Manitoba’s health order changes an improvement to some, a disappointment to others

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WINNIPEG —
While some are happy with Manitoba’s announcement of some loosened restrictions, others are disappointed.

On Tuesday, Manitoba’s Premier Brian Pallister, along with Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, announced some minor changes to health orders.

READ MORE: Manitoba to remain under Code Red, making minor changes to restrictions

Among the changes – an increase to outdoor gathering limits, weddings and funerals.

Harry Froese, the co-owner of Friends Funeral Service, said the province’s move to increase the number of people allowed to attend a funeral from 10 to 25 people is good news.

“It’s a big improvement. We were just talking about it over lunch with our staff, because 10 was such a low number that you couldn’t even include any grandchildren for most families,” Froese said.

He said it has been hard to see what families have to go through to pick who can and can’t come to funerals.

“Families were in a real dilemma because they didn’t know who to leave out, and even larger families with more children had to decide well which of the children can’t come to the service,” he said.

While minor changes were made to the public health orders, other proposed changes floated by the province last week were put on hold.

Kelly Oxelgren, owner of 2 Kelly’s Café, was hoping the ‘one household per table’ rule would be lifted, but it wasn’t.

“I’m disappointed, of course,” Oxelgren said. “There’s not balance in my perspective in these rules because I just had a lady in a wheelchair today come in with her caregiver and they were not able to sit together.”

Oxelgren said she can only afford help for a few hours a week. Otherwise, she’s doing everything on her own, including gathering all customer information.

Her restaurant doesn’t have a patio. She said the limited number of people allowed inside is having an impact.

“Business has been really down because of that,” she said, adding she’s looking forward to seeing her senior customers especially be able to meet with a friend and have a cup of coffee indoors.   

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