COVID-19: Manitoba Limits Gathering Sizes Due to Rise in Cases
New health orders are coming to Manitoba as the holidays approach.
Provincial Chief Public Health Officer Dr Brent Roussin and Minister of Health and Aged Care Audrey Gordon announced the new orders which will include restrictions on family gatherings.
“I come today with a message that I didn’t want to have to convey and probably none of us wanted to hear,” Roussin said.
“The current number of COVID-19 cases, the facts about how quickly Omicron is being transmitted in many jurisdictions, and Omicron’s impending community transition here in Manitoba are very, very concerning.”
Under the new rules, Manitobans will only be allowed to gather with 10 vaccinated people plus those living inside the home. If there are unvaccinated people, the limit is five plus household members.
Roussin said those under 12 are exempt from having to be fully vaccinated, but are still counted in the number of people allowed to attend.
Other commands include:
Capacity limits of 25% in indoor public spaces or 25 people when proof of vaccine is required;
Outdoor gatherings will have limits of 50 people or 50% capacity;
· Gyms, cinemas, libraries and museums will still have the vaccine requirements as well as a new 50% capacity limit;
· Restaurant customers will only be served in a seated position and tables can only have a capacity of 10 people, while the restaurants themselves will have a 50% capacity limit;
Faith-based gatherings where proof of vaccination is required will have a 50% gathering limit. If proof of vaccination is not required, the capacity limit will be 25% or 25 people;
· Indoor and outdoor sports will not have tournaments. Matches and training will be permitted and spectator capacity will be reduced to 50%; and
· Large indoor events will be reduced to 50% capacity.
Roussin said these actions are intended for the short term so that the long-term health of Manitobans can be protected.
“We need to take these steps now, even including restrictions that involve the vaccinated population. It’s absolutely frustrating to be here again,” he said.
Roussin said that although there are currently only eight confirmed cases of Omicron, there are a significant number of cases of Omicron being screened.
“From what we will see, it is very likely that in the next few days we will be clear that we have community transmission.”
Roussin added that the province will not stop Omicron, but these orders could help reduce the number of Omicron cases.
Asked about holiday gatherings, Roussin said people should follow those orders during holidays and those who might be at high risk.
“We all now have to focus on reducing the number of contacts (that we have). I know now it’s really disappointing. We had an extremely disappointing holiday season last year and this one is also disappointing.
These health orders will come into effect on Tuesday morning and will be in place until January 11.
The new health orders can be seen below: