On Thursday morning, Manitoba’s Premier Brian Pallister and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin outlined the listed potential changes to the upcoming Public Health Order.
With the current PHO set to expire at midnight on Friday, March 26, the public will once again have the opportunity to vote on potential changes, including the shift back to ‘Code Orange’.
In the press conference Thursday morning, Dr. Roussin continued to stress the importance of vigilance to protocol and adhering to the rules currently in place, despite the potential changes forthcoming.
Included in the new list of votable updates to the PHO are updates to gathering sizes, changes to restaurant guest dining, the allowance of sporting matches and mask use and travel restrictions.
For those interested in lacing up for some spring hockey, it would be allowed, should the public vote in its favour. Despite previously requiring participants to wear masks while on the ice along with mouthguards, helmets and cages/visors, this amendment to the PHO would see maskless competition between teams be allowed.
Relating to gatherings:
– Outdoor gathering limits up to 25 people
– Weddings/funerals up to 25 people
– Places of worship up to 25% or 250 people
– Retail stores to 50% or 500 people
– Indoor gathering sizes are not currently under consideration for size increase
Relating to restaurants:
– Allowing people from different households to eat indoors, as long as they are designated to visited them in their home
Relating to sports:
– Allowing organized team games; no masks while playing, practicing
Relating to entertainment:
– Casinos, theatres, concert halls to open to 25% or 250 people
Relating to travel:
– Removing self-isolation requirements for inter-provincial/domestic travel for travel related to business
Relating to mask use:
– Indoor mask mandate will remain in place for public spaces (as determined by vaccine rollout)
With the holidays of Easter and Passover soon approaching, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Dr. Roussin opts to wait until after they pass in order to avoid suffering the same issues that the province faced after Thanksgiving this past October.
Should these proposed changes pass, Manitoba would drop back into ‘Code Orange’, to which a regional approach would most likely be put in place regarding the restrictions – again, based on test positivity rates, case numbers, and variants of concern. To vote on these proposed changes, please visit: https://engagemb.ca.
Pallister ended his presentation on Thursday with the rehearsed line, “have a heart, stay apart”.