WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government announced on Thursday that it is tightening the public health restrictions for the Northern Health region, as well as Churchill.

These new rules will come into effect on Monday, Oct. 26, and will remain in place for at least two weeks.

The restrictions are the same as what is currently in place in Winnipeg, which includes:

  • Reducing gathering sizes;
  • Closing casinos, bingo halls, and entertainment facilities with a licence under the Liquor, Gaming, and Cannabis Control Act that requires licensees to present live entertainment, with the exception of providing takeout food or delivery;
  • Limiting occupancy at licensed businesses, retail businesses, and restaurants to 50 per cent capacity;
  • Limiting occupancy of personal service businesses to 50 per cent of the usual occupancy, or one person for every 10 square metres that is open to the public, whichever is less;

Requiring restaurants or licensed premises, theatres, museums, galleries, libraries, personal service businesses, concert halls, and fitness facilities to keep contact information for people coming to their facilities and maintain the records for 21 days.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, said these added restrictions are due to rising increasing cases, increasing test positivity, and increased community transmission.

He said there have been cases in vulnerable settings, adding the north is already at risk for transmission of COVID-19, particularly in remote and isolated communities.

Roussin said the test positivity rate for the north is 4.6 per cent.

“As we see, these increasing case counts throughout Manitoba, especially in Winnipeg and the Northern region, we know that it’s all a result of increased contacts,” Roussin said.

“So we find cases, we’ve demonstrated how one case can result in many contacts and many cases if we all have many contacts outside our household, so we really need to focus for this time on reducing our contacts outside the household, getting back to those fundamentals.”

The travel restrictions for the north remain in place and unchanged.