Manitoba Releases Draft of Phase Two Opening

 
Written by Staff Writer
CJ Radio News

The Manitoba government is examining additional steps to gradually continue to safely restore services and open additional businesses while ensuring physical distancing measures remain in place, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Today we are sharing a draft plan that will help inform and guide us in the second phase of safely restoring our services,” said Pallister. “We thank Manitobans for their diligence in respecting physical distancing guidelines, and we hope to be in a position to move forward and ease some additional restrictions while ensuring the health and well-being of all Manitobans.”

In careful consultation with Public Health experts, as part of Phase Two, the province is currently examining limited access to educational facilities, where physical distancing can be maintained, to allow for additional tutorial days, such as one-on-one learning, assessment and specific programming.

To ensure students are equipped to transition to the new school year, additional teaching days are being examined for the upcoming school year, including starting schools on Aug. 31, and repurposing some of the non-instructional days throughout the school year, the premier noted.

“Our young Manitobans are our most precious asset, and we need to do everything we can to support students and help prepare them for a bright future,” said Pallister. “We know this has been a challenging time for students and their families as they juggle remote learning while missing their classmates and friends. We want to examine additional ways to assist them in meeting their educational needs.”

The Department of Education will continue planning and consulting with school divisions and other education stakeholders, the premier noted.

The draft plan for restoring services in Phase Two builds on measures Restoring Safe Services: Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap for Recovery, which set out an evidence-based plan to ease public health measures that had escalated since mid-January.

Other being examined for the second phase of service restoration include:

• increasing child-care centre occupancy to up to 24 children plus staffing;

• increasing day camp group sizes to 24;

• resuming sports activities for children and adults;

• lifting occupancy limits at outdoor recreation facilities and golf courses outdoors, as long as physical distancing can be maintained and allowing limited access to indoor spaces;

• allowing direct travel to northern parks, campgrounds, cabins, lodges and resorts while ensuring physical distancing;

• allowing public/private swimming pools, spas, fitness clubs, gyms and community/service centres to reopen with some limitations;

• allowing religious or other organizations to hold outdoor services without limitation on numbers if people stay in their vehicles;

• reopening manicurists and pedicurists, tattoo parlours, estheticians, cosmetologists, electrologists and tanning parlours at 50 per cent capacity;

• allowing restaurants to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity and continue to offer patio services at that capacity level;

• allowing bars, beverage rooms, micro-brewers and similar businesses that serve food and drinks to operate patio service at 50 per cent of site capacity and to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity; and

• allowing the resumption of film productions while ensuring physical distancing.

Other changes include the increasing gathering sizes to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors, and allowing residents of personal care homes and long-term care facilities to have visits outdoors. These changes will come into effect on May 22.

No changes were made to the requirements for reopening hair stylists/barbers, museums, galleries and libraries and parks, campgrounds yurts and vacation cabins.

“We look at a number of key factors when making these recommendations including how the spread of the virus has been controlled, the stability of the health system’s capacity, public health capacity and the number of outbreaks in vulnerable settings,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer. “We will only take additional steps to safely restore services based on this data, as well as on case numbers, testing data and other public health information. Any further changes will be considered based on this data in the coming days and weeks.”

Mass gatherings such as concerts, festivals and major sporting events will not be considered before September 2020, Roussin noted. He also noted that it is key for people to stay home if they are sick to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Roussin also encouraged businesses to take steps to help staff, patrons and visitors stay safe including:

• ensuring people are able to reasonably maintain two metres of distance;

• only conducting necessary and brief exchanges within two metres of others;

• applying enhanced cleaning protocols, especially in common areas like washrooms;

• maintaining physical distancing and food-handling protocols in workplace areas including lunch and common areas;

• staying home when feeling sick; and

• following personal risk reduction measures.

Detailed information on the draft plan for Phase Two of service restoration can be found at www.manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/index.html.

Manitobans can provide their feedback on the draft plan by visiting https://engagemb.ca/.

Story was last updated at: 2020-05-21 12:34:23

   

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