Manitobans could soon be shedding their long locks and visiting with small groups of people in their yards.
Changes might be coming to most of Manitoba, excluding northern Manitoba. Following strong engagement with the province's latest COVID-19 survey, health officials are looking to make the following changes:
The province says trades and support people will continue to be allowed in households for work.
Changes to improve personal connections and the well-being of Manitobans could include:
- two additional people (family or friends) to visit a household
- outdoor visits of up to five people plus members of a household on outdoor private property
- funerals to have up to 10 people in addition to the officiant
Visitors do not need to be designated, but the Chief Public Health is cautioning Manitobans that in order for the spread to slow gatherings must be limited. He says it is not an invitation to suddenly socialize with large amounts of people in groups of two.
The province says their survey showed half of all Manitobans identified in-person faith-based gatherings as not or not at all important. They say 29 per cent said it was somewhat or very important.
Following these results, the province has not announced any changes to regular worship gatherings.
Funerals will be expanded to allow up to 10 people at a time, excluding the officiant. Wedding regulations have not changed. The province says the public opinion on weddings was split with 49 per cent identifying it as somewhat or very important, and 29 per cent identifying it as not or not at all important.
Health Officials could be eliminating the essential goods list. If all reopen, a capacity limit will be put in place.
All stores to open for the sale of all products and current requirements to maintain physical distancing and occupancy limits would remain in place and be enforced.
Changes could include:
- non-regulated health services, such as pedorthists and reflexologists, to reopen with adequate physical distancing and requirements to collect information for contact tracing purposes
- barbershops and hairstylists to reopen at 25 per cent capacity with adequate physical distancing and requirements to collect information for contact tracing purposes
- the elimination of the essential items list.
“As we look at ways to gradually ease restrictions on the way Manitobans socialize and do business, we must always consider the needs of our health-care system and our vulnerable communities,” Dr. Brent Roussin says in a statement. “We cannot lose sight of the progress we have made over the last 10 weeks, which is why it is crucial that Manitobans continue to follow the fundamentals as we move forward through this pandemic.”
These changes could last for three weeks. Roussin says in the future the province could be looking to make all changed last three weeks instead of the usual two.
There are no proposed changes to personal services such as tattoo shops or nail salons. Sports and in-person entertainment will not be changed.
The doctor says that the strict Level Red restrictions have saved lives, noting that the efforts of Manitobans have worked. Roussin says if Manitobans are cautious, the slow reopenings will be successful.
A previous statement from the province stating podiatrists instead of pedorthists were being added to the list has since been corrected.