Shelters, Trails, and Covid-19

Will Snowmobile Trails Open?

This is a question we’ve been getting in the office quite a bit, and now we finally have all the answers. I’ll save you some reading and tell you right now that YES, the trails and shelters will be open this year. After working closely with Public Health officials, we were able to iron out the logistics of opening our trail system in the safest manner possible. The biggest issue we faced wasn’t getting the trails themselves opened, but rather how to safely open up our snowmobile shelters.

COVID-19 Safety Signage

Alongside these various government bodies we created some new rules, signage, and a set of guidelines. These signs will be found on every shelter door letting you know that shelters are not subject to scheduled disinfection and provide you with some “best practices” to prevent the spread of COVID-19; look for it this winter on a shelter door near you! It is important to remember to follow these guidelines not only at shelters but anywhere on and off the trail.
snowmobile shelters covid sign

Along with this new signage comes the more in depth set of Snowmobile Shelter Guidelines. You can read these guide lines below or skip right ahead to What Happens if the Trails Close Mid-Season.

Snowmobile Shelter Guidelines

The information below provides specific guidelines for snowmobile shelters. Snowmobile shelters, owned/operated by local snowmobile clubs, may open provided all guidelines are followed.

Public Health Orders

  • Every person who visits a shelter must follow public health orders in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
  • People experiencing signs of illness should not enter the shelter.
  • People who have travelled internationally and who have not completed the federally mandated self-isolation period may not enter.

Basic Public Health Measures

  • Gathering size cannot exceed Public Health Order numbers, and is subject to physical distancing requirements.
  • Members of extended households can sit/stand together, with a minimum of 2m between extended household groups.
  • Sharing food or drink is prohibited.
  • The SSA encourages snowmobilers to carry and use hand sanitizer, approved by Health Canada, and ensure frequent hand hygiene.
  • Clubs must have access to proper cleaning and disinfecting supplies and provide enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of public areas, shared spaces and commonly touched items, particularly in high traffic shelters, on a regular basis.
  • If a shelter is busy, come back when it is not as busy.
  • Mask use is strongly encouraged.
  • Signage must be posted on all shelters to caution about the risks of COVID-19, as well as educate users in following the guidelines. Signage should include the following:
    • Shelter may not be subject to scheduled disinfection.
    • Individuals who are sick should stay home.
    • A physical distance of two meters should be maintained between people not from the same household or extended household.
    • Individuals should use hand sanitizer frequently.
    • Avoid overcrowding. Individual groups must not exceed the restrictions on public gatherings.

What if the trails close?

Okay so at this time the trail system is going to open as normal; great news! But if the wildfires, murder hornets, and UFOs have taught us anything, it’s that we need to take 2020 one day at time. While a forced closure of our entire trail system is extremely unlikely, we want to make sure that you feel confident spending your hard-earned money on a snowmobile registration this season. So, here’s what we’re offering:

In the event that all trails must be simultaneously closed as per the Chief Medical Officer of Saskatchewan before February 15, 2021, an application for a 25% refund on the $110 registration fee for the 2020-2021 season can be made to the SSA. The applications must be received by the SSA before March 15, 2021 with proof of registration purchased prior to the trail system closure, which will be paid from the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Fund.