Following up on a comment he made earlier this week, Premier Brian Pallister today said a mandatory curfew will not be put in place, or at least not yet.
In speaking with professionals and listening to the opinions Manitobans provided through EngageMB.ca, Pallister says a curfew does not make sense right now.
“Many medical experts say there are dangers in that,” he adds. “I have spoken with doctors and they feel it would be premature to invoke those restrictions at this time”
With "Code Red" and "Code Orange" protocols having been implemented in many communities only three days ago, it is too early to determine what effect the increased restrictions are having.
“We need to take time for these restrictions and the changes they create to work,” states Pallister.
While there was no curfew announced, Pallister says something needs to be done to control the COVID-19 case count as it continues to skyrocket. His government today introduced a three-pronged approach that he hopes will persuade his fellow residents to follow public health orders more diligently.
The first, and perhaps most expected measure, is increased enforcement. Pallister says 277 individuals have now been enlisted the government’s team of COVID-19 enforcement officers, bringing the total number up to 3,200.
Effective immediately, any one of the following public servants is able to ticket individuals who do not comply with public health orders.
- The RCMP
- Any municipal police services
- Bylaw officers
- The Health Protection Unit
- Manitoba Conservation and Climate
- Workplace Safety and Health
- The Liquor Gaming and Cannabis Authority
- Motor carrier enforcement officers
- Fire safety inspectors
- Water resources officers
- Any other municipally contracted officers
Pallister says members of any of those entities can now administer $1,296 fines to individuals and $5,000 fines to corporations who are not abiding by new COVID-19 laws. As of this week, approximately 160 COVID-19 related tickets have been issued,
The Manitoba government will also reimburse municipalities for the equivalent value of any tickets written by municipal bylaw enforcement staff.
Second, the government has launched a tip line where a person can report behavior that is not in line with public health orders. Since April 9, there have been over 12,000 calls from citizens to report concerns, and Pallister expects that number will only grow now that the service has been streamlined.
Third, the province will be launching a series of digital advertisements that discourage social gatherings and disobeying public health orders. Pallister says the ads are targeted towards teenagers and young adults which, at present, is the demographic of greatest concern. They will be displayed on apps such has TikTok.
He hopes these three new measures, working in conjunction, will discourage people from the negligent behavior closely associated with spreading the novel coronavirus.