Another Canadian province, Manitoba, has announced that it will be speeding up the removal of public health orders in the province and plans to have all orders, including proof of vaccination requirements and mask mandates, removed by March 15.
Premier Heather Stefanson and Dr. Brent Roussin made the announcement Friday morning saying that the first stage of lifting restrictions will occur, next week, on Feb. 15.
Manitoba is the third province to announce the lifting of restrictions after both Alberta and Saskatchewan scrapped its vaccine passport systems, and other COVID-19 health measures, this week. However, some measures still persist.
Roussin said that provincial data indicates that the latest wave, driven by the Omicron variant, has peaked and the province is now seeing cases begin to subside.
Roussin said, “Just like many times in this pandemic, we’ve had to shift our response based on what we’re seeing with the virus. As a result of what we’re seeing now, with the trends and the modelling, we are in a very important transitional phase for the COVID-19 response here,” CTV News Winnipeg reported.
The restrictions that are being lifted on Feb. 15 include capacity limits on venues such as restaurants, licensed premises, entertainment venues, indoor and outdoor sporting events and gatherings at private residences.
“Young people ages 12 to 17 participating in indoor sports and recreation will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination or recent testing,” the province said in a press release.
Also on Feb. 15, close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 will no longer be required to self-isolate; however the province is still recommending that people who live in a household with others who are symptomatic or who have tested positive for the virus to isolate but, it will no longer be a requirement.
People who test positive for the virus will still be required to isolate.
The province has laid out a concrete plan to eliminate all restrictions over the next several weeks, something that the official opposition in Ottawa, the Conservative Party of Canada, has been asking for from Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau; however, Trudeau and his caucus have failed to table a plan despite millions of Canadians rising up and demanding an end to COVID-19 restrictions.