Haircuts and restaurants return as Manitoba eases COVID-19 restrictions

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Manitobans will begin to regain some of their freedoms this weekend.

Premier Brian Pallister announced Wednesday that Manitobans will be able to enjoy more freedoms starting this Saturday after the province reaches its vaccination and COVID-19 levels targets in Manitoba.

Manitoba’s original goal was to ease restrictions on July 1 assuming the province reached 70% of those 12 and over on one dose and 25% on two doses. As of Wednesday, the first dose absorbed was 71.6%, with 28.8% of eligible Manitobans now fully immunized. The seven-day average number of new cases in the province fell to 127, from a peak of 482 on May 22 at the height of the third wave.

“This is good news,” Pallister said at a press conference alongside Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s provincial director of public health. “After nearly a year and a half of fighting COVID-19, it’s time for Manitobans to regain some of their freedoms and make the most of this beautiful summer. “

For all Manitobans, starting at 12:01 am Saturday, they will be able to meet outdoors with up to 10 other people on private property, with the option of entering homes to use the washrooms. Meanwhile, the size of outdoor public gatherings increases to 25 people.

Private gatherings inside homes are still prohibited.

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In the retail sector, companies can increase their capacity by 25% up to a limit of 250 people. The province is removing the restriction on the number of household members allowed to shop together.

Personal service businesses, such as hair salons and estheticians, can reopen at 50% capacity by appointment only. Gyms and fitness centers can also reopen for individual and group fitness classes at 25% capacity with at least three meters of distance between clients.

Restaurants and bars can reopen at 25% of their capacity for indoors and at 50% for outdoor dining. For indoor dining, guests seated together must be in the same household, unless all guests at the table are fully immune. Guests who are fully immune and from different households can dine together. For outdoor dining, tables are limited to a maximum of eight clients and may belong to different households, regardless of immunization status.

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Faith-based gatherings will be permitted indoors at 25% of their capacity for a limited number of 25 people, with masks to be worn at all times. Outside services can take up to 50 people as long as physical distancing can be maintained between households.

The province is also increasing the limit for outdoor weddings and funerals to 25 people in addition to photographers and celebrants. Indoor weddings and funerals remain at a maximum of 10 people.

Recreational activities such as indoor dancing, music, theater and other organized sports and recreation activities can reopen at 25% of capacity with a limit of five people, with no tournaments allowed. Outdoor versions of the same activities will be allowed for groups of up to 25 people, also without tournaments allowed.

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Casinos and cinemas must remain closed, as must museums, libraries and galleries.

Pools and wading pools, indoor and outdoor, can reopen at 25% capacity while summer day camps can reopen to a maximum of 20 participants in groups.

Manitobans who are fully immunized (two doses of the vaccine plus two weeks from their second dose) will receive additional benefits, including the ability to dine indoors at restaurants and bars with other friends and members of the community. fully immune family outside your home.

A new app will be released later this week that will allow restaurants to screen customers using their online or printed vaccination cards.

Fully immunized Manitobans will also be allowed to visit loved ones in personal care homes or hospitals, participate in social or community activities, if you are a resident of a personal care home or nursing home. collective life and to travel within the country for essential and non-essential purposes abroad. from Manitoba without having to isolate themselves on their return.

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There was also good news for fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Valor FC and the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Large-scale outdoor professional sporting or artistic events may also allow fully immunized Manitobans to attend, subject to Manitoba Public Health approval. The province will work with sports and arts organizations to implement proof of vaccination protocols for these events.

The allowance paves the way for the Bombers to have fans in the stands on August 5 for their opener against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at IG Field.

The new ordinances will be in effect until Monday, August 2, when the province expects the next phases of its reopening plan to take effect. For that, the province will need an absorption of 75% on the first doses and 50% on the second doses for the population 12 years and older, as well as improved COVID-19 numbers. The changes would include an opening capacity of 50% or more for businesses and services as well as increases in the size of gatherings.

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Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers have steadily improved over the past few weeks. Since the province announced its plan to reopen on June 10, the provincial test positivity rate has fallen from 4% to 7.1% on Tuesday, a number not seen since late April.

The seven-day average number of new cases in the province fell to 127, from a peak of 482 on May 22 at the height of the third wave.

Intensive care admissions still remain high, with 57 patients in intensive care units across Manitoba on Tuesday and 13 more receiving intensive care outside the province.

Thirty-four patients have been repatriated since the province began shipping patients out of the province on May 18 in a bid to relieve pressure on an overwhelmed home health system.

Ten patients who were transferred died.

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Twitter: @scottbilleck

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