On Wednesday afternoon, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced the second set of loosened restrictions in Manitoba’s 4-3-2-One Great Summer reopening plan, set to get into effect at 12:01 AM on Saturday, July 17.
Indoor gatherings will resume with up to five visitors on top of household members, outdoor private gatherings will increase from 10 to 25 people, while indoor public gatherings will also see 25 people allowed to congregate. Outdoor gatherings will be able to host 150 people, while retail businesses and restaurants will open back up to 50 percent capacity.
Casinos, VLTs, movie theatres and museums will reopen to fully-vaccinated people at 50 percent capacity, libraries will reopen, while weddings and funerals will see expanded participant numbers.
Also of note are changes regarding health and fitness, gyms, amateur sport and professional sporting events within the province.
Gyms and fitness centres will see their numbers bump up from 25 to 50 percent capacity, while recreational sports will be able to go ahead at a much larger scale. For indoor sports, 25 participants will be allowed per group, while 50 participants will be allowed at outdoor recreational sporting events. No tournaments of any sort are allowed to occur, while spectators will not be counted towards the cap-limit at outdoor events.
In terms of professional sporting events, all professional outdoor sporting events will have the opportunity to run full-capacity should the venue and organization pass an approved ‘Event Plan’ through Public Health. According to Dr. Roussin, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have already checked off this box and will be able to host a full house of 33,500 spectators on Thursday, August 5, in a 2019 Grey Cup rematch with the Hamilton Tiger Cats at IG Field.
Only fully-vaccinated participants will be admitted through the gates, with a proof of vaccination required. Masks will be optional for the event, and all games going forward.
33,500 fans will be allowed to attend IG Field for the opening game of the 2021 CFL season.
The @Wpg_BlueBombers' official 'Event Plan' has already been approved by Public Health.
Welcome back, football.
— Carter Brooks (@CBrooksie84) July 14, 2021
Should the Winnipeg Jets be interested in switching over to play all home games outdoors, the opportunity to boast a full house for the 2021-22 NHL season is still in play. At this point, no further information on indoor professional sporting events and capacity numbers have been announced.
With current Manitoba COVID-19 case numbers dipping to lows not seen since September of 2020, optimism for a ‘normal’ fall season remains high across the province. Vaccination numbers do continue to climb, but the daily intake of first dose recipients has slowed down.
Currently sitting at a 76.7 percent first-dose vaccination rate and a 58.5 percent second-dose vaccination rate, Manitoba is on pace to hit the 75/80 target for Labour Day slightly ahead of schedule, likely in late-August, just in time for the proposed Labour Day reopening.