The Manitoba government announced additional public health orders as COVID-19 cases and variants of concern continue to spike.
The restrictions include stricter limits on private gatherings, church services, and a number of business-related changes, including:
- Patio dining being restricted to groups of four people with no household restrictions
- Closing food courts in malls
- Gyms and fitness centres staying at 25 per cent capacity but patrons and staff are now expected to maintain a social distancing of three metres
- Dance, theatre, and music schools remaining at 25 per cent capacity up to 10 people if two metre social distancing is maintained
- Personal service businesses being able to continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity with mandatory appointments
- Retail stores being limited to 25 per cent capacity up to 250 patrons and malls being limited to 25 per cent capacity
“Despite our best collective efforts and having some of the strictest public health orders in the country, Manitoba’s case numbers continue to rise, which threatens the ability of our health-care system to care for those in premier Brian Pallister said in a news release. “We are at a critical point in the third wave – it is a race between the variants and vaccines, and right now the variants are winning. We need a few weeks in order to allow our accelerated vaccine efforts to catch up and change the course of that race. Today, we are asking Manitobans to stay close to home, significantly limit your close contacts and get your vaccine as soon as you are eligible.”
Pallister and chief provincial public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin said enforcement will also be stepped up across the province.
“Public health orders are a foundation for action, but we need all Manitobans to do a little bit more and take personal responsibility for following the orders, staying home as much as possible, reducing the number of contacts we have and wearing masks when we are around others from outside our household,” Roussin said in the release. “I am also calling on business and organizational leaders to help ensure people are staying apart in their facilities, staying home if they are sick and self-isolating if they are a close contact to a case.”
The new orders will be in effect until Wednesday, May 26.