Section 67 of The Public Health Act (the “Act“) provides Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer the ability to make Orders for special measures, in a public health emergency.

 

On August 24, 2020, the Manitoba government issued General COVID-19 prevention orders (the “Order“), regulating public gatherings and the operation of Manitoba businesses, which follow the previous orders made to close “non-essential” business in light of COVID-19.

 

The Manitoba government also issued Prairie Mountain Health Region COVID-19 prevention orders (the “Prairie Order“), regulating public gatherings and the operation of businesses in the Prairie Mountain Health Region. The Prairie Order restricts all indoor and outdoor public gatherings to ten people.  In addition, the Prairie Order requires face masks to be worn in all indoor public places, and at all outdoor public gatherings of more than four people.

 

Not all businesses can re-open, and those businesses that are allowed to re-open have rules they must follow, in order to operate.

 

Below is a brief summary of what is contained in the Order.

 

Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings

 

The Order states that organized events can occur if they have a capacity of 50 people, in indoor places, or 100 people, in outdoor places.

 

The Prairie Order states that organized events can occur if they have a capacity of 10 people in indoor places or outdoor places.

 

General Order re Business Openings

A business or facility whose ability to open is not otherwise specifically addressed in the Order may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the business or facility.

 

Food Service

A restaurant or commercial facility (not including a licensed premises) where food is served may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between tables (unless there is a barrier present), 2 metres separation between members of the public at the restaurant or commercial facility, that food is not served buffet style, and that hookahs (and the like) are prohibited.

Licensed Premises

Licensed premises may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between tables (unless there is a barrier present), 2 metres separation between members of the public at the licensed premises, that food is not served buffet style, and that hookahs (and the like) are prohibited.  Operators of licensed premises must ensure that tables cannot be moved by members of the public, that members of the public attending the licensed premises do not leave their table, and that no dancing occurs.

 

Transportation

Transportation services may continue to operate if they ensure passengers are able to maintain reasonable separation from other persons in the vehicle.

 

Post-Secondary Educational Institutions

Post-secondary educational institutions (and the like) may provide in person instruction if there are measures in place to ensure, where reasonable, 2 metres of separation between people attending, and that occupancy does not exceed 50% of the usual capacity or 25 people.

 

Child Care

The Community Child Care Standards Act outlines the requirements for child care facilities.

 

Day Camps

Day camps for children may open if the maximum size of camper group is 50 campers, and if campers bring their own food and beverages or the food and beverages served are individually packaged.

 

Overnight camping is prohibited.

 

Sporting and Recreational Activities

All outdoor sporting and recreational facilities may open and be used, and various indoor sporting and recreational facilities (the various facilities are outlined in the Order) may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the facilities, and that occupancy in non-sporting areas of the facilities does not exceed 50% of the usual capacity.

 

Dance, Theatre and Music Schools

Dance, theatre and music schools may open if there are measures in place to ensure,where reasonable,2 metres of separation between students and instructors, and that occupancy does not exceed 50% of the usual capacity or 25 people.

 

Community Centres

Community centres may open so long as their activities are governed in accordance with the Order.

 

Amusement Parks and Recreational Facilities

Permanent outdoor amusement parks may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the permanent outdoor amusement park, and that occupancy does not exceed 50% of the usual capacity.

Traveling midways or carnivals may not open.

Indoor recreational facilities (such as escape rooms, arcades, pool halls that do not hold a liquor licence, trampoline parks, axe-throwing centres, go-kart tracks, children’s playgrounds, and climbing facilities) may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the indoor recreational facility, and that occupancy does not exceed 50% of the usual capacity.

 

Bingos, VLT Lounges and Casinos

A facility hosting bingo may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the facility (unless there is a barrier present), and that occupancy does not exceed 50% of the usual capacity.

A business which has VLTs and prohibits smoking may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between all VLTs in operation facility (unless there is a barrier present).

A business which has VLTs and allows smoking may not open.

A casino may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the casino, and that occupancy does not exceed 30% of the usual capacity.

 

Religious Services

Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship may open to hold regular religious services if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the religious service, and that occupancy does not exceed 30% of the usual capacity or 500 persons (whichever is lower).

 

Indigenous cultural events

Pow wows and other indigenous cultural events may be held if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the event, and that occupancy does not exceed 30% of the usual capacity or 500 persons (whichever is lower).

 

Indoor concert halls and theatres

An indoor concert hall and a theatre where movies are shown or theatrical performances are staged may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the indoor place, and that the occupancy does not exceed 30% of the usual capacity or 500 persons (whichever is lower).

 

Personal service businesses

A spa or other business that provides personal services, such as hairdressing, barbering, manicures, pedicures, electrolysis, cosmetic application, tanning, tattooing or other aesthetic services or massage services may open if there are measures in place to ensure 2 metres of separation between members of the public attending the business, 2 metres of separation between work stations, and that occupancy does not exceed 50% of the usual capacity or  one person per 10 square metres of the premises (whichever is lower).

 

Legal Information

This is general information only, rather than legal advice.  To determine if your business is or is not allowed to open, and what additional requirements or exceptions apply to the operation of your business, the specific circumstances surrounding your business will need to be considered.

 

You should continuously monitor all federal and provincial announcements as well as the implementation of respective orders, as the law surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving on a daily basis.

 

We recommend that you seek assistance from legal counsel where appropriate. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require assistance with:

  • Determining if all or a portion of your business is allowed to open;
  • Deciding how your business should operate in these circumstances;
  • Implementing processes and protocols to ensure compliance with the law.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact your relationship partner or lawyer if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance in guiding you through these new challenges.

 

This article was prepared by:

 

ELIZABETH CZYRNYJ
LAWYER
204.956.3548
czyrnyj@pitblado.com

This article represents general information and is not legal advice. Please contact us if you would like legal advice that is tailored to your particular circumstances. We would be happy to help.