'This is the year to adapt': Manitoba premier asks residents to change holiday plans
WINNIPEG -- Manitoba’s premier says this holiday season will be different for Manitobans and is encouraging people to get creative with their celebrations.
“This is the year to adapt, this is the year to not get together apart from those in your household, but rather to celebrate family in a real way by contacting and being in touch with those you love and care for,” Premier Brian Pallister said during a news conference on Tuesday.
“We have technologies now we can use that we didn’t have years ago.”
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, said last week that the province will have targeted measures for the holiday season, but it will depend on the COVID-19 case numbers and how the new restrictions are working.
In Manitoba, gatherings outside of people living in your household are not allowed, with exceptions for home-care, health-care and child-care services, as well as tutoring, repairs, construction, and emergency response services. Those who live alone can also have one person visit their home.
During Tuesday’s news conference, Pallister said following the current public health orders will make the holiday celebrations next year even better.
“It’s important to remember the real celebration in 2021 at Christmas time would be best if it included all of our family,” he said.
Pallister expressed optimism that a vaccine could be deployed "shortly" but stressed that, until then, it's important to follow public health guidance to keep everyone safe.
“That’s ultimately the best holiday gift we can give each other.”
Health Canada said the safest way for people to celebrate the holidays is with people in your immediate household. If people wish to gather with anyone outside of their household, they need to check with their local health authority to see if it's permitted, as each province has different rules around private gatherings.
Some provinces, including Quebec, are looking at potentially allowing small gatherings over the holidays, granted that people self-isolate for a period before and after.
-With files from CTV Winnipeg’s Kayla Rosen.