Monday, August 15, 2022
Home Covid-19 Manitoba goes mask-free, many businesses, people remain cautious

Manitoba goes mask-free, many businesses, people remain cautious

The mask mandate has been lifted in Manitoba, and local businesses and other organizations are now learning to navigate the province’s new reality — with some choosing to keep certain COVID-19 restrictions in place while others are leaving it solely in the hands of customers and clients.

Manitoba health minister Audrey Gordon said the lifting of restrictions was made possible by people in the province committing to following public health orders over the past two years.

Read more:

Monday marks last day for Manitoba mask mandate

“Thanks to the commitment, compassion and hard work of all Manitobans, particularly our health-care heroes, we are finally in a position to lift restrictions,” she said.

“This path forward will be different for all of us, whether we choose to wear masks or not, or how and when we connect with family and friends. Let’s be patient, thoughtful and kind to each other as we navigate this new normal together.”

Story continues below advertisement

The province said Monday that despite the lifting of restrictions, public health is going to continue to monitor positive cases and severe outcomes related to COVID-19.

What have Winnipeggers learned from COVID-19?

What have Winnipeggers learned from COVID-19?

For some businesses, it’s a welcome change after all this time.

Rosario Cesario, massage therapist and owner of Pure Escape spa, told 680 CJOB his business will go maskless unless staff are asked specifically by a client to mask up.

Read more:

COVID-19 related ICU patient numbers drop to lowest in months

“I wrote on our social media pages, and unlike August where we extended the mask mandate and got negative reviews, people are liking our page, sharing our page — do you know how hard it is to get a Facebook page shared?

Story continues below advertisement

“There’s excitement — there’s actually excitement today to go out and be out without a mask. With caution, obviously, but there’s some excitement there.”

Cesario said the numbers have been low enough that he’s comfortable to try going maskless for now.

“We also want to make sure everyone’s covered — if they ask us to wear it, we’ll put our masks on for their treatment, but we just want them to have a choice, and the staff as well.

“At what point do we start to try this? Where do we draw the line and say, ‘we need to try this’? I think it’s time.”

Click to play video: 'What will happen once mask mandate is lifted?'

What will happen once mask mandate is lifted?

What will happen once mask mandate is lifted?

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) said Tuesday that it encourages customers to continue wearing medical-grade masks when visiting service or claim centres — and especially in situations like driver’s road tests, where social distancing isn’t possible.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:

Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates fall, healthcare workers return

While provincial health orders have lifted mandatory mask usage as of March 15, Manitoba Public Insurance says it remains mask-friendly.

“While no longer a health order, we encourage customers to assess their health and personal risk and consider wearing a mask within an MPI facility,” said the Crown corporation’s chief customer officer, Satvir Jatana.

For customers at MPI locations, however, some restrictions will still be in place, including social distancing requirements, answering pre-screening questions, and the use of plexiglass barriers.

Click to play video: 'End of mask mandate and child care facilities'

End of mask mandate and child care facilities

End of mask mandate and child care facilities

Restaurants have been heavily affected by public health orders, although some have continued to enforce restrictions even after they were no longer mandatory.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:

2 years into COVID-19 pandemic, world cautiously looks to move forward

Downtown eatery the Merchant Kitchen had been checking vaccine passports beyond the dropping of that mandate on March 1, but is now shifting gears.

“We were kind of watching and talking with people to see if, in fact, there was a negative result for not asking for the vaccine passport,” said the restaurant’s Bobby Mottola.

“As it turns out, there’s hasn’t been an increase, things seem to be going in the direction we had all hoped they were, so… we are going to stop asking for the passport.”

Mottola said staff will continue to wear masks for an undetermined amount of time.

Click to play video: 'Mask mandate to remain in health-care facilities'

Mask mandate to remain in health-care facilities

Mask mandate to remain in health-care facilities


© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Most Popular

Jason Kenney calls UCP candidate-backed sovereignty act “nuts”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has so far declined to pick a favourite in the race to succeed him, but when asked to comment on...

Lethbridge Farms celebrate Alberta Open Farm Days

It’s not every day that you get the chance to see the behind-the-scenes of how farm-fresh veggies are grown or how a well-known brand...

Creighton RCMP searching for missing 66-year-old woman

By Andrew Benson Global News Posted August 14, 2022 8:27 pm Smaller font Descrease article font size -A Larger font Increase article font size A+

Quebec writers react to Salman Rushdie attack

Quebec writers are reacting to the attack on author Salman Rushdie, calling the stabbing horrific and arguing that freedom of speech is under threat. For...