What you need to know about Manitoba’s proposed next reopening steps

By | June 11, 2020

A mandatory quarantine for travellers could end, gathering sizes may increase and daycares could be allowed to take in more kids in Manitoba, as part of the province’s proposed plan for Phase 3 of its reopening strategy.

The province released the draft plan Thursday morning, saying it has a tentative start date of June 21.

Here’s a look at the details in the proposed plan.

Public gatherings

Gathering sizes would increase to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors, from the current limits of 25 indoors and 50 outdoors.

But separate, well-spaced groups of 50 (inside) or 100 (outside) that don’t mingle could also be allowed.

Indoor gatherings at any given site could be as large as 30 per cent of capacity — up to a maximum of 300 people at the site — as long as that group can be split into smaller groups of 50 or fewer.

Those groups would have to be completely separate, and everyone at the event would need to practise physical distancing.

Outside of brief exchanges, people in public settings (like a bar or patio) and private events (a wedding or funeral) would need to distance themselves from people they don’t live with. That means any seating should allow for two metres of separation.

Church services are one of the examples of indoor gatherings that would need to take steps like using separate entrances and staggered entry to avoid congestion and mingling of different groups. (Laura Sciarpelletti/CBC)

At indoor religious or cultural gatherings, people would need to use separate entrances and staggered entry to avoid congestion and mingling of different groups.

Guidelines for powwows to ensure distancing between drum groups, dancers and singers are being developed in collaboration with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak.

People organizing gatherings would need to keep the groups contained and not let new people come in as others leave. If someone at the event later tests positive for COVID-19, that step would make contact tracing possible.

People going to rallies should wear medical or non-medical masks and practise physical distancing.

Seniors centres would be asked to consider further limiting group sizes to 25, because seniors are at a higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.

Travelling to Manitoba

Manitoba currently has a mandatory 14-day quarantine for those coming in from out-of-province, but that could be axed for people coming from Western Canada and northwestern Ontario in Phase 3.

That change would apply as long as travellers don’t have symptoms or known exposure to the coronavirus.

It would also apply to people affiliated with a professional sports team or a film production, as long as they have self-isolated for 14 days before getting here and follow appropriate hygiene measures while travelling. 

There could be exceptions for necessary travel where sectors or businesses provide satisfactory plans to address public health requirements.

Travellers from all other parts of Canada would still need to quarantine for two weeks when they get to Manitoba. And anyone coming from another country still needs to follow federal rules around self-isolation.

Daycares, camps, schools

Daycares would be allowed to return to full capacity — up from the current maximum of 24 — as long as they take certain precautions. Families that used the temporary child-care program will get to keep their spot until Aug. 31.

Day camps would be allowed to have up to 50 kids per group — and where possible, they should design activities to let campers and staff stay two metres apart.

The province’s proposal for Phase 3 of its reopening plan touches on schools and day camps. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

But choirs, band camps and musical theatre still won’t be allowed, because singing carries a higher risk of transmission. No overnight camps will be permitted in Phase 3.

The education department is still making its reopening plan for schools in the fall (and will consult parents and students before that’s finished). In the meantime, summer school and day camp programs would still be allowed at kindergarten to Grade 12 schools.

Meanwhile, post-secondary schools would be allowed to provide hands-on learning like labs and practicums. They may also be allowed to fully open by the fall with strategies like video-based learning to reduce class sizes and help maintain distancing. Those decisions could be left to the schools based on their specific circumstances.

Restaurants, recreation and retail

Restaurants, bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries would be allowed to operate at 75 per cent of capacity, as long as people at different tables are reasonably able to stay two metres apart from each other (except brief exchanges).

They would still need to make sure people are seated at a table, since standing service and dance floors still won’t be allowed.

Meanwhile, indoor recreation facilities (including all non-smoking sites with VLT lounges, bingo halls and billiard rooms) would be allowed to open at 50 per cent capacity, as long as they make sure people are physically distancing.

The province’s proposal also touches on restaurants, patios, bars and microbreweries. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Permanent outdoor amusement parks would be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity, as long as they maintain enhanced cleaning and physical distancing protocols. But temporary amusement parks usually set up at malls or fairs won’t be allowed in Phase 3.

Golfers would be allowed to play in groups of four with a maximum of two people per cart.

Occupancy restrictions would be removed for stores, as long as retailers take steps to maintain physical distancing.

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