Manitoba

Manitoba to end retail capacity restrictions for Southern Health communities with higher vaccination rates

Public health officials are lifting retail capacity restrictions for certain communities in the Southern Health region where vaccination rates are higher, the province announced Monday.

Capacity has been limited to 50 per cent since early October

The changes come into effect Tuesday and apply to six communities in the Southern Health region where vaccination rates are higher. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

Public health officials are lifting retail capacity restrictions for certain communities in the Southern Health region where vaccination rates are higher, the province announced Monday. 

The changes go into effect Tuesday in the communities of Cartier, Headingley, Macdonald, Ritchot (Niverville-Ritchot), St. François Xavier and Taché, a news release from the province says. 

Those communities have vaccination rates similar to Winnipeg's, even though they are in the Southern Health region, Dr. Brent Roussin, the province's chief public health officer, said at a news conference Monday. 

Retail capacity has been limited to 50 per cent in the Southern Health region since the beginning of October, because the region has had a disproportionately large number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks and contains the communities in Manitoba with the lowest vaccination rates.

That restriction will remain in place for the rest of the region for at least the next three weeks, as will the other COVID-19 rules that are currently in place, Roussin said.

The current restrictions are being kept in place to keep COVID-19 cases down as the fourth wave of the pandemic continues, he said. 

Roussin pointed out that most of the current restrictions apply to those who are unvaccinated, including limiting indoor private gatherings to two households if any person at the gathering has chosen not to get vaccinated.

"The orders continue to allow fully vaccinated Manitobans to enjoy as much freedom and as few restrictions as possible, while unvaccinated Manitobans continue to be restricted in many activities," he said.

"This is to reduce transmission of the virus as well as prevent some of the most serious outcomes."

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