WINNIPEG -- Shopping centres and malls in Manitoba will be allowed to reopen on May 4, though they will be required to follow strict physical distancing guidelines, Manitoba health officials say.

The province has announced it will begin easing restrictions on non-essential businesses in an effort to reopen Manitoba's economy, starting May 4.

READ MORE: Manitoba premier announces plan to reopen the province beginning next week

The province said certain retail businesses will be allowed to reopen their doors to the public on Monday.

"To make it clear, these are a relaxation of our public health restrictions – certainly not a directive," said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer. "So, any individual place of business is going to decide on their own whether they can meet our guidelines and whether it’s safe to operate."


If retail businesses do choose to open on Monday, the province said they must ensure staff and customers keep a distance of at least two metres, except for brief exchanges. All businesses will be limited to 50 per cent of normal business occupancy, or one person per 10 square metres – whichever is lower.

Staff must use the self-screening tool before coming to work, and they must stay home if they are ill. Customers are not allowed in if they are showing symptoms of the virus.

Businesses must post external signs explaining the physical distancing measures, and post floor markings for line ups.

Polo Park Mall

The Polo Park Mall remains empty amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Winnipeg on April 29, 2020. (Source: Les Leschasin/ CTV News Winnipeg)

Businesses must have only one entry, and entry into the business has to be regulated to prevent congestion. Hand sanitizer must be available at the entrances and exits.

The limit of no more than 10 people gathering in common areas remains in effect, and any congregation of people should be discouraged, the province said.

The province also said cashless and no-contact payment should be used whenever possible.

"If malls open, they are going to need to comply with the strict physical distancing measures," Roussin said. "Those are going to have to be followed."

The province said the following businesses will be allowed to open, providing they follow the health measures:

  • Clothing stores;
  • Shoe stores;
  • Jewellers;
  • Tailors;
  • Flower shops;
  • Lodges and outfitters;
  • Sporting good/adventure stores;
  • Vaping supply shops;
  • Boat dealers;
  • ATV and snowmobile dealers;
  • Gift, book and stationary stores;
  • Jewellery and accessory stores;
  • Toy stores;
  • Music, electronic and entertainment stores,
  • Pawn shops;
  • Pet groomers and similar businesses.