‘Significant restrictions’ in Manitoba to take effect on Sunday

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s top doctor announced, “significant restrictions” coming this weekend which will implement widespread closures of businesses, and prohibits community, cultural and religious gatherings.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, announced the changes to the public health measures Friday evening. The orders will take effect on Sunday and will be in place until May 30.

“We need to act now,” Roussin said. “I know Manitobans have done this before, and I know we have been doing it now for 14 months, but we need to continue our efforts to keep our numbers down.”

The updated orders come as the province recorded 502 cases on Friday – among the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases Manitoba has seen in the pandemic.

“We didn’t have much choice but to, again escalate the restrictions.”

THE NEW RESTRICTIONS TO TAKE EFFECT ON SUNDAY

Under the orders gyms, fitness centres, museums, galleries, libraries, casinos and VLTs must close.

Restaurants, bars, patios, and seating areas in food courts will be closed for in-person dining, but can still provide take-out.

Outdoor gatherings from different households are limited to five people. Indoor and outdoor private gatherings are still limited to household contacts only, except for people who live alone – they are allowed one designated visitor.

The province said indoor community, cultural and religious gatherings are prohibited.

Personal services including estheticians, barbers, salons, and tanning salons will close, along with dance, theatre, and music schools. Day camps are also required to close under the orders.

Indoor sports and recreation, including after-school activities, will not be allowed under the health order changes.

The province said outdoor sports and recreation activities will be limited to five participants. Organized team games will not be allowed.

Retail stores, markets, and garden centres may open at 10 per cent capacity, to a maximum of 100 people. Malls are limited to 10 per cent capacity.

Self-help gatherings will be allowed to continue but will be limited to a maximum of 10 participants.

‘WE DO SEE THAT HOPE’: ROUSSIN LOOKS TO SUMMER MONTHS WITH LOW COVID CASES

Roussin said the public health restrictions are tailored to transmission.

“It is widespread community transmission, so that virus is circulating through the community so we just have to be able to limit where people can gather right now.”

Roussin urged Manitobans to lower the number of close contacts they have, follow the public health orders, and even go beyond them.

“We’ve done this before, and I know that Manitobans can do it again,” Roussin said. “This time, we do see that hope. We do see a summer where we have high vaccine uptake and low COVID numbers.” 

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