WINNIPEG — Tougher COVID-19 restrictions are on the way for the entire province of Manitoba as new cases of the virus continue to increase.
Effective 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, November 12, Manitoba is moving to critical (red) on the Pandemic Response System.
“We have taken steps in individual regions, but it’s time to take a more drastic approach to halt the rising case number and wide-spread community transmission of this deadly virus,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer. “I cannot stress enough to all Manitobans – now is the time to stay home and reduce your close contacts.”
Roussin hinted on Monday that more stringent measures would be coming after he discussed the matter with Premier Brian Pallister.
The new critical (red) level restrictions will be in effect provincewide and include:
• *Social gatherings limited to 5 people, not including those in your household.
Social contacts reduced to your household only. Social gatherings are not permitted.
• Travel to and from northern Manitoba is restricted and non-essential travel is discouraged.
• Retail businesses listed as critical services, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, can remain open at 25 percent capacity.
• Retail businesses not on the list are able to provide e-service, curbside pickup or delivery services.
• All personal service businesses, including hair salons, barbers and sites offering manicures, pedicures and other esthetic services, must close.
• Gyms and fitness centres must close.
• Religious and cultural gatherings must close or be provided virtually only.
• Restaurants must close to the public and may be open for delivery, drive-thru or takeout only.
• All recreational activities, sports facilities, casinos, museums, galleries, libraries, movie theatres and concert halls must close.
*On November 11, the Manitoba government walked back an original restriction issued on Tuesday regarding social gatherings. The maximum gathering size indoors and outdoors will remain at five people, not including those in your household. These were the original restrictions already in place in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region for several weeks now but extend to all of Manitoba as of 12:01 a.m. on November 12.
In addition, no changes will be made to child-care services or to kindergarten to Grade 12 education delivery at this time. Roussin noted the province has not seen widespread transmission among children, students and staff.
Dr. Roussin added the new restrictions will be in effect for at least two weeks, but likely for two incubation periods of four weeks.
Manitoba leads all other provinces in per-capita active COVID-19 cases.