‘Let’s respect each other’: Top doctor urges Manitobans to be kind to businesses required to follow health orders

WINNIPEG — The province’s top doctor is calling on Manitobans to be kind to each other after hearing reports of restaurant owners and businesses being ‘bullied and berated’ by some people opposed to the public health measures.

As of Friday, Manitobans will need to be fully vaccinated and show proof of their immunization status to eat at restaurants, go to movies theatres, work out in gyms or fitness centres, along with a slew of other activities. Masks are also mandatory in indoor public places.

Chuck Davidson, the president of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, said he supports the expansion of Manitoba’s vaccine passport program. However, Davidson said the mandates have not been sitting well with some who have been taking out their frustration on businesses.

“Too often I have heard from restaurants or other businesses that have been bullied and berated by people opposed to the restrictions that are currently in place,” Davidson said. “These restrictions were made by the provincial government and public health officials – not by the server or the hostess at your local restaurant. But unfortunately, they have been forced to take the brunt of it.”

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said the businesses did not make these decisions on their own.

“Let’s respect each other, be kind. Let’s respect the science that is telling us to get vaccinated is the way out of this pandemic,” Roussin said.

“Certainly, I would encourage Manitobans to be kind to the people working at these businesses who are simply just trying to follow these orders that have been imposed on them.”

Davidson said the province is working to create signs and messaging to be placed in restaurants and businesses to help explain this.

He said obviously businesses would like to open with no restrictions in place, but said many recognize the need for public health measures to avoid closures in the fourth wave.

“These actions mean that businesses can remain open, people can remain employed while creating safe environments in consumer establishments throughout the province and curbing community spread,” Davidson said.

“The last thing we want to happen is that businesses will be forced to close their doors for a fourth time.”

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