WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government announced the entire province will be moving to the critical or red level on the pandemic response system.

Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday.

“Our number one priority through this entire process is protecting our most vulnerable citizens,” Pallister said.

“And we are all vulnerable to COVID.”

The move to Code Red means the province will be under new restrictions, including:

  • Reducing social contacts to your household only. Social gatherings aren’t allowed;
  • Restricting travel to and from northern Manitoba. Non-essential travel is discouraged;
  • Retail businesses that are listed as critical services, such as groceries and pharmacies, can stay open at 25 per cent capacity;
  • Retail businesses that aren’t listed as critical services can only provide e-service, curbside pickup, and delivery;
  • Closing all personal service businesses, such as hair salons, barbers, and places offering manicures, pedicures, and other esthetic services;
  • Closing religious and cultural gatherings, but they can be provided virtually;
  • Closing gyms and fitness centres;
  • Closing restaurants to the public. Restaurants can stay open for delivery, drive-thru, and takeout; and
  • Closing all recreational activities, sport facilities, casinos, museums, galleries, libraries, movie theatres, and concert halls.

The province is not making any changes to childcare services or Kindergarten to Grade 12 education.

“We are truly at a crossroads in the fight against this pandemic,” Roussin said.

“The measures we’ve had in place over the last number of weeks, while restrictive, have obviously not been enough. We continue to see our numbers climb. We continue to see increasing strain on our healthcare system.”

The province added that beyond these restrictions, Manitobans can also reduce the number of shoppers in a household to the lowest possible number, work from home if possible, reduce travel unless absolutely necessary, and remember every person you’ve come into contact with recently.

Roussin noted that Manitobans need to “turn these numbers around and we need to turn them around now.”

“Our plans are that these new restrictions will help halt the spread of this virus and to protect Manitobans and ensure our healthcare system can continue to function,” he said.

These restrictions come into effect on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 12:01 a.m. Roussin said Manitobans should plan for the restrictions to be in place for at least four weeks, or two incubation periods for COVID-19.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew noted that tomorrow is Remembrance Day and that at this moment Manitobans are being asked to come together and make a sacrifice to protect our way of life and our society “much as many veterans were asked to do generations ago.”

Kinew hopes that Manitoba can find a safe way to acknowledge veterans’ sacrifices tomorrow, at 11 a.m. in particular.

“I hope as we do so we reflect on what is being asked of us and that we live up to that,” he said.

“I know we can as Manitobans.”

He added that veterans fought for a country that would treat seniors better than we have seen so far.

“I think anybody who served, anybody in Manitoba with a beating heart, would shake their head at what's happened at Maples this week,” Kinew said.

The NDP leader went on to say there will be time for accountability, but all Manitobans have a role to play in flattening the curve.

“We’re going to get through this thing, it’s not going to be easy,” he said.

“It seems unlikely that we’re going to see our cousins at Christmas time this year, but if we get through this thing over the next four weeks, then maybe we can see our grandparents around that Christmas table.”

More information on the restrictions can be viewed below.