In addition, all Manitobans will be allowed to congregate in larger numbers at home or away from home starting Saturday, when the province’s pandemic rules are relaxed. The province announced today that most spaces will be able to open at 50% capacity this weekend as part of the next phase of its reopening.
Manitobans who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will also be able to go to the movies or visit a museum, casino, gallery or bingo halls.
“This is a positive step today,” Prime Minister Brian Pallister said at a press conference Wednesday announcing the changes, which will take effect at 12:01 am local time on Saturday. “Despite the progress we have made… there is still work to be done. “
Pallister and Chief Public Health Officer Dr Brent Roussin also announced a relaxed set of rules for public and private gatherings.
Roussin said large outdoor professional sporting and arts events can operate at up to 100% capacity, assuming public health approves individual plans.
Specifically, Public Health has approved a plan to keep the Winnipeg Blue Bombers working 100% for their first game of the shortened CFL season, scheduled for August 5. Participation in this match will only be open to fully vaccinated people, Roussin said. .
Beginning Saturday, Manitobans will be able to have up to five people inside their home, not including members of that household. Indoor gatherings in public spaces will also be permitted for up to 25 people.
Outdoor gatherings on private property will be permitted up to 25 people. Outdoor gatherings in the public domain will be permitted up to 150.
The food service and retail sectors will also see significant increases in capacity and hours of operation from Saturday.
Retail businesses can reopen at 50% capacity, or 500 people, whichever is lower.
Restaurants, food courts and licensed establishments that serve food may remain open until midnight. The seating capacity will increase to 50%, although the seats on the outdoor terrace remain at eight people.
Another current restaurant rule remains in place: you can only eat inside with people you live with, unless everyone at the table from the age of 12 is fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 can also eat with a table of fully immune people.
Salons, hairdressers and massage therapists can open at half capacity for a maximum of 25 people. Appointments are no longer necessary.
Gyms, libraries, wedding capacity on the rise
The capacity of gyms and fitness centers also drops to 50% as of Saturday. Masks must be worn and people must keep at least three meters between them.
Libraries can open at half capacity or 150 people, whichever is lower.
Faith-based and cultural gatherings can reach 50 percent or 150 people, whichever is lower, although people should wear masks and distance themselves from those in other households. Outdoor gatherings will open to 150 people. Drive-in services can continue.
Outdoor weddings and funerals can accommodate up to 150 people, including photographers and officiants. The interior services will be able to accommodate 25 guests, not counting the officiants and the photographers.
The facilities of dance, theater and music schools will see their capacities increase to 50 percent or 25 people.
Indoor sports facilities and youth day camps can accommodate groups of 25, although joint activities between groups are not permitted.
Outdoor recreation – games and training – can accommodate 50 people, with spectators allowed to watch on the sidelines without counting towards group size limits. Tournaments, however, are still not allowed.
Reach targets early
So far, 76.7% of Manitobans aged 12 and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 58.5% have received two.
Manitoba’s staged process initially tied the easing of restrictions to meeting vaccine milestones before three public holidays: Canada Day in July, Terry Fox Day on August 2, and Labor Day in September.
The province surpassed its second stage target last week, about a month ahead of schedule, when more than 75 percent of those eligible received one dose and 50 percent received two.
Pallister has previously said that if vaccination goals are met early, changes in health orders could also come ahead of schedule.
Manitoba also met its first immunization goal early, when it reached 25% full vaccines and 70% first doses on June 21, more than a week ahead of the July 1 goal.
The province’s third and final goal in the reopening plan is to have 80 percent of Manitobans eligible with at least one dose of vaccine and 75 percent with two doses by September 6.