WINNIPEG — Increased COVID-19 vaccination rates has allowed Manitoba to open up additional services and loosen the grip on gatherings, including in the stands at IG Field for football-starved CFL fans.
The province says large-scale, outdoor professional sports or performing arts events may operate with capacities up to 100 percent after developing an approved event plan in consultation with public health.
Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, said stands at an upcoming Winnipeg Blue Bombers game on August 5 will be open fully to fans who are doubly vaccinated.
“We are now getting closer and closer to a post-pandemic Manitoba,” Roussin said.
The province was hoping to get 20,000 doses administered Wednesday at vaccine supersites to people walking in without an appointment.
The new orders take effect Saturday, July 17 at 12:01 a.m., and will allow indoor gatherings at private residences for a maximum of five people, plus the household members.
As well, indoor gatherings in public spaces are permitted to a maximum of 25 people, as well as outdoor gatherings on private property.
Other changes to the public health orders include:
• Public outdoor gatherings increase to a maximum of 150 people
• Retail businesses increase to 50 percent capacity or 500 people, whichever is lower
• Restaurants, licensed premises and food court capacities expand to 50 percent capacity
– Outdoor maximum table size remains at eight people
– Patrons may only sit together indoors if they are from the same household or if all patrons 12 years of age or older are fully immunized (unvaccinated children under 12 may dine with fully vaccinated members of their household in this case)
– Opening hours extend to midnight
– The requirement to purchase food when ordering alcohol no longer applies
– VLTs may operate with all other restaurant/bar rules applying (two-metre distance, only households or fully vaccinated people seated together)
• Personal services (haircuts and styling, nail salons, estheticians and massage) continue at 50 percent capacity; however, appointments are no longer required
• Dance, theatre, and music school capacities increase to 50 percent capacity to a maximum of 25 people per group
• Indoor sporting facilities may host groups up to a maximum of 25 people, interaction between groups and tournaments are not permitted
• Day camp capacity increases to groups of 25, joint activities between groups and overnight camps are prohibited
• Outdoor recreation including games and practices may take place to a maximum group size of 50 people; spectators are permitted and do not count towards this capacity limit; tournaments are not permitted
• Gym and fitness centre capacities expand to 50 percent capacity; masks and increased physical distancing (three metres) are still required
• Outdoor weddings and funerals may include up to 150 participants in addition to photographers and officiants; indoor weddings or funerals increase to 25 people in addition to photographers and officiants;
• Libraries may open to 50 percent capacity to a maximum of 150 people, whichever is lower;
• Faith-based and cultural gatherings (pow wows, sun dances) may expand to 50 percent capacity or 150 people indoors, whichever is lower; masks and physical distancing between households is still required
– If the facility design allows, the capacity limits may be applied to different physical spaces within the venue
– Outdoor faith-based and cultural gatherings permitted up to 150 people and drive-in services continue to be permitted without restriction
• The following may now reopen for fully immunized people only, to a maximum capacity of 50 percent: movie theatres; bingo halls, VLT lounges and casinos, and museums and galleries
– Museums operate under the fully vaccinated requirement when open to the public as a museum, both indoors and out, and if the museum is used as a private venue for another purpose (e.g. wedding), then the appropriate orders apply
– Unvaccinated children under 12 may attend/visit these facilities/events (as appropriate) if accompanied by fully vaccinated members of their household
As of Wednesday, 76.7 percent of eligible Manitobans have received their first dose of the vaccine, while 58.5 percent have received their second dose.