Manitoba releases draft plan for Phase 4 of reopening
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government released the draft plan for Phase 4 of reopening on Tuesday.
The premier made the announcement at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Tuesday.
The plan could be implemented by July 25, and includes:
- Increasing gathering sizes to 75 people indoors and 250 people outdoors;
- Increasing visitation at personal care and long-term care homes, in which residents will be able to designate two support people who could visit their rooms. Residents will also be permitted up to four outdoor visitors depending on space;
- Changing the restrictions for faith-based gatherings, powwows and other cultural and spiritual events, as well as resuming live theatre and movie theatres. The province said no cohorts will be necessary and capacity will increase to 50 per cent or 500 people, whichever is lower;
- Opening casinos at 50 per cent of the facilities’ capacity;
- Lifting occupancy restrictions at retail settings and indoor recreation, except for gyms, fitness centres, martial arts studios, gymnastic clubs, and yoga studios;
- Permitting closer distancing at therapeutic health businesses and personal service businesses, including hair and nail salons, where a non-permeable barrier is installed; and
- Permitting counter walk-up services at bars, beverage rooms, and brew pubs as long as there is a non-permeable barrier and hand sanitizer.
Premier Brian Pallister noted the province is considering lifting the 14-day self-isolation requirement for domestic travel within Canada.
“As we all know by now, this is a balancing act and though we can take pride in the progress we’ve made so far, the additional steps that we’re considering today require us to remain vigilant,” the premier said.
Pallister said the province will continue to review the data and listen to the advice of health experts.
He noted Manitoba’s significant risk factors are people not physically distancing, handwashing or staying home when they are sick.
“Those are the major risk factors you control,” he said.
“In terms of travel, there are restrictions on travel. There’s extensive testing that’s done as a consequence, available to you more than ever before if you experience symptoms. There’s also restrictions in terms of the flight operations, testing done on you to monitor before you can get on a flight in fact.”
Pallister said everyone is concerned about having travellers come into Manitoba from other provinces, such as Quebec and southern Ontario.
“We all have fears, all of us,” he said.
“We can’t give in to them, we can’t live our lives fearful. So what we’re doing as a province has put us in a position to be able to say, together, that we have kept each other as safe as anywhere we could be.
“But we can’t continue to live our lives in fear, we have to act appropriately to deserve to have courage - and we deserve to have courage.”
The province is also looking for the public’s feedback on easing the restrictions. Residents are asked to fill out an online survey and participate in a telephone town hall on Wednesday.
In a statement, Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew said Manitoba families want to enjoy the summer, but also want to make sure the province reopens responsibly, especially in terms of travel from COVID-19 hot spots.
He said the province should encourage Manitobans to wear masks.
“The Premier's announcement fails to include a plan to hire any more nurses at PCHs or Early Childhood Educators at child care centres, despite those facilities repeatedly citing a lack of staff as a barrier to expanding services as we reopen,” Kinew said in the statement, adding the best way to keep the economy moving and people safe is to invest in public services, such as child care and seniors care.
The draft plan can be read below.