Manitoba considering loosening COVID-19 restrictions

The province of Manitoba may allow small group gatherings and re-open some businesses at limited capacity.

Premier Brian Pallister and chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin hinted at some possible changes to restrictions that could come into effect as early as 12:01 AM on Saturday, January 23, 2021.

The changes being considered include:

  • Household limits being increased to two people outside the home or five people if the gathering is held outdoors
  • Up to 10 people plus an officiant at funerals
  • Retails stores re-opening to public shoppers at a reduced occupancy of 25 per cent with a maximum of 250 people, with physical distancing measures remaining enforced
  • Non-regulated health services such as pedorthists and reflexologists re-opening with adequate physical distancing and requirements to collect information for contact tracing purposes
  • Barbershops and hair stylists re-opening at 25 per cent capacity with physical distancing and requirements to collect information on customers for contract tracing

Other things affected, such as bars, restaurants, religious services, and gyms were not on the list of considered establishments to re-open.

The province added stores may also be able to sell items that were deemed non-essential during code red and had to be closed off to customers.

Roussin says they are taking a very cautious approach because they want to avoid a spike in cases like the one that happened in the fall of 2020.

He added the Northern Health Region is seeing high case numbers and will remain in code red.

A final decision on the loosening of restrictions is expected to be made later this week.

Visit the province’s website for more information.