Outdoor gatherings of five people allowed on private property and in public places beginning June 12

Manitoba made very minor changes to its COVD-19 public health orders June 9 by allowing outdoor gatherings of up to five people outdoors, though indoor gatherings with people from outside your household remain prohibited.

“These are the only changes that will be occurring at this time,” chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said at a Thursday afternoon press conference. “We still have significant demands on our health care system.”

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Retails store capacity remains at 10 per cent or 100 people, whichever is less, and restaurants, bars, museums, libraries, galleries, hairdressers and other personal service businesses must remain closed, except for takeout, delivery or curbside services.

Although the orders, which take effect at 12:01 a.m. June 12, do not specify that people must only visit with designated people, Roussin said Manitobans should not be vastly increasing their close contacts and that people from different households should wear masks and practise physical distancing when gathering outside.

“While the risk of transmission of the virus is certainly diminished in the outside setting, it’s not zero,” Roussin said.

The public health orders will be in place for two weeks, until June 26.

The number of Manitobans currently being treated in intensive care units, both inside and outside the province, for COVID-19 and other reasons, is 151, more than double the province’s normal pre-pandemic baseline of 72 ICU beds, said chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa.

“Our hospitals are still feeling stretched,” she said. "Patients continue to be admitted to ICU in very high numbers.”

Over the past 24 hours, eight patients were admitted to intensive care, she said, and 24 were admitted in a 48-hour period over the weekend.

New travel orders including an exemption from self-isolation for fully vaccinated Manitobans returning from other provinces are being drafted and will be ready tomorrow, said Roussin. Those orders will take effect at 12:01 a.m. June 11.

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