Authors: Dany Théberge, Christine Jeroski, Devin Wehrle
The government of Manitoba released the finalized phase two plan of Restoring Safe Services: Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap for Recovery on May 27, 2020. Phase two will launch on June 1.
New public health orders reflecting phase two of the province’s plan were issued on May 29, and can be accessed here.
A more general overview respecting the multi-phased plan can be found in our Manitoba’s Plan for Reopening Businesses blog post.
After Premier Pallister announced the draft plan for phase two on May 21, the province sought public input respecting the proposals in the draft plan and the pandemic response thus far. Along with the opportunity to provide online feedback, the province hosted three public telephone town halls, which had nearly 52,000 participants from across the province. Premier Pallister noted that the input received to date has and will continue to assist public health officials refine plans going forward.
Set forth below is a summary of the businesses and services that are permitted to reopen during phase two.
In advance of the phase two launch, residents in long term care facilities can begin receiving visitors in an outdoor setting where all individuals are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from others, effective May 29.
The measures introduced in phase one will continue to apply in phase two, subject to the new public health orders issued on May 29, 2020.
The order restricting the size of group gatherings to a maximum of 25 persons at an indoor event and 50 persons at an outdoor place does not apply to businesses or facilities permitted to reopen in phases one and two where the operator has implemented the mandatory public distancing measures set out in the public health orders. The group size restriction also does not apply to organized outdoor events where persons remain in their vehicle or stay immediately outside of their vehicle in a manner that ensures physical distancing of at least two metres.
Effective June 1 the following businesses and services are permitted to reopen during phase two:
Detailed sector-specific guidelines respecting the reopening of the above businesses and services can be found here.
The province has implemented physical distancing guidelines of two metres in most workplaces, along with capacity control and enhanced sanitization practices. These measures will remain in place during phase two. More information on how businesses can reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their workplace is available here and industry specific guidelines can be accessed here.
Note that if the results of the phase two measures are not positive, the province will not proceed with further easing of public health measures and may reintroduce others.
Individuals and corporations who violate emergency and public health orders may face fines of up to $50,000 or $500,000, and/or six months or up to a year in prison. By-Law Enforcement Officers continue to have the power to issue tickets in the amount of $486 for individuals and $2,542 for businesses.
MLT Aikins will continue to monitor the situation and keep employers appraised of any further details. Employers considering the impact of the province’s plan and how it applies to their business should contact a member of our labour and employment team in Winnipeg.
Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice of opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.