WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has revealed its roadmap to slowly reopening the economy amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Brian Pallister on Wednesday unveiled a multi-tiered plan to allow the gradual reopening of non-essential businesses and easing some restrictions on Manitobans, effective Monday, May 4.
The first phase of the province’s reopening plans includes the slow restoration of services, businesses and venues, including:
• Non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures;
• Therapeutic and medical services;
• Retail businesses;
• Restaurants – patio/walk-up services;
• Hair salons;
• Museums, galleries and libraries;
• Seasonal day camps; and
• Outdoor recreation and campgrounds.
The public must maintain social distancing measures of no closer than two metres from another patron and businesses can only operate at 50 percent capacity, or one person per 10 square metres, whichever is lower.
“We’ve had mom-and-pop shops forced to close their doors and lay off their people because of this pandemic,” Pallister said.
“We need to keep working hard to protect our most vulnerable people by reopening our economy in a safe and a measured way.”
Priority elective surgeries have been restarted and diagnostics screening will also resume.
The second phase, implemented no earlier than June 1, includes the reopening of:
• Additional personal services, such as nail salons;
• Restaurants – dine-in services;
• Non-contact children’s sports; and
• Film production.
Critical public health measures and travel restrictions may remain in place. Public gathering sizes may be increased and more non-essential businesses will be considered for reopening.
Social gatherings, worship, weddings and funerals will continue to be restricted to 10 people. The province will reevaluate the measures based on phase one and may increase gathering sizes to up to 25 people by mid-May.
The province says future phases will include increasing public gathering sizes to allow the reopening of:
• Performing arts venues;
• Other non-essential businesses;
• Tattoo parlours, estheticians, cosmetologists and tanning studios; and
• Large gatherings/events.
“These changes are big for people to get back to enjoying the quality of life that Manitoba offers them… for families, for all of us,” Pallister added. “This is not a victory lap. We’re in a marathon, not a sprint. Be careful out there.”
Dr. Brent Roussin, provincial chief public health officer, says mass gatherings such as concerts, summer festivals and major sporting events will not be considered before September 2020.
Restrictions on what the province deemed to be “non-critical” businesses were put in place April 1 for a two-week period. The province later extended those measures, enacted under the Public Health Act, for an additional two weeks.