SASKATOON -- Premier Scott Moe says provincial COVID-19 restrictions would affect each municipality the same way - regardless of their case rates and vaccination rates.

"Municipalities are more than welcome to look at what is best given their specific situation," he told CTV News while attending the opening day of the Elk Ridge Open on the PGA’s Mackenzie Tour.

He noted the province also allowed school divisions to make their own decisions with the advice from the Ministry of Health and Saskatchewan Health Authority.

"We feel quite confident that as we move through the next number of weeks and months that individuals, that organizations such as municipalities, school divisions can continue to rely on public health for advice and then make the decisions that are best suited to their specific area of the province given the COVID rates that may be present, vaccination rates that they may have."

Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark told CTV News on Tuesday that he wants to see a proactive approach to controlling the disease from the province. Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said he had also hoped the province would "step up" instead of leaving decisions to individual cities.

Even if the provincial government were to reinstate public health measures this week, it would take several weeks before the province begins to see a downturn in new infections and hospitalizations, according to interim senior medical health officer Cory Neudorf.

Moe also said he expects the province to approach an 80 per cent vaccination rate by the end of the year.

The province is now over 70 per cent vaccinated and adds another half a per cent of new shots every week, along with close to one per cent of second shots, he said.

"So our vaccination numbers do continue to climb here in the province, and there is going to be a point, ultimately, we would hope that it will open up to five to 12-year-old kids, or students, very soon.

"And there will be a point when we ultimately are going to really have to move forward with ensuring that we're able to live with this virus as part of our lives, you know, in the months and years ahead of us."

On Wednesday, the Saskatchewan NDP health critic Vicki Mowat accused Moe of giving up the fight against COVID-19 and called for the government to reconvene the legislature, release provincial modelling and transparent case rate information for school-aged kids and take steps to save the school year.

The NDP also wants masking in all schools and vaccination requirements for teachers and school staff, among other measures.

"If the premier and the health minister have information that suggests their lack of a back-to-school plan is anything but a collision course with disaster, they need to step up and make their case now,” Mowat said in a news release.

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