WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government announced new public health orders regarding gatherings, workplaces, and retail to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, announced the new restrictions at a news conference on Thursday, noting the restrictions will remain in place until June 12.
Under the new orders:
- Indoor and outdoor gatherings with people outside your household are not allowed. This applies to all recreation spaces, including playgrounds, golf courses, parks, and sports fields;
- Employers are required to allow employees to work from home as much as possible;
- Retail businesses must operate at a 10 per cent capacity or 100 customers, whichever is fewer. Only one person per household will be allowed into a business, with certain exceptions, such as single parents with kids or someone who needs a caregiver;
- Increased requirements for malls to manage capacity and access in order to eliminate gatherings and ensure compliance with shopping; and
- Many businesses will stay closed for in-person service, such as gyms, fitness clubs, restaurants, bars, personal service businesses, museums, galleries, and libraries.
The province noted that indoor public gatherings aren’t allowed and visitors are not allowed on private property. Pallister also urged Manitobans to shop online or by curbside as much as possible.
The new public health orders take effect on May 29 at 12:01 a.m.
“We need Manitobans to stay home as much as possible for the next two weeks,” the premier said.
Roussin noted Public Health will also be actively using orders under the Public Health Act to close individual facilities, businesses, and workplaces where there are multiple COVID-19 cases and transmission.
“This means that a factory, office, or warehouse may be ordered to close if we’re identifying transmission in that workplace,” he said.
Roussin noted the reason for the strengthened health orders is because the health-care system is under a lot of strain.
“Our ICU numbers, our hospitalization numbers are extremely high and still expected to climb,” he said.
In order to limit capacity and prevent gatherings, malls have been directed to evict people who are gathering.
“There’s going to be that burden. We have that one-person per household rule, that is what’s meant. There is, of course, a few exceptions to that,” Roussin said.
“Our messaging is clear — if you have to go shopping, it should be for essential reasons. Going in, going out. These malls are not allowed to tolerate gathering within them.”
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