WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Public Library will begin to provide contactless holds and return services at all 20 branches starting on Thursday.

The City of Winnipeg made the announcement on Wednesday, noting these will be the only services offered at the libraries and customers will not be able to go into the branches.

This news comes after the latest round of provincial health orders mandated all libraries to close.

“In an effort to ensure we were satisfying the spirit of the public health orders, the decision was made to close all our library branches and suspend our holds pickup service,” the city said in a news release.

“Following discussions with provincial officials, it was determined that we could provide contactless holds pickup service.”

The city is reminding Winnipeggers that holds can be placed online or by using the WPL app.

Library customers will get an email or phone call when their items are ready, and can phone the library to let them know when they are parked outside or on their way to the branch. Library staff will check out and put customers’ items at the holds pickup tables located outside the front entrance of each library.

The city noted holds pickup services will be available during the regular hours of operation at each branch, and external book returns are available 24/7.

Both library staff and customers have to wear masks.