Manitobans can now choose to designate one other household to form a pandemic bubble and all businesses — except indoor theatres, concert halls, casinos and bingo halls — can reopen when new public health orders come into effect Friday.
Indoor recreation facilities such as gyms, pools and fitness centres can operate at 25 per cent capacity with physical distancing measures in place for spectators, locker rooms and common areas, but the requirements for one-on-one training have been removed.
The new orders will remain in effect until March 25. To read a breakdown of the new rules on the Manitoba government website, click here.
Among the other changes, the limit on outdoor gathering sizes has doubled to 10 people.
Restaurants can operate at 50 per cent capacity, but the rule limiting seating to household members only remains in place. Other businesses can also operate at 50 per cent capacity, up to a maximum of 250 people.
More to come
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Manitobans will soon learn whether they can form a pandemic “bubble” with another household as the provincial government prepares to announce the next phase in COVID-19 public health restrictions on Tuesday.
Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, will unveil the new health orders during a news conference at 11 a.m. CT. CBC Manitoba will stream the conference live on our website.
Last week, the Manitoba government announced it is considering a broad swath of relaxed COVID-19 rules.
Changes that were being considered include increasing outdoor gathering sizes to 10 people from the current limit of five, letting families form a bubble with one other household, and allowing almost all establishments to reopen, including in the retail and indoor recreation sectors.
The province invited members of the public to offer their feedback on the proposed changes last week. The new rules go into effect one minute after midnight on Friday.
Officials began loosening some restrictions to allow for a “slow reopening” of some businesses on Jan. 23. At first, the changes applied to all areas but the north. On Feb. 12, restrictions were relaxed further, this time with northern Manitoba included.
Despite those relaxed rules, daily COVID-19 case counts have continued to fall across the province. On Monday, Manitoba posted its lowest daily case count since Oct. 7.