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Manitoba to open retail stores, restaurant patios next week


April 29, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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The Manitoba government has released its plan for easing restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Premier Brian Pallister says the phased-in approach is to begin Monday and will include some non-essential businesses reopening with strict restrictions.

First Phase

Health officials have already begun working to schedule non-urgent surgical and diagnostic procedures with precautions to protect staff and patients, including screening, personal protective equipment and limiting the number of staff in rooms.

May 4:

  • Dentists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, optometrists and podiatrists are to be allowed to resume services. Businesses providing therapeutic massage and acupuncture are also to resume. Patients to be screened and to wear masks when possible.
  • Retail businesses such as clothing stores, flower shops and pawn shops to reopen at half occupancy as long as they can ensure physical distancing of at least two metres. Hand sanitizer to be available at the door.
  • Restaurants and coffee shops to open for patio or walk-up food service. There are strict guidelines about cleaning surfaces, condiments and reusable containers. Delivery to continue.
  • Hairstylists and barbers to reopen if they can provide physical distancing, limit occupancy to half and stagger appointments. Work stations and equipment to be sanitized between clients.
  • Museums, galleries and libraries to open their doors but occupancy must be limited by 50 per cent. Any displays that people touch to remain closed. Tour guides or sharing headsets not allowed.
  • Playgrounds, skate parks, golf courses, driving ranges and tennis courts to reopen. Players to be screened before booking a tee time. Maximum of four golfers in a group. Only one person to be in a golf cart or two from the same home. Pins on greens must remain in the hole.
  • Parks, campgrounds, yurts and vacation cabins to open. Visitors must bring their own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as well as wear water shoes or sandals in shower facilities. Visitors are not to use local health providers unless its an emergency.
  •  Day camps to be allowed to operate as long as they follow sanitation and infection prevention guidelines for child-care centres. No more than 16 kids to be allowed. No overnight camps.

Second Phase

To begin no earlier than June 1. Travel restrictions may remain in place and the limit on public gatherings may be increased.

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  • Personal services, such as nail salons, to reopen.
  • Restaurants to be allowed to open their eat-in dining areas.
  • Non-contact children’s sports to resume.
  • Film production in Manitoba may be allowed to resume.

Future Phases

No specific date for when future phases to kick in. The province says it may consider increasing the limit on public gatherings. Other businesses, such as bars, pools, spas and movie theatres, may also be allowed to reopen.

Resumption of concerts, summer festivals and major sporting events will not be considered until at least September.