Crackdown: Loopholes closed on Manitoba businesses skirting public orders
WINNIPEG -- New public health orders announced Thursday are cracking down on what stores can sell in-person to the public.
By 12:01 a.m. on November 21, businesses must move non-essential items away from public access, and are only allowed to sell essential items starting on Friday, Nov. 20.
'WHAT ITEMS ARE ESSENTIAL AND WHAT ARE NOT'
As part of the new orders, officials said starting on Friday, stores will not be allowed to sell non-essential items in-person.
These non-essential items must be marked or sectioned off from the rest of the store so customers know they can't be purchased. If a customer brings a non-essential item to the cashier, that item can't be rung through.
"What we really want to do is to ensure it is clear to consumers what items are essential and what are not," said Roussin.
He added most businesses have been good at following health orders, but not all.
"But we saw others that were encouraging people to lineup for Black Friday sales. Selling non-essential items, trying to work around the orders," said Roussin.
These new restrictions will only allow businesses to open if they sell essential items. Businesses can still sell non-essential items online for curbside pickup or delivery, but the public is not allowed inside.
Roussin said the province is in a good spot to enforce these orders as there is 3,300 provincial employee who are able to make sure people follow the rules.
"We're asking Manitobans to hear these extremely strict restrictions and follow them without the threat of enforcement. These orders are really in place ultimately to save Manitoban's lives."
Essential items include outdoor winter apparel such as jackets and boots, food, baby and child-care accessories, mobility or assistive devices, pet food, and personal protective equipment.
The province lists non-essential items as jewelry, perfume, consumer electronics, sporting equipment, books, and toys.
Businesses must also limit the number of people shopping at the business to 25 per cent of the usual capacity of the premises or 250 people, whichever is lower.