WINNIPEG -- Manitoba is set to begin its first phase of reopening this weekend, and the rules include certain benefits for fully vaccinated people.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on June 26, restaurants and bars are permitted to reopen at 25 per cent capacity indoors and 50 per cent capacity outdoors. The province noted that people seated together for indoor dining need to be from the same household -- unless they’re fully vaccinated.

“Those who are fully immunized are able to dine indoors with people from other households,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, at a news conference on Wednesday.

For outdoor dining, tables are limited to a maximum of eight people, who can be from different households regardless of immunization status.

Roussin noted restaurants will be able to verify someone’s vaccine status through digital or plastic immunization cards. He added there will also be an app made available later in the week that will be able to read the immunization cards.

“It doesn’t share really personal health information,” he said.

“It simply will show the person’s name and either a green checkmark [which means they’re] fully vaccinated, or an ‘X’ [indicating] no records found. Nothing is stored or anything like that.”

When asked about children under the age of 12, who are not eligible for the vaccine, Roussin said they will follow the vaccine status of their parents.

“If both parents that are attending a restaurant are fully vaccinated, those under 12 would meet that,” he said.

Roussin noted the province will not be making this same exception for those aged 12 to 17.

The province notes that more benefits for fully immunized Manitobans will be announced next month, including increased capacity for fully immunized people at weddings, funerals, faith-based gatherings, as well as other gatherings. This will be based on the continued vaccination rate increase and improvements to Manitoba’s COVID-19 situation.

Some of the other current benefits for fully vaccinated Manitobans include visiting fully immunized loves ones at personal care homes, and travelling within Canada for essential and non-essential purposes without having to self-isolate upon return to Manitoba.

This news comes after Manitoba exceeded its first reopening vaccination target, as 71.6 per cent of Manitobans aged 12 and older have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 28.8 per cent have received their second dose.

Fully vaccinated people are those who have had their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for at least two weeks.

“We’ve offered a variety of motivations to encourage people to get vaccinated,” said Premier Brian Pallister.