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Manitoba businesses have mixed feelings over end of health restrictions: poll

Manitoba's proof of vaccination requirements are over.

Starting Tuesday, immunization cards and QR codes will no longer be mandatory to get into places like restaurants and entertainment venues.

However, a new poll shows that not all businesses will be getting on board right away.


Marc Amphavannasouk, owner and director of Awesome Hot Yoga, hopes more people will return to his studio now that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required by the Province of Manitoba.

"We will no longer enforce them as well,” Amphavannasouk said in an interview on Monday.

“The province believes we are safe to move forward without them and hopefully more people will feel safe to come back."

According to new polling from the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, about half of businesses will follow suit.

The remaining businesses surveyed are split between keeping the policy in some way or they haven’t decided yet.

"It's not something businesses can typically do at the drop of a hat, and they are going to need a little bit of time to understand what their customers and consumers are looking forward to and how comfortable they are," said Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

When broken down by sector, the polling shows retail, manufacturing, and hospitality are more ready to move on from checking vaccination status.

"It's never been safer to go out to a restaurant and I'm telling you there has never been a time where we need more people out there doing so,” said Shaun Jeffrey, executive director and CEO of the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

Epidemiologist Cynthia Carr said getting people together that are at different risk levels may reverse the positive trends in Manitoba, and says she is concerned about the message it sends.

"Will people hear these kinds of messages and think the pandemic is over, COVID-19 is over and it's not a risk? That actually is not the case at all," she said.

Going forward at Awesome Hot Yoga, a two-metre distance between mats will be kept, hand sanitizer will still be provided, and clients will still wear masks at least until March 15th.

"I know people will still be cautious if they come back, last time we were pretty much safe, another variant came along, so we'll just have to see what happens," Amphavannasouk said.

The province is keeping the database and the code scanner for businesses that want to keep the vaccination policy in place. Top Stories

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