Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, today announced changes to public health orders that will come into effect at 12:01 AM on March 5, 2021 and expire on March 25, 2021. Not much has changed to the proposed orders the Province of Manitoba released last week on Feb. 25 for Manitobans’ feedback. (See below for final orders.)
Dr. Roussin shared that the entire province (all health regions) will continue in Critical (RED) on the Pandemic Response System for the upcoming phase, but that he will look at possible amendments to that designation in the near future, including consideration of a regional approach.
Meanwhile, Premier Pallister also announced an additional phase of the existing Manitoba Bridge Grant Program, called Bridge into Spring.
- Stream A applicants (businesses forced to close due to Critical/Red level restrictions) will receive an additional payment in the amount of $5,000 (totalling $15,000 since the outset of the program).
- Stream B applicants (full-time, home-based businesses affected by restrictions and gathering limits) will also receive an additional payment up to $5,000.
- The program expires to application on March 31, 2021.
- For more info, click here.
The following public health orders will go in to effect at 12:01 AM on March 5, 2021:
Households and gatherings:
– households can choose one of the following: continue designating two visitors to their home; or designating a second household so that two households can visit each other, as long as everyone in the house has authorized those designated individuals to visit.
– gathering limits at an outdoor public or private place to increase to 10 people including for outdoor non-organized sport or recreation activities; and
– places of worship to have increased capacity size of 25 per cent or 100 people, whichever is lower, with physical distancing measures in place and mask requirements.
Business, retail and restaurants:
– any types of business to be able to operate with the exception of indoor theatres, indoor concert halls, casinos and bingo halls;
– retail stores, malls and personal services to have increased capacity limits of up to 50 per cent or 250 people, whichever is lower, with other public health measures still in effect;
– restaurants and licensed premises to have increased capacity limits of up to 50 per cent, with the requirement for tables to sit with only household members, and other public health measures still in effect;
– businesses other than casinos to resume operating video lottery terminals, with physical distancing measures and barriers in place; and
– professional theatre groups, dance companies, symphonies and operas to resume rehearsals that are not accessible to members of the public.
Recreation and fitness:
– day camps for children to operate at 25 per cent capacity with other public health measures in place;
– indoor recreation and sporting facilities such as gyms, fitness centres, rinks, courts, fields, ranges, studios, clubs, pools and centres to open at 25 per cent total capacity, with public health measures in place including for spectators, common areas and locker rooms. The requirement to provide one-on-one instructions has been removed;
– gym, fitness centre and pool users must continue to wear a mask while working out and in all other areas of the facility, with the exception of while in a swimming pool;
– dance, theatre and music facilities to open for a total capacity of 25 per cent;
– indoor recreational facilities such as arcades, go-kart tracks and children’s facilities to open at 25 per cent capacity with physical distancing measures in place.
“Manitoba’s COVID-19 cases continue to trend in the right direction, thanks to the dedication and hard work of Manitobans to follow the public health orders,” said Dr. Roussin. “With variants of concern identified here in Manitoba and in neighbouring jurisdictions, we must keep our guard up, and continue to follow the fundamentals that have allowed us to carefully and cautiously restart our services and activities. It is crucial that Manitobans continue to avoid the activities that are known to cause the greatest risk – close-contact setting, closed spaces, and crowded places.”
Since Feb. 25, nearly 27,000 responses were provided on the proposed changes to the orders. Feedback indicated:
• 95 per cent of Manitobans feel somewhat or very comfortable shopping at a stand-alone store;
• 81 per cent of Manitobans feel somewhat or very comfortable shopping at a mall; and
• 74 per cent of Manitobans feel somewhat or very comfortable going to restaurants.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.