Swimming lesson registration delayed as City of Winnipeg waits on possible COVID-19 restrictions

The City of Winnipeg is postponing registration for swimming lessons in anticipation of stricter COVID-19 restrictions.  

Registration for swimming lessons through the city’s Leisure Guide was expected to open next Tuesday, with lessons starting on May 9.

However, city officials felt it would be prudent to delay registration until they know what, if any, changes are being made to provincial public health orders, said Jay Shaw, the city’s assistant chief of emergency management. 

“We just need to take a little pause here to make sure that anything that the province comes out with, we’re able to be nimble and to respond quickly so that we can serve our residents,” Shaw said at a news conference Friday.

At this time, the city isn’t planning to cancel swimming lessons or postpone them, but doesn’t want people to have to register for lessons twice or pay for something they can’t use, he said. 

No changes to the province’s current COVID-19 restrictions were announced Friday. 

However, earlier this week Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, hinted that further restrictions were being considered as cases involving more transmissible coronavirus variants rise.

Those restrictions could include mandatory masks outdoors and a renewed clampdown on indoor activities, he suggested.

Mayor Brian Bowman said he has made it clear to officials that he would like the province to be proactive and put more restrictions in place now, before Manitoba sees its caseload skyrocket again. 

“The sooner there’s clarity, the sooner actions are taken when you’re dealing with a virus that doesn’t take a day off, the better,” he said at Friday’s news conference.

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