Manitobans continue to have a significant role to play in working together to support public health measures and reduce the spread of COVID-19. We must all work together to have as safe a holiday season as possible.
We all need to continue to focus on the fundamentals to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These include:
- Stay home if you’re sick, even if your symptoms are only mild.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Practice physical distancing when you are with people outside of your household.
- Wear a mask in indoor public spaces, or in other situations required by public health orders, and recommended outdoors where you cannot physically distance.
Over the holidays, we can focus our efforts in a few key areas to help prevent outbreaks of COVID-19.
- Plan ahead and get vaccinated! Vaccine achieves maximum effectiveness two weeks after it is administered. So, the sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you are protected.
- If you are fully vaccinated, and more than six months have passed since you received your second dose, you are eligible for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Contact your local health centre or nursing station for more information on how to make an appointment.
- Vaccine is now approved for children aged 5 to 11. Your local health team will be offering vaccine to this age group as soon as possible so please reach out to your nursing station or health centre to make arrangements.
It is important that everyone follows the fundamentals during gatherings, especially staying home if you are feeling unwell.
Provincial public health restrictions do currently allow for private gatherings. However, there are different restrictions based on whether someone is vaccinated. Fully vaccinated Manitobans can continue to enjoy seasonal activities with few restrictions. Unvaccinated individuals who are eligible to be vaccinated are restricted in their activities when gathering with fully vaccinated individuals.
The chart below outlines the restrictions for various types of activities. Please review in planning for your holiday celebrations.
|Activity||Fully Vaccinated Manitobans||Unvaccinated Manitobans|
|Indoor gatherings on private property||No restrictions, if household and guests that are eligible are fully vaccinated||Limiting households to guests from one other household, when any unvaccinated person (who is eligible to be vaccinated) is present on the property (even if the unvaccinated person lives at that location).|
|Outdoor gatherings on private property||No restrictions apply, if household and guests that are eligible are fully vaccinated||Limiting households to 10 guests, in addition to the household, outdoors when any unvaccinated person (who is eligible to be vaccinated) is present on the property (even if the unvaccinated person lives at that location).|
|Indoor gatherings in public spaces||Fully immunized people and those under 12 may gather without capacity limits.||Permitting group sizes to 25 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is lower, for gatherings that include unvaccinated people who are eligible to be vaccinated.|
|Outdoor gatherings in public spaces||Fully immunized people and those under 12 may gather without capacity limits.||Permitting groups of up to 50 people in uncontrolled outdoor public spaces.|
|Indoor Faith-based gatherings||No restrictions, if all guests that are eligible are fully vaccinated||Limiting faith-based gatherings to 25 people or 33 per cent capacity, whichever is greater, for gatherings that include unvaccinated people who are eligible to be vaccinated.|
Additional measures for those considering seasonal celebrations or family gatherings include:
- Where possible, plan for all or part of a celebration/gathering to be held outdoors.
- For those unable to attend due to illness, risk factor, vaccination status or other reasons, consider virtual gatherings or other contactless celebrations.
- Everyone attending should self-screen for symptoms using the COVID-19 screening tool before attending an in-person celebration or gathering. Stay home if you are sick, even if symptoms are mild.
- Keep noise levels low (for example lowering music volumes), so guests can hear each other without needing to speak loudly or shout.
- Open windows (as weather permits) to allow for fresh air and to increase airflow.
- Have everyone wear a non-medical mask in shared indoor spaces. Masks should only be removed while eating and drinking. A 2-metre distance must be kept from others while masks are removed for this purpose.
- Consider limiting your use of alcohol and drugs. Substance use may cloud your judgement and limit your ability to follow public health measures.
- If friends are family are traveling home for the holidays, ask them to consider reducing their contacts for the two week period prior to travel and avoid engaging in higher risk activities.
Think about the risks
Check your personal risk level and the risk level of your immediate household. Consider whether the activities you’re planning to take part in are safe. If you’re planning on going out during the holidays or for a celebration, plan lower-risk activities.
No matter your level of risk, show kindness and respect to others by following public health measures. For everyone’s wellbeing, help limit the spread of COVID-19 during holidays and celebrations.
Examples of lower-risk settings and activities include:
- indoor celebrations with members of your immediate household
- charity food or gift drives where organizers take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of spread
- virtual holiday and religious celebrations
- drop-off or physically distanced doorstep gift exchanges
- outdoor celebrations in open spaces where people can consistently maintain at least 2-metres of physical distance
In-person gatherings or celebrations with people outside your immediate household are higher-risk activities. If local in-person gatherings are allowed in your community, ensure proper safety measures are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Examples of higher-risk settings and activities include:
- close interactions with people outside your immediate household, particularly:
- in closed spaces with poor ventilation
- in crowded places where many people are gathered
- when in close-contact, such as close range conversations
- when singing, shouting or breathing heavily (for example, while dancing)
- gathering with people from different communities, particularly those from areas with high COVID-19 activity
- travelling to or from areas with high COVID-19 activity
- dining with members outside your immediate household
Tips for food handling during gatherings
- Frequently clean and disinfect common touch surfaces
- Individuals should wash hands for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer prior to and after eating, and before and after handling food or food packaging.
- Encourage hand hygiene prior to food service by placing handwashing areas/alcohol-based hand sanitizer near the food service area.
- Do not share utensils, condiments or other objects. Consider having one individual designated to serve guests food to reduce the sharing of utensils.