Masks will be mandatory in any indoor public place in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert starting on Friday, but reaction to the public health order has been mixed in the Queen City.
Mia Danakas-Weinkauf, owner of Cravings All-Day Grill, feels mandatory masks is going to have a negative impact on her business.
"Not very good, at all, and I honestly can tell you a lot of businesses probably won’t make it," she told CTV News on Wednesday.
Danakas-Weinkauf is concerned that forcing her customers to wear masks will be difficult and drive them away.
"I can tell them that it is the law, you have to wear a mask, but there’s going to be many that are going to say, ‘we don’t feel comfortable wearing a mask,’" she said.
The mandatory mask order was put in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province. Saskatchewan has seen its active case numbers climb rapidly over the past month, going from a low of 138 on Oct. 7 to 799 on Wednesday.
Residents that spoke with CTV News in Downtown Regina understand concerns with wearing a mask, but believe the public health order is needed to slow the spread of the virus.
"I don’t like wearing a mask anymore than the next person, but if it’s going to keep us safe and let us celebrate Christmas with our families, I’ll take it," said one person.
"It’s not really that big of an encroachment on civil liberties because we all have to do our part, if we don’t we’re not going to get this thing beat," added another.
"Some people have concerns with it taking away their right to decide and respecting each other’s rights, but it is something that with the numbers going up, we had to do it," said another resident.
In September, Regina City Council considered a motion to make masks mandatory in the city, but decided to wait for direction from the provincial government.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mayor Michael Fougere said he welcomed the decision.
"These are progressive steps to protect residents, protect all of Saskatchewan, from the outbreak, so I accept that stuff and I’m hoping it doesn’t get down any further where we have a lockdown of any restaurants," Fougere said.
Residents opposing the public health order will be expressing their displeasure later this week, with rallies planned on Friday.