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.
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With unprecedented amounts of people working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made it easier for people to claim the home office expenses deduction.
Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier said in a release that people who spent more than 50 per cent of their time working from home over a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to COVID-19 are eligible to claim the deduction up to $400. The government has decreased the qualifying period for the deduction.
The CRA is also making it easier for anyone with larger home office expenses claims to keep using the current method to claim a deduction.
The government says:
A new temporary flat rate method will allow eligible employees to claim a deduction of $2 for each day they worked at home in that period, plus any other days they worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19 up to a maximum of $400. Under this new method, employees will not have to get Form T2200 or Form T2200S completed and signed by their employer.
To simplify the process for employees choosing the detailed method, the CRA launched today simplified forms (Form T2200S and Form T777S) and a calculator designed specifically to assist with the calculation of eligible home office expenses.