Manitoba puts brakes on easing travel restrictions in fourth phase
WINNIPEG -- Manitoba has released its plan for the fourth phase of reopening, which will move ahead with the reopening of casinos and theatres, but holds off on eased travel restrictions and group size increases.
On Thursday the province released the finalized plan outlining the fourth phase of reopening the province.
Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, and Cameron Friesen, the Minister of Health Seniors and Active Living, released the plan during a news conference at the Manitoba Legislature.
The plan is moving forward with some changes including the removal of subgroups and cohorts for faith-based services and powwows – though these gatherings must maintain 30 per cent capacity.
Stage performances and movie theatres will be allowed to reopen at a maximum capacity of 30 per cent, up to a maximum of 500 people.
Casinos will also be allowed to reopen at 30 per cent of the site’s capacity.
Retail businesses and indoor recreation sites will now be able to use non-permeable barriers when two metre physical distancing cannot happen.
The changes take effect on July 25.
TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS TO REMAIN IN MANITOBA
Following many concerns over eased out-of-province travel, Manitoba held off on raising the self-isolation requirement for people traveling to the province from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
The draft plan proposed residents from across Canada would be allowed to visit Manitoba without self-isolating.
"The number one area in which (Manitobans) expressed concerns was the reopening – the lifting of restrictions for travel from outside Manitoba," Friesen said.
"We still intend to do that, just now is not clearly that time, but let's be clear – it is time to reopen our economy."
Friesen said the need for travellers to quarantine for 14-days after coming into the province from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada will remain in place at this time.
This update comes one day after Roussin and Friesen participated in a telephone town hall Wednesday night, where Manitobans expressed their concerns and questions over the province’s Phase 4 reopening plan.
During the town hall, the worry over out-of-province travellers bringing COVID-19 cases into Manitoba, especially after Winnipeg was announced as the CFL hub city, was a main topic of discussion.
The province said over the past two days, more than 50,000 Manitobans gave their feedback on the draft plan.
"From public health advice at the beginning to the orders, to each step of the phases – our success is because Manitobans are on board, and we clearly heard that they weren't going to be on board for this, so we wanted to ensure we are listening to Manitobans," Roussin said.
The plan has also deferred the changes to indoor and outdoor group size gatherings. The draft plan proposed increasing indoor gathering limits to 75, and outdoor gathering limits to 250.
Public gathering limits will remain at 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors.
PROVINCE MOVES FORWARD WITH PERSONAL CARE HOME VISITATION
The province has also announced it will allow for more visitations to happen at personal care homes and long term care facilities.
The phase four plan says residents can identify two support people who will be able to visit the resident's room indoors for unlimited visitation time. These people – either friends or family members – will be able to participate regularly in the care for residents.
Residents can also choose people to visit for social reasons indoors, though the province said outdoor visits are preferred.
The province also said outdoor visits will be allowed for a 'reasonable number of visitors' per resident. The province said this would be up to four people depending on the space available.
You can read more information in the Phase Four plan here: