Manitoba’s premier, top doctor tighten gathering limits as cases continue to spike

WATCH: Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson and chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced new COVID-19 restrictions on Monday amid a surge of cases in the province due to the Omicron variant.

Gathering limits are being tightened in Manitoba as COVID-19 cases continue to spike.

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson and Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin held a press conference Monday to announce the new restrictions.

As of Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. public gatherings must be limited to 50 per cent or 250 people, which ever is lowest.

Read more:

Manitoba sets grim COVID-19 case record of 742 on Christmas Eve

The areas impacted include:

• indoor and outdoor public gatherings;
• restaurants, licensed premises, food courts and socials;
• movie theatre and concert halls;
• performing arts venues and outdoor ticketed performing arts events;
• museums and art galleries;
• outdoor and indoor sporting and recreational facilities including dance schools and martial arts studios;
• gyms, fitness centres and yoga studios;
• indoor and outdoor ticketed sporting events;
• indoor recreational businesses;
• seasonal facilities and events;
• religious services and Indigenous cultural events; and
• bingos, casinos and businesses with VLTs.

This also impacts gatherings that require everyone to be fully vaccinated, have a medical reason not to receive the vaccine or people under the age of 12.

In addition, liquor sales in restaurants and licensed premises must end at 10 p.m. daily.

“Over the last week, case numbers have increased sharply, and we must again take steps to reduce the spread of the virus to help protect Manitoba’s health-care system,” said Stefanson. “As we approach the new year — a time that is usually filled with celebration — we are urging Manitobans to limit your close contacts at this crucial time in our fight against COVID-19.”

The public health orders are in place until at least Jan. 11.

“We know these changes will affect the plans of many people, but we must put them in place now to reduce the possible spread of the virus over the rest of the holiday season,” said Roussin. “Thousands of Manitobans have been vaccinated and continue follow the public health orders and we thank you for that, but these changes are necessary right now to reduce the risk of severe illness and to support our health-care system.”

The announcements come after Manitoba recorded over 2,000 cases of COVID-19 since Christmas. There were 785 cases on Saturday, 694 cases on Sunday and 675 cases on Monday.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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