Phase Three of Manitoba’s Reopening Plan

Manitoba entered phase three of its multi-phased reopening plan on June 21.

The provincial government announced its finalized plan on June 17, after consultation with public health officials, members of the public, and industry. Phases one and two of the province’s Restoring Safe Services: Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap for Recovery saw many businesses and services reopen to the public in some capacity while respecting public health precautions and restrictions.

Though Manitoba is entering month two of phase three, if the public health indicators and results or guidelines demand it, certain measures may be further eased, restricted or re-introduced.

The following sections outline the most significant changes implemented during phase three effective June 21, which are in addition to the existing measures and changes introduced in previous phases.

Update:  The new public health orders issued July 20 replace the public health orders issued on June 18, and can be accessed here. Operators of a business listed in Schedule B must continue to remain closed to the public for the period of July 21 to August 20. Such operators include indoor theatres where movies are shown or theatrical performances are staged, indoor concert halls and casinos.

Businesses are encouraged to review the detailed public health guidance available here.

Public Gatherings

Public gathering sizes can total up to 50 people for indoor gatherings and 100 people for outdoor gatherings, subject to individuals maintaining separation of at least two metres except for brief exchanges. These increased gathering sizes apply to social gatherings, worship, weddings, funerals, powwows and other Indigenous cultural spiritual events, and faith-based and other cultural gatherings. Organizers and members must follow the public health guidelines for the venue in which a gathering is being held.

Larger group gatherings are permitted where distinct groups of 50 or 100 persons can be separated from other sub-groups. Sub-groups must be divided into groups of 50 or fewer people for indoor gatherings, and 100 or fewer people for outdoor gatherings. In both cases, the maximum group size cannot exceed 30 per cent of the site’s normal capacity. While some outdoor venues may have defined capacity, others may require the use of a “reasonableness” standard or 30 per cent of prior capacity at an event. Sub-groups must maintain adequate physical distancing from other sub-groups at all times and must be able to arrive, depart and participate in gatherings without co-mingling with other sub-groups.

Guidelines have been developed for specific sectors, faith-based gatherings and Indigenous cultural and spiritual events, and can be accessed here.

Self-Isolation and Northern Travel Restrictions

The province eased certain self-isolation and northern travel restrictions during phase three. Effective June 21, individuals entering Manitoba from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and northwestern Ontario (defined as west of Terrace Bay) are not required to self-isolate for 14 days and are permitted to travel directly to parks, campgrounds, cabins, lodges and resorts north of the 53rd parallel in Manitoba. Travellers must be asymptomatic and have no known exposure to COVID-19. For more information relating to the Self-Isolation and Northern Travel restrictions, see our blog here.

The Updated Northern Travel Order was terminated effective June 26.

Additional Measures:

Phase three also includes the implementation of the following measures, subject to public health and physical distancing requirements and subject to the public health orders issued on July 20:

  • Removing occupancy limits for retail businesses
  • Removing occupancy limits for restaurants, bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries
  • Removing occupancy limits for all health professionals and therapeutic or health-care businesses
  • Child-care centres can return to regular licensed capacity
  • Self-isolation exemptions for professional sports and film production industries
  • Introducing new guidance for indoor recreation and amusement centres
  • Reopening permanent outdoor amusement parks
  • K-12 schools actively planning for fall reopening
  • Post-secondary institutions and vocational colleges actively planning for fall reopening
  • Increasing day camp group sizes to 50
  • Increasing community/service centre indoor occupancy levels
  • Increasing senior centre/club indoor occupancy levels

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. Tickets can also be issued in the amount of $486 for individuals and $2,542 for businesses.

More details on phase three can be accessed here. More details respecting the province’s future phases and its multi-phased reopening plan can be found in our blog, “Manitoba’s Plan for Reopening 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.