Manitoba COVID-19 enforcement hands out 59 tickets, 6 for anti-lockdown rallies

Officials enforcing Manitoba’s COVID-19 public health regulations handed out 59 tickets last week, including six tickets to people caught at anti-lockdown rallies.

For the week ending June 20, the province says 46 tickets worth $1,296 were given out to individuals. Those tickets included 35 related to gatherings in private residences or outdoors, 10 for failing to self-isolate, and one to a sole proprietorship.

Read more: Winnipeg adults cancelling Pfizer vaccine bookings to make room for youth amid supply issues

Another 11 $298-tickets were given out for failing to wear a mask in an indoor public place, and two $5,000 tickets were given to businesses, the province said.

As for anti-lockdown gatherings and rallies, the province says previous events remain under investigation and further charges are expected.

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Are Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers good enough to lift restrictions?

“Officials advise the choice to defy public health orders is a serious offence and violators will be held to account,” the province said in a release.

The province said Tuesday it’s extending a regulation allowing for additional enforcement around COVID-19 health regulations until Sept. 30 and that nearly 3,300 personnel across various agencies are currently able to enforce public health orders.

Read more: 69% of Canadians say COVID-19 restrictions should remain as more people get vaccine: poll

Since enforcement started in April 2020, the province says a total of 4,910 warnings and 1,979 tickets have been issued to individuals and businesses, resulting in more than $2.6 million in fines.

In May the province announced it would begin issuing double fines for repeat offenders caught breaking COVID-19 public health orders.

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An extra $100 default convection penalty is also added to unpaid fines, and the province warns those who don’t respond to tickets will be prohibited from renewing a driver’s license or vehicle registration until the ticket is paid.

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New reopening details expected as Manitoba hits COVID-19 vaccination target: Roussin

Manitoba’s current public health orders cap public gatherings at five people, restrict restaurants to takeout and delivery services, and limit store capacity to 10 per cent. Most indoor social gatherings are banned and theatres, cinemas, casinos and concert venues remain closed.

Under a reopening plan announced earlier this month, health officials said they would look at gradually loosening restrictions if certain vaccination milestones are hit over the summer, provided daily case numbers and hospitalization rates have also fallen.

Read more: Manitoba hits Canada Day vaccination targets; restriction loosening details coming Wednesday

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Officials said Monday the first milestone — 70 per cent of Manitobans aged 12 and up having their first dose and 25 per cent having their second — has been achieved earlier than the original July 1 target.

Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, said Monday details on the province’s next round of reopening plans are expected Wednesday.

–With files from The Canadian Press

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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