Provincial public health orders will soon allow small outdoor gatherings on private and public property as many measures in the public health orders will remain in place to reduce the strain on Manitoba’s health-care system and reduce COVID-19 transmission rates.
“Thanks to the efforts of Manitobans who have worked hard, stayed home, followed the fundamentals and rolled up their sleeves to get a vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones, we’re starting to see our COVID-19 case numbers trend in the right direction,” said Premier Brian Pallister. “While we are now in a position to allow some small gatherings outdoors, we are not yet ready to restart our services and activities as our health-care system is still facing significant pressures.”
A new set of public health orders start on Saturday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. and include provisions for outdoor gatherings with up to five people in public spaces and on private property.
Other restrictions remain in place including:
- indoor public gatherings are not permitted and visitors are not permitted indoors on private property, except in certain circumstances;
- requirements for employers to allow employees to work from home as much as possible;
- retail businesses may only operate at 10 per cent capacity or 100 customers, whichever is fewer, and only one person per household will be allowed to enter a business, with some exceptions, such as a single parent with children or someone who requires a caregiver;
- continued requirements for malls to manage capacity and access to eliminate gatherings and ensure compliance with shopping; and
- many businesses and organizations will remain closed for in-person service including gyms and fitness clubs, restaurants and bars (including patios), personal service businesses, museums, galleries and libraries.
Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools currently learning remotely in the cities of Winnipeg, Brandon and in the Red River Valley and Garden Valley school divisions will continue until the end of the school year, with some small group meetings allowed. Schools in Morden and Dauphin will continue remote learning until June 21.
Although the public health orders allow for outdoor gatherings, people are reminded to minimize the number of people they interact with as much as possible during this time. Physical distancing and masks are recommended in outdoor settings for non-household members. While the risk of transmitting COVID-19 in outdoor settings is lower than indoors, transmission can still occur when there is close contact.
The new orders will remain in effect until Saturday, June 26, at 12:01 a.m. For a full listing of the current health orders, all of which will remain in effect, visit manitoba.ca.
“As our case numbers and test positivity rates start to drop and vaccination rates continue to rise, we can start to slowly ease some restrictions to allow people to gather outdoors, where there is a lower risk of transmission,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer. “But given the demands on the health-care system, we’re not in a position to open everything at once. We know this has been hard, but we need to continue to stay home, work from home as much as we can, follow the fundamentals and get vaccinated as soon as possible to ease the pressure on the health system.”
In a recent feedback survey Manitobans were asked what first steps should be taken to ease public health restrictions while balancing the needs of the health-care system. The survey indicated that 93 per cent of respondents said the ability to gather with friends and family outdoors on private property would improve their quality of life significantly. Additionally, 85 per cent indicated the ability to gather with friends and family in outdoor public places would improve their quality of life. The survey ran from June 4 to 8 and over 33,000 Manitobans participated, the survey report can be found at engagemb.ca.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit manitoba.ca.