“More than 80% of Manitobans ages 12 and up have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 74% have received two doses. We are now in a position to start the most significant re-opening we’ve had in a long time as we move towards a post-pandemic Manitoba.”
– Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer
Dr. Roussin shared today that in spite of Dr. Teresa Tam’s warnings that Canada is currently moving in to its 4th wave caused by the Delta variant, each province’s Public Health office must make decisions according to the epidemiology we see in our respective provinces. As a result, Manitoba’s changes starting on August 7 represent a significant re-opening of our economy and broadening of social lives, from retail and cultural attractions to private gatherings. Click here to view a backgrounder of details.
The new public health orders follow the 4-3-2 One Great Summer Path to Reopen, and Manitoba is expected to reach the third vaccination milestone ahead of schedule. Public health recommendations and guidance, rather than restrictions, will play an increasingly significant role as the province prepares for a shift from pandemic to endemic COVID-19. Specifically, the new public health orders will allow the following sectors to open without restrictions:
- indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences;
- gyms and fitness centres;
- personal services such as hair and nail salons;
- day camps; and
- retail businesses, markets, garden centres and malls.
Other sectors will open with limited restrictions including:
- expanded capacity limits will remain in place for weddings, funerals and other public gatherings both indoors and outdoors including larger capacity limits for worship and cultural events like pow wows;
- restaurants and bars will no longer need to restrict the size or space between tables and dining will not be restricted to households or vaccinated individuals; however, patrons will still be expected to avoid congregating or socializing between tables;
- museums, galleries and movie theatres will remain limited to 50 per cent capacity but will no longer be restricted to vaccinated individuals;
- casinos and bingo halls, professional sporting events, horse and auto racing, and concert halls will continue to be limited to vaccinated individuals; however, all these facilities may now open to 100 per cent capacity;
- indoor and outdoor sports and recreation will fully reopen with limits only on spectator capacity;
- overnight camps will be permitted with limits on camper cohorts;
- workplaces must continue to report cases to government for followup and public health-confirmed transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace may result in workplaces being ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days; and
- remote working will no longer be required or recommended by public health and workplaces will be encouraged to transition from COVID-19 safety plans to a general communicable disease prevention plan that focuses on basic risk-reduction principles to reduce the risk of workplace transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
Due to the ongoing presence of COVID-19 in Manitoba and elsewhere, and the extra risk posed by the more contagious delta variant, provincial public health officials strongly recommend
wearing masks in indoor public spaces for everyone who is not fully immunized including children under 12; and maintaining physical distancing of two metres (six feet) in indoor settings.
“Unless you are fully immunized, you are still at risk for more severe effects of COVID-19, such as requiring hospital care or even death,” said Roussin. “We are slowly but surely approaching a post-pandemic Manitoba, but this does not mean COVID-19 will disappear. We need to remain cautious and vigilant in our efforts to stop the spread of this virus.”
The new public health orders will go into effect at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 7. The orders will expire at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7, and will be reassessed at that time in the context of vaccination rates and the province’s overall COVID-19 situation.
For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19/.