place for increased worker absences due to illness or isolation.
  • Workplaces should have a workplace illness policy. If policies do not exist or are not in line with COVID-19 recommendations, workplaces should ensure that all sick employees must stay home or be sent home from work.
  • If employees go home sick, their work areas and any areas they had contact with must be cleaned and disinfected.

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