Province outlines reopening path, still working on more biz support
The provincial government has outlined a path toward a full reopening of the economy with minimal restrictions by Labour Day, but it hinges on Manitobans getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
The 4-3-2-One Great Summer Reopening Path was released last week, and it includes three vaccination targets and reopening stages tied to upcoming holidays:
- If over 70% of all Manitobans aged 12 and over have received their first dose and over 25% have received their second dose by Canada Day, businesses, services and facilities can open at 25% capacity or greater levels;
- If over 75% of all Manitobans aged 12 and over have received their first dose and over 50% have received their second dose by the August long weekend, businesses, services and facilities can open at 50% capacity or greater levels; and
- And if over 80% of all Manitobans aged 12 and over have received their first dose and over 75% have received their second dose by Labour Day, businesses, services and facilities can open with limited restrictions.
“The Reopening Path provides a clear message that vaccinations need to happen to trigger reopening,” said Loren Remillard, President & CEO of The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. “The plan could be further strengthened by providing details on other factors, like ICU admissions and test positivity rates, which can change things even if we hit vaccination milestones.”
Remillard added that having more detail on how indoor events will move from 0% to 100% capacity over multiple steps would be helpful for business planning.
More information on the Reopening Path is available HERE.
Your shot at cash and travel
To motivate more Manitobans to take their shot, the province announced two new initiatives last week: a vaccine lottery and a secure immunization card.
The Manitoba Vaccination Lottery will award $950,000 in cash and scholarships to Manitobans aged 12 and up who get their first dose by August 2nd. A second draw will award another $950,000 to those who get their second dose by September 6th. For more info – Read Here.
The province also launched a secure immunization card which allows those who are fully vaccinated to travel without having to self-isolate for two weeks upon return. There’s potential to extend the use of the cards in the future to include admission to certain types of events or businesses. To apply for the card or get more information, HERE.
Still waiting for more business support
While the Reopening Path, Vaccine Lottery and immunization card were all good news on the COVID front, we also learned last week that public health orders that require many businesses to close will remain in effect until at least the end of June.
Unfortunately, this announcement was not combined with an announcement of additional financial support for restaurants, gyms, personal service providers, entertainment venues or retailers who are fully closed or operating at minimal capacity.
“The Winnipeg Chamber continues to have regular discussion with the provincial government about the need for more financial aid for businesses and non-profits,” explained Remillard. “Another round of the Manitoba Bridge Grant and sector-specific aid are among the pressing needs The Chamber has brought forward. We’re hoping to see movement shortly.”
National call for federal support for vaccination leave
To bolster the vaccination effort across the country, The Winnipeg Chamber and more than 30 other chambers and business associations have written to the federal government asking for it to help businesses give employees paid time off to get vaccinated.
We’re calling on the federal government to support up to three hours of paid leave for vaccination by allowing employers to reduce a fixed amount per employee off their payroll remittances to the Canada Revenue Agency.
Read the full letter Here.