More vaccination requirements, new gathering limits take effect Tuesday in Manitoba

More public health orders kicked in for Manitobans on Tuesday, including lower gathering limits and the requirement to show proof of double vaccination in order to visit additional public spaces.

Vaccination cards or QR codes are now required to enter museums and galleries in the province, while dine-in patrons at food courts must comply with the same rule. Proof does not need to be shown for takeout orders.

Wedding receptions in licensed premises are subject to the same vaccination rule as of Tuesday, including for all guests.

Weddings also must adhere to new gathering limits.

The maximum number of people now allowed at outdoor gatherings drops to 500 from 1,500, including at fairs and festivals.

The limit for indoor gatherings in public spaces remains unchanged at 50 people, or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is greater.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, announced the changes on Thursday.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, Manitoba’s deputy chief public health officer, and Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine implementation task force, will give a COVID-19 and vaccine update at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The requirements that came into effect Tuesday are the second part of a two-phase implementation of public health orders.

New vaccination requirements came into effect Sept. 3 for a wide variety of businesses and services deemed non-essential, such as restaurants, gyms, movie theatres, casinos and nightclubs, as well as indoor and outdoor ticketed sporting events and concerts.

The health order states that exceptions to the vaccination requirement can be made for people who can show proof from the government of Manitoba that there is a medical reason why they can’t receive the vaccine.

When asked which documents of proof would exclude a person from the vaccine requirement, a spokesperson for the provincial government said the province’s medical advisory committee had not identified “any health conditions that would be a permanent contraindication to the vaccine.”

The requirement to wear masks in indoor public spaces also came back into effect on Saturday.