Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin are announcing what summer in Manitoba could look like.
After weeks of hinting, the province is unveiling a plan called The 4-3-2-One Great Summer Reopening Path. This plan highlights vaccination targets and when the province could be seeing loosened Public Health Orders.
"It sets out a clear path for more openings and fewer restrictions as more and more Manitobans roll up their sleeve and get fully vaccinated," Pallister says in a Thursday press conference.
Roussin, excited to make the announcement, says the plan will focus on gathering and socializing, travel and tourism, shopping and services, and dining out and entertainment. Gatherings and socialization include the ability to attend day camps, attend religious services, and attend other personal gatherings.
The reopening plan will start on Canada Day and will follow other major holidays, August Long Weekend and Labour Day, as its milestone marks. The reopening will be based on getting vaccinated and following public health orders.
Reopening goals include:
- meeting vaccine targets by Canada Day means businesses, services and facilities can open at
- 25 per cent capacity or greater levels
- meeting vaccine targets by the August long weekend means businesses, services and facilities can open at 50 per cent capacity or greater levels
- meeting vaccine targets by Labour Day means businesses, services and facilities can open with limited restrictions
Roussin and Pallister say the plans do not give specific information on what will open when, saying they did not want to give false hope.
"We are really being specific in the benchmarks that we have to achieve so that we can proceed with the reopening details," Pallister says. "The fact of the matter is any reopening plan is going to be based on these criteria that we have outlined in great detail in this plan."
If the vaccination milestones are hit and Public Health is satisfied with case counts, reopening dates will be moved up. Roussin could not clarify what case numbers could signal the reopenings, as variants bring different concerns.
Roussin says capacity limits could also be different in different areas, depending on the two criteria they are looking at.
Clear vaccination goals are given with anticipated dates.
Vaccination milestone goals include:
- over 70 per cent of all Manitobans aged 12 and over have received their first dose and over 25 per have received their second dose by Canada Day
- 75 per cent or greater of all Manitobans aged 12 and over have received their first dose and over 50 per have received their second dose by the August long weekend
- 80 per cent or greater of all Manitobans aged 12 and over have received their first dose and over 75 per have received their second dose by Labour Day
September's full reopening will happen as schools start the next year.
"We are looking to a place in the future where we can rely on those population-level benefits of high vaccine uptake and not have to focus on those who are unable to get vaccinated," Roussin says.
Children 12-years-old and younger cannot yet get a COVID-19 vaccine, but there are trials underway.
Pallister says he has heard anecdotally from teachers that when in school, students have been getting sick less.