Casino closures and group size limits among new restrictions coming to Winnipeg next week


WINNIPEG – In an effort to curb the increase in COVID-19 cases in Winnipeg, Manitoba’s top doctor has ordered more targeted restrictions, including reducing group sizes and closing casinos. On Friday, Dr Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, announced that new restrictions in the greater Winnipeg area will come into effect on Monday, October 19.

“We have to make this change – this two week sacrifice,” Roussin said, adding that Winnipeg needed to reduce close contact and the spread of the community.

“We’ve already made the change and we can do it again, and make a difference in the results in a relatively short time.”

These new restrictions include:

  • The size of the gatherings is reduced to five people. This does not include household members for private gatherings inside the house.

  • Beverage halls, entertainment facilities, casinos and bingo halls will be closed.

  • Restaurants and lounges will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity with a distance of two meters and tables not exceeding five people.

  • Retail businesses will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, but will be subject to the five-person group size limit in food courts and common areas.

  • Sporting events and extracurricular activities should reduce the number of spectators to 25 percent of a venue’s capacity.

  • Museums, galleries and libraries must reduce their capacity by 50% and must collect the contact details of all participants.

  • Gyms and fitness centers should collect contact information from all participants. Those who go to a gym or fitness center should wear a mask unless they engage in physical activity.

The restrictions will remain in place for at least two weeks.

The province said the new restrictions are in addition to current restrictions in place for the greater Winnipeg area, including mandatory mask use in all indoor public spaces, and reductions in alcohol service hours and noise restrictions in licensed establishments.

“These restrictions will all be applicable under the law,” Roussin said. “We have imposed fines in the past when necessary and will look to redouble our efforts in the weeks to come.”

Manitoba reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, including 63 in Winnipeg. This brings the total number of active cases in Winnipeg to 1,354.

Roussin said the rate of positivity testing in Winnipeg is now 6.3%.

Since March, there have been 3,098 cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba and 38 deaths.

This is a developing story. More details to come.


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