Manitoba tightens pandemic controls on April 1

Businesses such as public transit, taxis, restaurants to carry on under certain conditions

The Manitoba government is issuing a new public health order that will demand restaurants to close indoor seating. Other, non-critical businesses must also move to pick-ups and deliveries.

These new measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Manitoba were announced by Premier Brian Pallister on Monday, March 30 and will come into effect on April 1.

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The chief provincial public health officer is issuing orders under The Public Health Act as approved by the minister of health, seniors and active living.  The following measures will be in place as of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1:

“We are seeing what is happening in other jurisdictions, and the time to act is now.  We must continue to adapt to the situation and change our day-to-day lives to prevent unnecessary illness and further tragedies in Manitoba,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer.  “These measures will help us reduce the risk and protect all Manitobans during the ongoing pandemic.”

•    Public gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people, indoors or outdoors.

This does not apply to health care or social services facilities, including child-care centres and homeless shelters. 

•    All restaurants /commercial facilities that serve food are prohibited from serving food in their premises. However, restaurants and other commercial facilities can prepare and serve food for delivery or takeout.  All people must maintain appropriate social distancing from other customers when picking up food.

•    Municipal transit services, taxis and other private vehicles for hire can continue to operate.  The operator of the vehicle must take measures to ensure there is a reasonable separation of people in a vehicle.  This order does not contain specific distance restrictions because it is hard to impose a limit in small vehicles.  The goal is to ensure a reasonable level of spacing between people.

•    All businesses that are not listed in the schedule of critical services that accompanies the order must

close between April 1 and April 14.

    - This closure order does not prevent these businesses from operating on a remote basis.

    - A business may accept orders on the Internet, or over the phone for delivery or pickup, as long as the employees are not working at the place of business.

    - The order does not prevent employees or others from coming into the business to perform repairs, to provide security services or to take out items from the business premises if the business is going to operate on a remote basis.

Federal and Provincial services are to continue.

•   Critical services must put in place measures to ensure appropriate social distancing.

In addition to doctors and nurses, mid-wives and all, health-care providers can continue to provide emergent or urgent care such as dental surgery. 

“Manitobans have always pulled together in a time of crisis and this is no different,” said Pallister.  “We must continue to do whatever we can to support each other.”

The list of public health orders and the schedule of critical services can be found online at: www.manitoba.ca/covid19/soe.html.  Businesses with questions about how the order and schedule of critical services apply to their operations can visit http://engagemb.ca/covid19-csp for up-to-date information, and to ask questions that will be answered by government officials.

© Melita New Era