Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin are announcing more loosening of restrictions in the province as COVID-19 cases continue to drop and vaccination rates climb.
"As of today 80 per cent of Manitobans over the age of 12 have received their first dose," Pallister says in a Tuesday press conference. "Dr. Roussin and I are pleased to announce that Manitoba will be in a position to reopen sooner."
Roussin says they are moving from Pubic Health restrictions to Pubic Health recommendations for most sectors.
"We know that COVID is still with us," Roussin says. "We are slowly approaching the post-pandemic Manitoba that we have been discussing."
The doctor says he is making the decision to open Manitoba based on the province's current situation but is aware of rising cases of the Delta variant in other jurisdictions. Roussin says we will need to learn to live with COVID.
School plans are expected to be announced later this week.
Indoor mask use in public places is no longer required under the new orders but is highly recommended by the doctor, especially in people who are not fully vaccinated. Businesses and other public spaces can require mask use if they chose to, but it will not be a provincial mandate. The removal of this mandate excludes healthcare facilities including hospitals and personal care homes. Vaccination requirements for almost all sectors will no longer be a restriction with some restrictions, but businesses can choose to require vaccination proof.
High-risk sectors will continue to see some restrictions, starting on Saturday.
There will be no restrictions at:
- indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences;
- gyms and fitness centres;
- personal services such as hair and nail salons;
- day camps
- retail businesses, markets, garden centres and malls
Weddings, funerals and other public gatherings both indoors and outdoors in public spaces will see close to the same gathering size restrictions of 50 people or 50 per cent capacity. If indoors that the limit is whichever is lower, and outdoor limits are whichever is greater.
Those with larger capacity limits, such as worship and cultural events like pow wows, will be simular to the last order's capacity, with one change. Indoor worship gatherings are currently allowed at 50 per cent normal capacity or 150 persons, whichever is fewer. This changes to 50 per cent normal capacity or 150 persons, whichever is greater, on Saturday.
Sectors with limited restrictions include:
- 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. Operating hours are no longer restricted.
- museums, galleries and movie theatres will remain limited to 50 per cent capacity and will not need to limit the facility to those who are fully vaccianted
- casinos and bingo halls, professional sporting events, horse and auto racing, and concert halls can open at 100 per cent capacity with only fully vaccinated individuals
- indoor and outdoor sports and recreation will fully reopen with limits only on a 50 per cent spectator capacity, including participants not currently active
- overnight camps will be permitted a 15 person limit on cohorts
- workplaces must continue to report cases to government for follow-up 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.
These restrictions will be in place until September 7.