On March 20th, the Chief Medical Health Officer imposed a public health measure that all travellers returning from international destinations - including the United States – are subject to a mandatory self-isolation order. Violation of this order may result in a $2,000 fine.
The federal government and Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer recommend returning to Canada and avoiding non-essential international travel until further notice.
On March 18, 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan declared a provincial state of emergency that included the following measure:
Residents are advised to limit any non-essential travel outside of Saskatchewan, with the exception of people who live in border communities and are commuting for work.
Read the full news release here.
If you are currently outside of Canada, commercial transportation options may be more limited. You should identify commercial or personal options still available and consider returning to Canada earlier than planned.
When you return to the province after a period of time in another country, including the United States, it is mandatory to take the following measures:
- Self-isolate for 14 days.
- Self-monitor for respiratory or flu-like symptoms for 14 days.
- Consider preparations you can make in advance to ensure your comfort during this 14-day period.
- Avoid visiting a long-term care facility or hospital.
- Call HealthLine 811 if you develop respiratory or flu-like symptoms.
- For general questions on travel recommendations and prevention measures, email COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca.
Avoid situations where there is potential to spread infection to others (work, school, sporting events, public places and social, cultural or religious gatherings).
If you have a pressing need and must leave your home, wear a surgical mask.
Learn more about self-isolation.
Pay attention to any new symptoms and changes in your body temperature. Make sure you are taking your temperature correctly.
Avoid crowded spaces and vulnerable people.
Have a plan to quickly self-isolate if you develop symptoms.
Learn more about self-monitoring.
Medical Coverage Outside of Canada
Extra medical insurance is recommended when residents travel internationally. Health service costs are often much higher than in Saskatchewan. If a Saskatchewan resident receives emergency medical or hospital care while outside Canada, they are responsible for paying the difference between the amount charged and the amount the Ministry of Health reimburses.
Please note: Saskatchewan Health provides limited coverage for emergency care outside of Canada. You are covered for only $100 (CAN) per day for inpatient services and up to $50 (CAN) for an outpatient hospital visit.
As COVID-19 is not a pre-existing medical condition, treatment may be covered by most travel insurance policies. However, that may change as insurers update their policies. Please check with your insurance company.
If you have questions about your Saskatchewan health coverage, call eHealth Saskatchewan at 1-800-667-7551.
There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians 65 and over, and those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions.
Staying in a Hotel After Travelling
For those returning from international travel, you can stay in a hotel as long as you do not have any respiratory symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath). While staying at a hotel, you should take every precaution to protect yourself against the virus through:
- practising proper coughing and sneezing etiquette (into the bend of your elbow);
- washing your hands often with soap and water (if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer);
- avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- avoiding close contact with people who are sick; and
- avoiding large crowds and practising social distancing (do not shake hands, hug or kiss, keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths from others).
If you are feeling ill during travel, you must avoid staying at a hotel and contact local public health authorities for direction.
Advice for Taxi Drivers
Taxi and rideshare drivers should consider taking extra precautions to prevent the transmission and spread of COVID-19, which may include the following:
- Only transport one fare at a time.
- Consider asking about symptoms of COVID-19 before picking up passengers.
- Limit contact with passengers (e.g. have them load and unload packages and suitcases themselves).
- Restrict passengers to the back seats only.
- Direct passengers to place luggage in the trunk rather than on seats.
- Encourage passengers to use alternative payment methods such as credit cards to limit cash handling.
- Plan to clean and disinfect your vehicle as often as possible and pay close attention to surfaces frequently touched by passengers.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer which contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Drivers should self-monitor for symptoms and use the self-assessment tool if needed.