Manitoba Protection Plan

Essential Items for Retail Sale - Detailed List

Manitoba's Chief Provincial Public Health Officer issued Public Health Emergency Orders on November 21, 2020, declaring that a retail business may open but it may only sell essential items to members of the public who are shopping in person at the business. New Public Health Emergency Orders are in force effective December 12, 2020.These orders allow retailers to sell "seasonal items" to in-person shoppers in addition to essential items. The orders also refined the list of essential items. Under the orders, the operator of a retail business must ensure that:

  • non-essential items are removed from areas of the business to which members of the public have access;
  • members of the public are physically prevented from gaining access to non-essential items at the business; or
  • signs in the business or stickers on items clearly identify non-essential items that cannot be purchased.

The new Public Health Emergency Orders exempt thrift stores from the prohibition on selling non-essential items to in-person shoppers. If a retail business primarily sells used clothing, footwear or household articles, it may sell non-essential items to in-person shoppers.

The orders are in force until January 8, 2021. After this date, please consult for information about the application of public health orders to retail businesses.

Where there is a discrepancy between this list and the Public Health Emergency Orders, the Public Health Emergency Orders prevail. For further information and to consult the current Public Health Emergency Orders please visit:

The document below is intended to provide guidance to retail businesses by listing examples of what may be considered essential, non-essential and seasonal items under the Public Health Emergency Orders. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, and is for guidance purposes only. Further, the list may be revised from time to time for clarification or in the event that the Public Health Emergency Orders are amended.

Where there is a discrepancy between this list and the Public Health Emergency Orders, the Public Health Emergency Orders prevail. For further information and to consult the current Public Health Emergency Orders please visit: restartmb/prs/orders/index.html

(see Orders for full description)
(Essential items)
(non-essential items)
1. Food and beverages    
2. Products related to food preparation or storage aluminum foil, saran wrap and food containers, pots and pans, utensils (spatulas, whisks, kitchen knives or similar items), cutting boards, dishcloths, tea towels and disposable food products such as disposable plates, forks knives, etc dinnerware, bowls, serving items, speciality items such as popsicle molds, pasta makers, silicone baking mats, cannoli tubes or similar items
3. Personal care products soap and skin care products, hair care products, dental care products, eye care products, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, razors and shaving cream, brushes, combs, elastics, hair dye, nail polish and cosmetics perfume, blow dryers, hair straighteners, curling irons and decorative hair accessories
4. Health-related products prescription drugs, over the counter medication, vitamins and supplements, birth control and first aid products, corrective lenses and glasses essential oils and healing crystals
5. Mobility or assistive devices wheel chairs, walkers, canes, splints and similar products or supplies, lift chairs (recliners), prosthetics, and mastectomy bras  
6. Baby items diapers, wipes, baby bottles and other infant feeding and nursing accessories, infant clothing and sleepers, car seats, cribs, strollers, infant carriers, baby gates and monitors children's toys, children's books and children's clothing
7. Household paper products toilet paper, tissue paper and paper towels  
8. Household cleaning products laundry detergent, fabric softener, dish soap, bleach, cleaning agents, cleaning cloths and brushes, mops and brooms, vacuums and air fresheners  
9.Household safety and protection products smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, firewood, flashlights, lighters and survival candles, portable heaters and fire extinguishers  
10. Batteries and light bulbs batteries and lightbulbs  
11. Clothing winter jackets, snow pants, underwear, winter headwear, gloves and mitts, socks, pantyhose, and winter boots footwear (excluding winter boots), non-seasonal clothing for adults and children
12. Personal protective equipment and protective clothing for use in the workplace masks, respirators, gloves, safety glasses or goggles, safety, tactical or combat boots or shoes, overalls and protective aprons, protective headgear, reflective clothing and medical uniforms and scrubs non-protective work uniforms and sunglasses
13. Tobacco products cigarettes, chewing tobacco, lighters vape products
14. Pet food and supplies pet food, bird feed, food and water bowls, collar, leash, ID tags, animal health products (nail clippers, first aid supplies, toothbrush and toothpaste) carriers, kitty litter, training pads and diapers, grooming supplies. This includes the sale of live pets pet toys, animal training supplies and pet furniture, such as a bed
15. Postage stamps and mailing supplies postage stamps, boxes, envelopes, packing tape, mailing labels, bubble wrap and packing paper  
16. Cell phones and cell phone accessories cell phones, chargers, protective cases, and headphones computers, tablets and speakers
17. Parts and supplies for all types of motor vehicles and watercraft various parts and supplies for all types of motor vehicles and watercrafts (including ATV's and motorcycles) air fresheners, ashtrays, seat and steering wheel covers, floor mats, and sunshades
18. Major household appliances refrigerators, freezers, kitchen stoves, microwave ovens, toaster ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers and air conditioning units coffeemakers, electric kettles, toasters, blenders, stand mixers, food processors, crockpots, and pressure cookers
19. Hunting, fishing and trapping supplies sonar and GPS devices, firearms, ammunition, rods and reels, binoculars, rangefinders, crossbows, bait, life jackets, knives and knife-sharpening equipment non-protective clothing, footwear, camping grills and cooking stoves (may be considered small household appliances), camping cots, fire pits and backpacks
20. Tools and hardware small and large power tools, wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, tape measures, screws, nails, door knobs, hinges, levels, and similar type items  
21. Materials, parts and components for the maintenance, repair or construction of residential or commercial building systems plumbing, electrical and lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation systems such as generators, wood, propane or similar heating sources. Material used for the construction of residential and commercial buildings. Including interior finishes such as flooring, lighting, paint, flooring, carpeting, etc decorative items such as blinds and curtains
22. Products related to property maintenance shovels, brooms, snow blowers, sand and road salt plants, gardening supplies and yard decorations
23. Gift cards and pre-paid credit cards    
24. Newspapers newspaper publications magazines, flyers and books
25. School supplies pencils, pens, crayons, markers, highlighters, calculators, paper, notebooks, binders, glue sticks, folders, pencil sharpeners, and graph paper lunch bags, backpacks, laptop bags, toner, ink cartridges, printers, computers and other consumer electronic products

Seasonal Items Exemption:

Allowing in-person sales of seasonal decorations such as trees, garland and ornaments, religious items such as menorahs and candles.

(see Orders for full description)
(Essential items)
(Non-essential items)
Seasonal Items indoor and outdoor holiday decorations, Christmas trees, wreaths, poinsettias, gift wrap, gift bags, tissue paper, tags, bows, greeting cards and seasonal religious items such as menorahs and holiday or religious candles toys, clothing, other items traditionally exchanged as gifts or seasonal sporting equipment such as hockey skates, skis, toboggans or snowshoes

Other Non-essential Items

Houseware and tableware plates, bowls, glassware, flatware (forks, spoons, knives), mugs, bakeware, small appliances such as a coffee pot, toaster, waffle makers, decorative items, linens and towels (bathroom linen, bedroom linen, curtains, cushion covers, placemats, tablecloths, pillows, picture frames, framed art and similar items
Furniture couches, mattresses, bed frames, chairs, tables, desks, nightstands, home storage, waste baskets and similar items
Office supplies calendars, planners, staplers, paperclips, post-it notes, desk organizers, paper shredders, hard drives, USB/flash drives, whiteboards, toner, ink cartridges, printers, copiers, computers, monitors, and other consumer electronic products
Electronics computers, tablets, printers, video game consoles, televisions, speakers and smart home devices, radios, audio/video/data power cables and similar items and related accessories
Hobby, craft and art supplies non-commercial paint, sewing machines, fabric, beads, jewellery, yarn, artist's canvas, sketchbooks, art desks and easels, clay and sculpting supplies and thread and similar materials for sewing
Other items dehumidifiers, air purifiers, water coolers, musical instruments, jewellery, flowers, perfume, consumer electronics, sporting equipment, books and toys

Fact Sheet: Essential Items for Retail Sale (pdf) - December 12, 2020