Restoring Safe Services

Restoring Services: Phase 4

Proposed Changes - Effective July 25, 2020

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Proposed updates, outlined below, are in addition to those introduced in Phase One, Phase Two and Phase Three. If changes are not noted, conditions outlined in earlier phases continue to apply, including overall requirements such as self-isolating when showing symptoms and maintaining two metres of physical distancing. Critical services can continue to operate. Detailed public health guidance for businesses is available at

If public health results deteriorate or guidelines are not sufficient, Phase 4 measures may be paused and previous measures may be re-introduced.

The goal of the Manitoba government is to support the health and wellbeing of residents and their loved ones. Steps are underway to support increased visitation at personal care and long-term care facilities.

However, it is clear that there are no risk-free options with COVID 19. The virus is still in Manitoba, and residents in these facilities remain uniquely vulnerable. Thus, a balanced approach to visitation is required which mitigates risk of COVID 19 transmission, while allowing for interaction by residents with families and friends so that the risks of isolation brought on by strict, universallyapplied visitor restrictions are addressed.

Facility operators are required to communicate visitation plans to residents and their loved ones. Each site and region must develop a rapid problem-solving and appeal process to ensure resident and family concerns related to visitation are addressed in a timely manner. Due to differing layouts and the varied needs of residents and families, each site will need to develop specific plans for enabling outdoor/indoor visitation.

The health system and facility operators will continue to review visitation policies and processes to ensure the safety of residents in these facilities. The policies that are now being extended will be monitored and rescinded in part, or in whole, should conditions require, and rescinded immediately if there is evidence of virus spread or outbreak.

Indoor Visitation

Each resident or designate can identify two support people who will simultaneously be able to visit the resident's room indoors, for unlimited visitation time. Support people are defined as only those close family and/or friends who have a clearly established pattern of involvement in providing active care and support to the resident's emotional wellbeing, health, and quality of life. These family caregivers will participate regularly in the care of the residents.

In addition, residents/ designates may identify general visitors who wish to visit for social reasons. Although outdoor visits are preferred for general visitors, sites may consider some visits from general visitors in resident's room if the resident is in a single room or required physical distancing can be maintained.

For double and multi-bedded rooms or for other reasons where caregiving or visiting in the room of the resident is not possible, an alternative indoor space may need to be identified. Screening of all indoor visitors must occur prior to entry. Indoor visitation will be permitted provided that the visitor(s) meets the following three requirements:

  • is symptom free;
  • wears a mask while in the personal care home (or additional/other personal protective equipment as mandated by the facility); and
  • travels straight to the resident's room without loitering in any common areas or other resident rooms in the personal care home, and avoids touching surfaces in the facility en route to the resident's room.

A plan must be developed by the facility in collaboration with the resident/designate to determine the nature, duration, frequency, and timing of the visits by indoors visitors (both support persons and general visitors). Family and friends of the residents will be treated with compassion and understanding to accommodate special circumstances. Visitors will be provided with access to basic facilities such as washrooms.

Facility operators will determine when residents can have visits. Operators may implement regularly scheduled visits through a booking system or designated drop-in times and provide reasonable flexibility to accommodate for varied circumstances of residents and families, e.g. family members who work.

For indoor visits, masks will be required.

Outdoor Visitation

Outdoor visits are preferred and encouraged for general visitors to help keep the number of individuals entering the facility to minimum. Outdoor visits will be allowed for a reasonable number of visitors per resident (as an example, up to four people at a time, depending on the appropriate space availability).

Based on risk evaluation and clinical judgement and in collaboration/ discussion with the resident/ delegate, the site may be unable to facilitate outdoor visits for certain residents and/or due to inclement weather.

Off-property visits are not recommended given the risk to residents and to the facility associated with unknown nature of contacts, exposure and other required safety measures. However, low-risk activities for residents and families should be supported, such as walks around the property/block.

For outdoor visits, mask use is encouraged.

Change: eliminating the need for cohorts and resuming live theatrical performances and reopening movie theatres

Changes include easing restrictions for faith-based gatherings, including pow wows and other cultural and spiritual events, resuming stage performances and reopening movie theatres.

For faith-based gatherings, the site capacity will be a maximum of 30 per cent or 500 people, whichever is lower. Sub-groups or cohorts are no longer required. If preferred, organizations can continue to allow cohorts of 50 people to a maximum of 30 per cent of a site's capacity, with no cap on the number of attendees. Members of the public must be able to reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from others, except for brief exchanges.

This change does not apply to social gatherings, weddings and funerals, or other organized gatherings or events. These gatherings must follow public health guidelines for the venue where they are being held.

Stage performances and movie theatres may reopen, at a capacity of 30 per cent of the site's capacity or 500 people, whichever is lower. Sub-groups or cohorts are not required.

Physical distancing must be possible between individuals, households and small groups of people travelling to the event together. People should stay home and self-isolate when showing symptoms as well as follow restrictions related to singing, musical instruments and dancing continue.

Sites must also address physical distancing in areas where patrons may congregate between shows, performances or acts of a play at intermissions.

Detailed public health guidance for these events/locations is available at:

Change: allowing the use of non-permeable barriers (e.g. plexiglass) for distances less than two metres

Changes include allowing closer than two metre/six foot distancing within personal services settings such as therapeutic services and hair and nail salons where a non-permeable physical barrier (e.g. Plexiglas) is installed. Occupancy levels will remain the same as in Phase Three.

Requirements for self-isolating when showing symptoms and physical distancing continue.

Detailed public health guidance for businesses is available at:

Change: re-opening casinos

Proposed changes include opening casinos, with a maximum occupancy of 30 per cent of the site's capacity (including staff).

Physical distancing between individuals, households and small groups of people travelling to the casino together must be in place. Frequent, enhanced and regular cleaning and wiping of surfaces is required. People should remain in self-isolation if showing symptoms.

Detailed public health guidance for businesses is available at:


While Manitoba's response to COVID has been led by evidence and the advice of our public health professionals, success depends on Manitobans being on-side and willing to following public health direction. This guidance reflects the feedback of Manitobans and public health advice to ensure people are comfortable with the guidance provided.

Public health officials will review possible adjustments on a week-by-week basis and make any additional changes based on the public health situation at the time.

Any changes to indoor and outdoor public gathering sizes have been deferred at this time. Phase Three public health guidance continues to be in effect.

Any changes to travel restrictions have been deferred at this time. Phase Three public health guidance continues to be in effect, including 14-day self-isolation requirements for those traveling into Manitoba from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Any changes to services at bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries have been deferred at this time. Phase Three public health guidance continues to be in effect.