Due to the increased threat of the omicron variant of concern, rising COVID-19 cases and a growing strain on the health-care system, Manitoba is taking additional steps to help curb the spread of the virus in the fourth wave of the pandemic, Health and Seniors Care Minister Audrey Gordon and Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, announced today.
“We are taking the advice of our public health officials to put new measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect each other from this virus and the omicron variant,” said Gordon. “This is difficult, especially around the holidays, but it is a necessary step. Once again, we must ask Manitobans to do more. In addition to following these new orders, I encourage every Manitoban eligible to get their first, second or third dose to keep themselves safe.”
The new restrictions include:
- private indoor gatherings are limited to 10 additional people plus the household if all are fully vaccinated (youth aged 12 and under are exempt);
- private indoor gatherings are limited to five additional people plus the household if any of the individuals are eligible but unvaccinated (youth aged 12 and under are exempt);
- indoor and outdoor sporting and recreation capacity is reduced to 50 per cent for spectators, while games and practices can continue no tournaments will be permitted;
- large group gatherings will be limited to 50 per cent capacity with proof of immunization;
- gyms, movie theatres, museums and libraries are limited to 50 per cent capacity with proof of immunization required everywhere except libraries;
- restaurants and licensed premises are limited to 50 per cent capacity and seated service only with a maximum of 10 people per table and proof of immunization required; and
- faith-based gatherings are limited to 50 per cent capacity with proof of vaccination, or 25 per cent capacity or a total of 25 people, whichever is lower, when proof of vaccination is not required.
“We are seeing concerning numbers now, particularly with the omicron variant,” said Roussin. “Projections clearly show more challenges ahead for our individual health, to our communities and for our health-care system as a whole. We need to take further steps to curb the situation. Thank you to all Manitobans who are following the public health orders, focusing on the fundamentals and choosing to be vaccinated. It is frustrating to be here again but I know we will step up to make these necessary changes, together.”
The orders go into effect on Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 12:01 a.m. and expire on Jan. 11, 2022. The updated orders keep the Pandemic Response System at Restricted (Orange) with schools at Caution (Yellow).
All other public health orders remain unchanged.
For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19.
(Province of MB News Release)