RCMP fine 8 people for breaking non-essential travel ban to northern Manitoba

By | May 19, 2020

RCMP have charged eight people for not respecting the COVID-19-related ban on non-essential travel to northern Manitoba over the Victoria Day long weekend. 

Non-essential travel north of the 53rd parallel of latitude, and to remote communities in Manitoba that are not connected to the provincial highway system, is currently prohibited under current public health orders.

RCMP said the individuals told officers they were visiting friends and family in the Thompson area, according to a news release. 

They told officers they knew the public health orders were in place, but chose to ignore them, the release says. 

Seven people from Winnipeg and one from Dauphin were each fined $486. 

Hundreds of warnings handed out in Winnipeg

Winnipeg’s bylaw officers were also busy this May long weekend enforcing public health orders that ban large gatherings and reminding people to practise physical distancing. 

Data collected by the City of Winnipeg shows that bylaw officers and city ambassadors gave out 283 verbal warnings from Friday to Monday reminding people to practise physical distancing. 

They also handed out 95 warnings for large group gatherings.

Despite the warnings, only two tickets were handed out by city officials.

It’s a sharp spike compared to the weekend prior, when bylaw officers gave out 36 warnings to people not practicing physical distancing, and didn’t catch anyone holding large gatherings. 

New signs posted by the city are reminding people to physically distance while on Wellington Crescent. Winnipeg bylaw enforcement officers gave out close to 300 warnings to people not practising physical distancing over the long weekend. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

Winnipeg police say they dealt with 42 complaints related to public health orders between May 10 and May 17. They gave out two warnings, but didn’t issue any tickets, a police spokesperson said via email. 

Across the province, RCMP say they received 48 calls related to COVID-19 public health orders. 

Most of the calls were about people gathering in groups larger than 10 and not respecting orders in place under the Public Health Act.

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