WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s photography community has penned a letter to the provincial government, urging officials to allow them to reopen their businesses safely amid COVID-19.
The letter was sent to Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, Health Minister Heather Stefanson and Premier Brian Pallister.
“We are writing to ask that the photography industry be allowed to reopen their businesses safely and under the guidance of the public health officials,” the letter states.
“Throughout code red in Manitoba, photographers have been safely working within certain limited essential services such as e-commerce, sports and news reporting. The next step is to allow all photographers to reopen. In this uncertain time, photography brings joy to Manitobans.”
The photographers say capturing time-sensitive moments in peoples’ lives is important for one’s mental health and well-being, such as visually documenting a wedding, a newborn or an expectant mother.
The group says they are committed to following COVID-19 protocols to ensure a safe, sanitized work environment, pre-screening both themselves and clients prior to photography sessions, and keeping information on file for the purpose of contact tracing.
The current set of public health orders is set to expire on February 12.
During the last loosening of restrictions on January 23, all retail was allowed to reopen under capacity limits, including hair salons and some personal health services businesses. The essential items list was also eliminated in the southern portions of Manitoba. As of Tuesday, the essential items list was also eliminated in the north to prevent people from travelling to Winnipeg and other regions to obtain non-essential goods.
Dr. Roussin noted on Monday that if Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers continue in a downward trend, further restrictions could be lifted after the 12th.
Read the full letter from Manitoba photographers below: