On October 30 the government of Manitoba announced province-wide changes to its #RestartMB Pandemic Response System in response to the surge of confirmed COVID-19 cases and the increasing test positivity rate.

Notably, such changes moved the Winnipeg Metro Region into the critical (red) level, and the Southern Health–Santé Sud, Prairie Mountain Health and Interlake–Eastern Health regions into the restricted (orange) level. On November 12, all health regions across Manitoba moved to the critical (red) level.

UPDATE: On November 19, 2020, the government of Manitoba announced that effective Friday, November 20, 2020, it would be implementing stricter restrictions throughout the province relating to close contacts, gathering sizes and the retail sector. More details respecting these changes are set forth below, in addition to the other measures introduced throughout November. New public health orders were issued on November 19 (the "Updated Manitoba Prevention Orders"), which terminate and replace the public health orders issued on November 11, and will remain in effect until December 11.

We encourage employers, businesses and organizations to review the Updated Manitoba Prevention Orders to ensure compliance with the sector-specific restrictions impacting their workplace, which can be accessed here, and to review the new measures that take effect on November 20, as set out below.

UPDATE: November 20 Measures

On November 19, 2020, the government of Manitoba announced that effective Friday, November 20, 2020, it would be implementing stricter restrictions throughout the province in response to the continued surge of COVID-19 cases.

Subject to the Updated Manitoba Prevention Orders issued on November 19, the following measures will be implemented:

Close Contacts and Group Gatherings

  • a person who resides in a private residence (including cottages and other vacation property) must not permit a person who does not normally reside in that residence to enter or remain in the residence, with the exception of the following circumstances:
    1. a person who lives on their own may have one other person with whom they regularly interact attend at their private residence and may attend at the private residence of that one person;
    2. a person may enter a private residence of another person to:
      • provide health-care, personal care or home care services;
      • allow a parent or guardian to visit a child who does not normally reside with that child;
      • receive or provide child care;
      • provide tutoring or other educational instruction;
      • perform construction, renovations, repairs or maintenance;
      • deliver items;
      • provide real estate or moving services; or
      • respond to an emergency
    3. a person is permitted to briefly enter onto the exterior portion of a person's property (for example, to drop off a delivery);
  • people are prohibited from assembling in a gathering of more than five people at any indoor or outdoor public place or in the common areas of a multi-unit residence, with the exception of a health-care, social services and public and private school facilities, or critical business that adheres to health protection measures.

Retail Business

  • a retail business may open but may only sell essential items in person. By no later than 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, November 21, operators of retail businesses must ensure that:
    1. non-essential items are removed from areas of the business to which members of the public have access;
    2. members of the public are physically prevented from gaining access to non-essential items at the business; and
    3. signs in the business or stickers on items in the business clearly identify non-essential items that cannot be purchased by members of the public at the business
  • The above requirements do not apply to retail businesses in northern Manitoba, except for retail businesses in Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas.
  • Essential items include:
    • food, beverages and food preparation products;
    • personal care products such as soap and dental care products;
    • health-related products such as prescription drugs and vitamins;
    • mobility or assistive devices;
    • baby and child-care accessories such as diapers and formula;
    • household cleaning products, safety devices, batteries and lightbulbs;
    • outdoor winter apparel such as jackets and boots;
    • personal protective equipment for the workplace;
    • pet food and supplies;
    • postage stamps;
    • cellphones and cellphone accessories;
    • parts and supplies for all types of motor vehicles and watercraft;
    • major household appliances;
    • hunting, fishing and trapping supplies;
    • tools and hardware;
    • materials for home maintenance, repair or construction; and
    • property maintenance products such as shovels.
  • Non-essential items refer to any good or product not set out in the orders, including jewelry, flowers, perfume, consumer electronics, sporting equipment, books and toys.
  • Retail businesses must also:
    1. limit the number of members of the public shopping at the business to 25% of the usual capacity of the premises or 250 people, whichever is lower;
    2. implement measures to ensure that members of the public attending the business are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other members of the public;
    3. establish a system to ensure compliance with the capacity limits; and
    4. provide proof the capacity limits have not been exceeded on request from a person authorized to enforce these orders, at the time the request is made.
  • Retail businesses may continue to sell essential or non-essential items online, by telephone or by remote means for delivery or curb-side pickup.
  • These retail restrictions apply to businesses that are not addressed in Schedule A of the Updated Manitoba Prevention Orders. For example, liquor and cannabis stores may continue to open and sell products.

November 12 Measures

On November 10, the province announced that all health regions in Manitoba would be moving to the critical (red) level effective 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, November 12. Dr. Roussin indicated that the measures would be in effect for four weeks, which represents two incubation periods.

Public health orders were issued on November 11 (the "Manitoba Prevention Orders") and took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, November 12. The Manitoba Prevention Orders terminated and replaced the Capital Health Region and Southern Health Region Orders and the Updated General Orders issued on November 6. Further, the Manitoba Prevention Orders apply to all areas of Manitoba, and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on December 11, subject to further extension or public health orders.

The Manitoba Prevention Orders do not apply to private and public schools. Further, in the event of any conflict between the Manitoba Prevention Orders and another order made under The Public Health Act that applies to a specific community or area, the other order prevails.

Public and Private Group Gatherings

The limit on public and private group gathering sizes remains at five people, and applies to ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, and informal gatherings such as dinners and house parties.

The province strongly recommends that Manitobans stay home and reduce their social contacts to household members only; however, the Manitoba Prevention Orders still allow gatherings of up to five people. Dr. Roussin discouraged Manitobans from having social gatherings or socializing with individuals outside of their household, and stated that gatherings of more than five people from outside a single household are subject to fines.

The five-person limit does not apply to:

  • a facility where health care or social services are provided;
  • household members for private gatherings inside the home;
  • a business or facility that is allowed to open under public health orders if the operator of the business or facility has implemented measures in accordance with public health orders; and
  • employees on the premises of a business or facility that is allowed to open under public health orders.

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