Omicron Variant Spreading in Manitoba, Public Health Orders Updated

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The Manitoba government is updating public health orders to reduce the gatherings sizes and put limitations on the sale of liquor to help curb community transmission and protect the capacity of the health-care system as the omicron variant continues to circulate in Manitoba, Premier Heather Stefanson and Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, announced today.

“Over the last week, case numbers have increased sharply, and we must again take steps to reduce the spread of the virus to help protect Manitoba’s health-care system,” said Stefanson. “As we approach the new year – a time that is usually filled with celebration – we are urging Manitobans to limit your close contacts at this crucial time in our fight against COVID-19. We all have a role to play, and we encourage everyone get fully vaccinated, including a third dose when eligible, follow the public health orders and focus on the fundamentals.”

The additional restrictions mean gatherings must not exceed 50 per cent of the usual capacity of the space, or 250 people, whichever is less. This includes:
•    indoor and outdoor public gatherings;
•    restaurants, licensed premises, food courts and socials;
•    movie theatre and concert halls;
•    performing arts venues and outdoor ticketed performing arts events;
•    museums and art galleries;
•    outdoor and indoor sporting and recreational facilities including dance schools and martial arts studios;
•    gyms, fitness centres and yoga studios;
•    indoor and outdoor ticketed sporting events;
•    indoor recreational businesses;
•    seasonal facilities and events;
•    religious services and Indigenous cultural events; and
•    bingos, casinos and businesses with VLTs.

The changes will affect capacity limits at these locations including gatherings where all attendees are fully vaccinated, have a medical reason not to receive a vaccine or people under 12 years of age.

In addition, liquor sales in restaurants and licensed premises must end at 10 p.m. daily. The changes will come into effect on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 12:01 a.m. and will expire on Jan. 11, 2022.

“We know these changes will affect the plans of many people, but we must put them in place now to reduce the possible spread of the virus over the rest of the holiday season,” said Roussin. “Thousands of Manitobans have been vaccinated and continue follow the public health orders and we thank you for that, but these changes are necessary right now to reduce the risk of severe illness and to support our health-care system.”

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 https://gov.mb.ca/covid19.

(Province of MB News Release)