WINNIPEG - Following the advice of public health officials and input from tens of thousands of Manitobans, the province is considering modest changes to the current public health orders when they expire on Friday.
Premier Brian Pallister says while there's much reason for optimism, the approach to safely restoring services and activities will be cautious.
Given the high case counts in northern Manitoba and in many First Nations, Dr. Brent Roussin says any proposed changes would most likely only apply to communities in the Winnipeg, Southern, Interlake/Eastern and Prairie Mountain Health regions.
Changes currently under consideration for some parts of the province include:
• household limits: Current orders restrict visitors to private residences with specific exceptions that enable trades and support people as well as limited visitors for people who live alone. The orders could be expanded to increase personal connections and the well-being of Manitobans by allowing:
- - two additional people (family or friends) to visit a household;
- - outdoor visits of up to five people plus members of a household on outdoor private property;
- - funerals to have up to 10 people in addition to the officiant.
• retail operations: Current orders allow retail establishments to open for in-person sales, provided they only sell essential or seasonal products, and maintain reduced occupancy of 25 per cent with a maximum of 250 people. The orders could be expanded to allow:
- - all stores to open for the sale of all products and current requirements to maintain physical distancing and occupancy limits would remain in place and be enforced.
- - the elimination of the essential items list.
• health services and hair salons/barbershops: Non-regulated health services, hair salons and barbershops are currently closed. The orders could be expanded to allow:
- - non-regulated health services, such as podiatrists and reflexologists, to reopen with adequate physical distancing and requirements to collect information for contact tracing purposes; and
- - barber shops and hair stylists to reopen at 25 per cent capacity with adequate physical distancing and requirements to collect information for contact tracing purposes.