The Chief Public Health Officer says "there's no time to fight over semantics" as he urges Manitobans to not socialize outside their households despite a change to health orders Wednesday.
After announcing on Tuesday that Manitobans may not gather socially, Dr. Brent Roussin changed this order on Wednesday.
"Except where otherwise permitted by these Orders, all persons are prohibited from assembling in a gathering of more than five persons at any indoor or outdoor place or premises," the new order says.
This includes dinners and house parties. When meeting at a private residence, the five persons do not include the household members of the residence where the gathering takes place.
The new order supersedes the previous health orders, which expires at midnight on Thursday.
Churches continue to remain closed to the public. Those conducting regular worship services online are permitted to lead the services together for online worshipers at the place of worship. Worship leaders are religious officials who are necessary to conduct a service. Choirs and worship bands are not permitted. The province has not given a maximum amount of worship leaders in the order, but gathering sizes, in general, are restricted to five persons or fewer.
Baptisms, funerals, weddings, and other similar religious ceremonies can be conducted in places of worship following the five-person maximum. The officiant, such as a pastor or priest, is not included in the five-person maximum.
A church or place of worship can be used for healthcare or social services.
If in an indoor public place, visitors must wear a mask. There are several exemptions to this, including if sitting two meters apart from others.
These orders are in place until December 11.
Following the public being notified of the changes, Roussin took to Twitter to ask people to not gather.
He says that staying home is the right thing for Manitobans to do.
"Manitobans don’t need a law to do what is right - restrict your social interactions to your household. Not because you’ll be fined, but because it’s the right thing to do to fight #Covid19MB."
Doctors Manitoba says "The advice has NOT changed. Stay home to help halt the spread of COVID-19."