The Manitoba government has announced more details on Phase Four of its plan to restart Manitoba.
Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister for Manitoba Cameron Friesen says following public health advice and feedback from Manitobans, the province has adjusted plans for the fourth phase of the Restoring Safe Services roadmap as part of the #RestartMB program.
"As we move through this pandemic, our number one priority is to ensure the health and well-being of all Manitobans," says Friesen. "While Manitoba's response to COVID-19 has been led by scientific evidence and the advice of our public health professionals, we need to keep listening to what Manitobans are ready to accept and support at each phase of our recovery efforts. I want to thank Manitobans for their valuable input and commitment to keep the virus at bay as we continue to take a balanced and measured approach at restarting our economy."
The Minister notes over the last two days, more than 50,000 Manitobans provided feedback on the draft phase four plan through the online survey and telephone town hall.
The draft plan proposed a number of changes to be implemented as early as July 25. As a result of public health evidence and advice and in response to feedback received, Phase Four will proceed but with some items deferred to a later date or moved forward with more limited implementation, while other steps will remain as proposed.
The proposed changes to visits in personal care homes and long-term care settings will proceed as outlined in the draft document. The minister notes facility operators will continue to review visitation policies and processes to ensure appropriate visitation, along with the health and safety of residents and families.
Items moving forward with more limited implementation on July 25 include
:• maintaining current site capacity at 30 per cent for faith-based services, pow wows, but eliminating the need for sub-groups (cohorts);
• allowing stage performances and opening movie theatres to a maximum capacity of 30 per cent of the site, up to a maximum of 500 people;
• allowing casinos to open at a maximum of 30 per cent of the site's capacity; and
• allowing retail businesses and indoor recreation sites to use non-permeable barriers when distances of two metres can not be maintained.
The following proposed changes have been deferred at this time:
• proposed changes to indoor and outdoor gathering sizes;
• relaxing of self-isolation requirements for those travelling from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada; and
• walk-up counter service in bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries.
Public health officials will review possible adjustments on a week-by-week basis and make any additional changes based on the public health situation at the time.
"It is thanks to the work and dedication of Manitobans that we have kept our test positivity rates low and reduced the level of illness from COVID-19 in Manitoba," says Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief Provincial Public Health Officer. "We will continue to look to the data and engage with Manitobans to ensure we are taking a balanced approach as we learn how we can live with this virus in the weeks, months and years ahead."
To view the updated phase four plan and to review public health guidance for businesses, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/index.html.
Public health officials continue to encourage businesses to take steps to help staff, customers and visitors stay safe including:
• ensuring people are able to reasonably maintain two metres of distance;
• only conducting necessary and brief exchanges within two metres of others;
• applying enhanced cleaning protocols, especially in common areas like washrooms;
• maintaining physical distancing and food-handling protocols in workplace areas including lunch and common areas;
• ensuring staff stay home when feeling sick; and
• following personal risk reduction measures.
#RestartMB is the Manitoba government’s roadmap to recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It outlines investments in public health preparedness, jobs and economic stimulus to protect Manitobans and their livelihoods. For more details, visit www.manitoba.ca/RestartMB.