Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced a reopening plan June 10 that ties easing of public health restrictions to reaching specific targets for first and second dose vaccinations by set dates this summer.
The 4-3-2-One Great Summer plan sets benchmarks for vaccinations by Canada Day, the August long weekend and Labour Day.
The numbers in the plan refer to those three dates, four reopening categories – gathering and socializing, travel and tourism, shopping and services, and dining out and entertainment – and two responsibilities of Manitobans – getting vaccinated and following public health orders.
If 70 per cent of Manitobans aged 12 and up have received first doses of COVID vaccines by Canada Day and 25 per cent have gotten second doses, businesses, services and facilities can reopen at 25 per cent or greater capacity levels. If 75 per cent of the eligible population has first vaccine doses and 50 per cent have second doses by the August long weekend, capacity can be increased to 50 per cent or greater. If 80 per cent of those eligible have first doses and 75 per cent have second doses by Labour Day, businesses, services and facilities can operate with limited restrictions.
“Those are hit, we get our freedoms back, it’s that simple,” said the premier, though chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said specific public health order changes would be based on other factors as well, including case numbers, the test positivity rate and the demand on the health care system.
“If we start reaching these levels [of vaccination] we’re not going to expect to see high test positivity or demand on our ICUs,” said Roussin.
Pallister said that if the vaccination goals are reached earlier than the milestone holidays, restrictions could be lifted faster and vice-versa.
“If we do worse then we’re not going to get our freedoms back as fast.”
The premier also said that the exemption from self-isolation upon returning to the province from other jurisdictions for Manitobans who are fully vaccinated will also apply to fully vaccinated visitors arriving from other provinces.