WINNIPEG -- Manitoba’s premier outlined the plan to open the province’s non-essential businesses on Wednesday.

Pallister announced the multi-phase plan will begin next week, on May 4. At this time the province will begin to open some businesses and increase recreation opportunities, including non-essential healthcare and retail businesses, but they will need to operate under strict guidelines regarding physical distancing and cleaning practices

The premier made the announcement at a news conference on Wednesday.

“Today’s good news and it’s good news because of you,” said Pallister, noting it’s a day people have been looking forward to.

The province said its reopening plan, called ‘Restoring Safe Services: Manitoba’s Pandemic Recovery Roadmap,’ is made of multiple phases. The timing of each phase is subject to change, based on the advice of medical experts.


During phase one of the plan, which begins May 4, public health measures and travel restrictions will stay in place, but priority elective surgeries and diagnostics screening will resume. Though some non-essential businesses will reopen, they will have to limit their capacity to 50 per cent of regular business levels or one person per 10 square metres – whichever is lower.

The non-essential businesses to open in Manitoba during phase one include:

  • Non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures;
  • Therapeutic and medical services;
  • Retail businesses, including clothing and sporting good stores;
  • Restaurant patio or walk-up services;
  • Hair salons;
  • Museums, galleries and libraries;
  • Seasonal day camps; and
  • Outdoor recreation and campgrounds.

“We are still restricting gathering to no more than 10 people,” Pallister said.

“Depending on the results of this next phase we will consider increasing the size of gatherings as early as mid-May. But based on public health advice we shouldn’t expect in the foreseeable future to see large gatherings, events like concerts or festivals, that will not be realistic for some time.

During the other phases, which won’t come any earlier than June 1, the size of allowed public gatherings may be increased and other non-essential services might be opened including dine-in services at restaurants and nail salons.

The premier noted “there’s no room for complacency” against COVID-19 and thanks residents for the actions they’ve supported so far. He said we have to continue to do some of these measures to keep people safe.

“This is not an announcement about a return to normal,” said Pallister,

Pallister also said he’s thinking of all the families who have suffered a loss or been impacted by COVID-19.

This is a developing story, more details to come.