WINNIPEG — Manitoba is eliminating the requirement to wear a mask in any indoor public space as COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to increase.
After nearly hitting the third stage of the province’s summer reopening plan, Dr. Brent Roussin and Premier Brian Pallister announced Tuesday changes to the public health orders, including no restrictions on several sectors.
Effective Saturday, August 7, no further restrictions will apply to the following:
• Indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences
• Gyms and fitness centres
• Personal services such as hair and nail salons
• Day camps
• Retail businesses, markets, garden centres and malls
Masks are strongly recommended in indoor public settings for everyone who is not fully immunized including children under 12. Some individual businesses may still require the public to wear masks indoors. Masks will still be a requirement to enter any Manitoba health-care facility, including hospitals and personal care homes.
“Unless you are fully immunized, you are still at risk for more severe effects of COVID-19, such as requiring hospital care or even death,” said Roussin. “We are slowly but surely approaching a post-pandemic Manitoba, but this does not mean COVID-19 will disappear. We need to remain cautious and vigilant in our efforts to stop the spread of this virus.”
Manitoba is close to the third vaccination goal officials have set as part of the reopening roadmap. As of Tuesday, 80 percent of people have received a first dose, while 71.4 percent have received a second dose. The goal for second-dose vaccinations is 75 percent by Labour Day. Manitoba has previously hit its first two goals weeks ahead of schedule.
Other sectors will open with limited restrictions including:
• Expanded capacity limits will remain in place for weddings, funerals and other public gatherings both indoors and outdoors including larger capacity limits for worship and cultural events like pow wows
• Restaurants and bars will no longer need to restrict the size or space between tables and dining will not be restricted to households or vaccinated individuals; however, patrons will still be expected to avoid congregating or socializing between tables
• Museums, galleries and movie theatres will remain limited to 50 percent capacity but will no longer be restricted to vaccinated individuals
• Casinos and bingo halls, professional sporting events, horse and auto racing, and concert halls will continue to be limited to vaccinated individuals; however, all these facilities may now open to 100 per cent capacity
• Indoor and outdoor sports and recreation will fully reopen with limits only on spectator capacity
• Overnight camps will be permitted with limits on camper cohorts
• Workplaces must continue to report cases to government for followup and public health-confirmed transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace may result in workplaces being ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days
• Remote working will no longer be required or recommended by public health and workplaces will be encouraged to transition from COVID-19 safety plans to a general communicable disease prevention plan that focuses on basic risk-reduction principles to reduce the risk of workplace transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses
The current public health order will be in effect until Tuesday, September 7 at 12:01 a.m. Based on vaccination and COVID-19 case rates at that time, the province will reassess to determine the next phase of reopening.
More to come…