Manitobans are being reminded that enforcement officials will be ticketing people if they choose to have holiday household gatherings that are not compliant with Public Health Orders.
Since April, the Province of Manitoba has allowed for those not following the Public Health Orders to be ticketed for non-compliance. In the fall following a spoke in cases, enforcement has majorly increased.
From April to mid-November, the province reported a total of 307 warnings and 200 tickets have been issued. From November 17 to December 20, a total of 1,490 warnings and 559 tickets have been issued. Over $837,000 in fines have been issued since April.
In the week of December 14 to 20, 283 warnings and 62 tickets were issued including 38 $1,296 tickets to individuals for various offences, 12 $298 tickets for failure to wear a mask in indoor public places, and two $5,000 tickets to businesses.
"As the holiday season approaches, officials advise that 35 tickets were issued last week in relation to gatherings in private residences. Manitobans are reminded that public health orders remain in effect throughout the holidays and must be followed to reduce the spread of COVID-19," the province says in a statement.
Households cannot have indoor gatherings with others, with the exception of a single-person household who can socialize with one designated household throughout the Level Red or have one person visit them. This means a grandparent, an adult child, or others who live alone is permitted to visit one chosen household for the holidays.
Gatherings of five people or fewer outdoors are permitted, but the gathering cannot be on private property such as on a driveway or on a porch.
Individual fines are $1,296, and business fines are $5,000.
The province is asking residents to report non-compliance with the current Public Health Orders. They say those reporting can call 204-945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862 or go online. Reports are confidential.
RCMP, law enforcement agencies, provincial employees and municipal partners, such as the City of Winnipeg can ticket offenders. The province also previously hired a private agency to aid with enforcement. There are approximately 3,300 people in Manitoba authorized to issue enforcement tickets.