The Manitoba government is issuing a new public health order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Manitobans, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.
“These decisions are not easy ones, but they must be made during this global pandemic to protect the health and safety of all Manitobans,” said Pallister. “These new orders will ensure critical services are available while taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”
The chief provincial public health officer is issuing orders under The Public Health Act as approved by the minister of health, seniors and active living. The following measures will be in place as of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1:
• Public gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals. This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided including child-care centres and homeless shelters. This remains in effect at this time under the previous health order issued on March 27, and will continue when this order comes into effect on April 1.
• All restaurants and other commercial facilities that serve food are prohibited from serving food to customers in their premises. This prevents eat-in dining at all facilities. However, restaurants and other commercial facilities can prepare and serve food for delivery or takeout. If this takes place, the operator of the restaurant must ensure that all people maintain the appropriate social distancing from other customers when picking up food.
• All businesses that are not listed in the schedule of critical services that accompanies the order must close between April 1 and April 14.
– This closure order does not prevent these businesses from operating on a remote basis.
– A business may accept orders on the Internet, or over the phone for delivery or pickup, as long as the employees are not working at the place of business.
– The order does not prevent employees or others from coming into the business to perform repairs, to provide security services or to take out items from the business premises if the business is going to operate on a remote basis.
– Nothing in the order restricts the operations of delivery of services by the federal or provincial governments or a municipality.
– Nothing in the order restricts any activities of a publicly funded agency, organization or authority that delivers or supports government operations or services including health-care services. This means the order does not affect institutions, agencies and other service providers who provide health-care services such as hospitals, regional health authorities and private agencies who provide a range of health services.
• All businesses listed in the schedule of critical services that accompanies the order may continue to operate. If these business allow members of the public to attend the place of business, the operator of the business must put in place measures to ensure that appropriate social distancing rules are followed.
• The order does not affect how members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba or the College of Midwives of Manitoba provide health-care services under the order. Any other health professionals may continue to practice if they are providing services for a publicly funded agency, such as a government or a regional health authority, or a business listed under the schedule. In addition, health-care providers can continue to provide emergent or urgent care such as dental surgery.
• Municipal transit services, taxis and other private vehicles for hire can continue to operate. The operator of the vehicle must take measures to ensure there is a reasonable separation of people in a vehicle. This order does not contain specific distance restrictions because it is hard to impose a limit in small vehicles. The goal is to ensure a reasonable level of spacing between people.
The order also repeals previous orders as of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1 so there is only one public health order in effect at a time.
“We are seeing what is happening in other jurisdictions, and the time to act is now. We must continue to adapt to the situation and change our day-to-day lives to prevent unnecessary illness and further tragedies in Manitoba,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer. “These measures will help us reduce the risk and protect all Manitobans during the ongoing pandemic.”
The premier noted that a state of emergency declared by the powers set out in Section 10(1) and 10(2) of The Emergency Measures Act to enable the province to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic remains in effect.
“Manitobans have always pulled together in a time of crisis and this is no different,” said Pallister. “We must continue to do whatever we can to support each other.”
The list of public health orders and the schedule of critical services can be found online at www.manitoba.ca/covid19/soe.html. Businesses with questions about how the order and schedule of critical services apply to their operations can visit http://engagemb.ca/covid19-csp for up-to-date information, and to ask questions that will be answered by government officials.