Major restrictions came into effect across the province first thing this morning.
As part of Manitoba's Pandemic Response System, the entire province is now under Critical Level Red. Restrictions include:
- Social contacts reduced to your household only. Social gatherings are not permitted, and gatherings of more than 5 people from outside a single household will be subject to fines.
- Travel to and from northern Manitoba is restricted and non-essential travel is discouraged.
- Retail businesses listed as critical services, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, can remain open at 25 per cent capacity.
- Retail businesses not on the list are able to provide e-service, curbside pickup or delivery services.
- All personal service businesses, including hair salons, barbers and sites offering manicures, pedicures and other esthetic services, must close.
- Gyms and fitness centres must close.
- Religious and cultural gatherings must close or be provided virtually only.
- Restaurants must close to the public and may be open for delivery, drive-thru or takeout only.
- All recreational activities, sports facilities, casinos, museums, galleries, libraries, movie theatres and concert halls must close.
Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says these restrictions will be in place for a minimum of two weeks, though Manitobans should plan for four weeks.
Dr. Roussin says a few things will need to happen before these restrictions are eased, including a dramatic decline in the test positivity rate. Currently the five-day test positivity rate sits around 10 per cent. Dr. Roussin says it will need to drop to three per cent or less.
He notes they will also need to see a dramatic decline in the daily case count. Manitoba is currently in a trend of seeing between 300 and 400 new cases daily.
And finally, Dr. Roussin says the strain on the health care system will need to soften before these restrictions can be eased.