WINNIPEG -- As of today, the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region has officially moved to the red or critical level on Manitoba’s pandemic response system, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, made the announcement on Oct. 30, noting the province’s other health regions will be moving to the orange or restricted level beginning on Nov. 2.

He said these restrictions will be in place for two weeks, at which time health officials will re-evaluate.

Winnipeg’s Code Red restrictions include:

  • Closing bars and restaurants with the exception of takeout and delivery;
  • Reducing capacity at most retail businesses to 25 per cent;
  • Reducing capacity at gyms and fitness centres to 25 per cent. People must also wear masks the entire time they are at these facilities, even when exercising;
  • Closing movie theatres and concert halls;
  • Reducing capacity at faith-based gatherings to 15 per cent or 100 people, whichever is lower;
  • Suspending non-urgent and elective surgeries, but scheduled surgeries in a number of essential and time-sensitive areas will continue; and
  • Suspending hospital visitation with exceptions on a case-by-case basis for end-of-life care, labour and delivery and pediatrics.

Roussin encouraged Manitobans to stay home as much as possible.

“These restrictions are essential for us to get on top of the cases we are seeing in our region,” he said.

“We need to get on top of this now.”

- With files from CTV’s Devon McKendrick.