Second phase of Manitoba’s reopening begins Saturday

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The province will implement the second phase of the ‘4-3-2-One Great Summer’ Reopening Path two weeks early, on July 17, as vaccination rates continue to climb across the province, Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, announced today.

“Vaccines are the safest and quickest way out of this pandemic. The sooner all eligible Manitobans get fully vaccinated, the sooner we can all get our lives back,” said Pallister. “Thanks to the incredible efforts of Manitoba’s vaccine team and Manitobans’ willingness to roll up their sleeves – not once, but twice – we are able to move forward earlier than anticipated with fewer restrictions on our economy and our communities.”

The second vaccination milestone of at least 75 per cent first dose and 50 per cent second dose for those age 12 and older was reached nearly a month ahead of schedule on July 6. With continued improvement in the overall COVID-19 situation, Manitobans will be able to enjoy more freedoms with expanded indoor and outdoor activities, the premier noted.

Under the second phase of the ‘4-3-2 One Great Summer’ Reopening Path, most facilities may now open to 50 per cent capacity, allowing more people to gather indoors and outdoors, shop, dine out, visit cultural and recreational facilities, and more. Fully immunized Manitobans who have received two vaccination doses at least two weeks ago, may enjoy even more benefits under new public health orders.

Specifically, the new public health orders will now allow the following:
• indoor gatherings at private residences are permitted to a maximum of five people, plus the household members;
• indoor gatherings in public spaces are permitted to a maximum of 25 people;
• outdoor gatherings on private property increase to a maximum of 25 people;
• public outdoor gatherings increase to a maximum of 150 people;
• retail businesses increase to 50 per cent capacity or 500 people, whichever is lower;
• restaurants, licensed premises and food court capacities expand to 50 per cent 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 be 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 per cent capacity; however, appointments are no longer required;
• dance, theatre, and music school capacities increase to 50 per cent 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 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 per cent 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 per cent capacity to a maximum of 150 people, whichever is lower;
• faith-based and cultural gatherings (pow wows, sun dances) may expand to 50 per cent 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 per cent: 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;
• large-scale, outdoor professional sports or performing arts events may operate with capacities up to 100 per cent after developing an approved event plan in consultation with public health.

In all cases, following the COVID-19 fundamentals, including indoor mask use and physical distancing, is still required to protect the health and well-being of all Manitobans.

“This is the safe, reasonable and appropriate next step in our reopening”, said Roussin. “More and more vaccinations allow us to loosen public health restrictions. But COVID-19 is still circulating in the province and continues to challenge our hospital and ICU capacity, a phased reopening is a safe reopening.”

Pallister echoed the need for caution and care in the province’s reopening plan.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint. We are not at the finish line yet, the race to beat COVID-19 is not over yet,” said the premier. “Until that race is over, Manitobans must continue to do their part and fulfil the two most important public health responsibilities each of us have; get fully vaccinated and follow the public health orders designed to keep COVID-19 away.”

The new public health orders will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 17.

The orders are scheduled to expire at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 7 and will be reassessed at that time in the context of vaccination rates and the province’s overall COVID-19 situation.

“We are close to achieving all of our vaccination milestones ahead of schedule. Now we just need that extra effort by every Manitoban not yet vaccinated to roll up your sleeve and push us across the finish line so we can fully reopen, safely and quickly,” said Pallister.

For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19/.

(Province of MB News Release)