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Manitoba Looking at Loosening Further COVID-19 Restrictions

May 21, 2020 11:41 AM | News

WINNIPEG — Manitoba has released a draft for the second phase of its reopening plan as the province’s COVID-19 case numbers remain low.

While no date is set for the next phase of reopening, proposed plans include an earlier start to the 2020-21 school year, reopening pools and gyms and resuming sports activities for children and adults.

“We thank Manitobans for their diligence in respecting physical distancing guidelines, and we hope to be in a position to move forward and ease some additional restrictions while ensuring the health and well-being of all Manitobans,” Premier Brian Pallister said on Thursday.

Pallister also says schools might reopen on August 31 to add some teaching days and to make up for lost time this spring.

Other loosened restrictions include travel to parks, campgrounds, cabins, lodges and resorts north of the 53rd parallel from within Manitoba.

Effective Friday, gathering sizes will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors, and allowing residents of personal care homes and long-term care facilities to have visits outdoors.

Other items being examined for the second phase of service restoration include:
• increasing child-care centre occupancy to up to 24 children plus staffing;
• increasing day camp group sizes to 24;
• lifting occupancy limits at outdoor recreation facilities and golf courses outdoors, as long as physical distancing can be maintained and allowing limited access to indoor spaces;
• allowing public/private swimming pools, spas, fitness clubs, gyms and community/service centres to reopen with some limitations;
• allowing religious or other organizations to hold outdoor services without limitation on numbers if people stay in their vehicles;
• reopening manicurists and pedicurists, tattoo parlours, estheticians, cosmetologists, electrologists and tanning parlours at 50 per cent capacity;
• allowing restaurants to reopen indoor spaces at 50 percent capacity and continue to offer patio services at that capacity level;
• allowing bars, beverage rooms, micro-brewers and similar businesses that serve food and drinks to operate patio service at 50 per cent of site capacity and to reopen indoor spaces at 50 percent capacity; and
• allowing the resumption of film productions while ensuring physical distancing.

Manitoba has registered only one new COVID-19 case in the last eight days and the number of active cases has dropped to 23.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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