Private gatherings most ticketed in COVID-19 enforcement

The Manitoba government's enforcement of COVID-19 health rules continues and as of last week, there were:

A total of 59 warnings and 32 tickets were issued for the week of March 15 to 21 including:

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• 26 $1,296 tickets to individuals for various offences;

• four $298 tickets to individuals for failure to wear a mask in indoor public places; and

• two $5,000 fines to businesses.

Seventeen of the 26 $1,296 tickets issued last week were in relation to gatherings in private residences or outdoors.

Officials report that an accused person has been arrested and charged related to an assault on an enforcement official on Feb. 19. The province will not be providing further comment, as this matter is now before the courts. However, the public is reminded that abusive and aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated, and criminal offences will be reported to police and investigated.

Officials note that most Manitobans are doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ticket numbers continue to generally decline. However, education and enforcement remain necessary in some instances. Some public health orders remain in effect and Manitobans are reminded to stick to the fundamentals of physical distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask.

Since enforcement efforts began in April 2020, a total of 3,492 warnings and 1,082 tickets have been issued, resulting in more than $1.5 million in fines to businesses and individuals.

Updated enforcement statistics are now posted online weekly at: https://manitoba.ca/openmb/infomb/departments/index.html#cdr.

Additional data related to COVID-19, including data on enforcement, vaccines, outbreaks as well as some downloadable and historic data, can be found at https://geoportal.gov.mb.ca/.

In addition to a $298 fine for not wearing a mask in indoor public places, fine amounts for violating public health orders have been set at $1,296 for tickets issued to individuals, including sole proprietorships and partnerships, and $5,000 for tickets issued to corporations.

The Manitoba government is taking strong action to protect Manitobans and ensure timely access to care. Current orders under the Public Health Act are available at: https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/proactive/2020_2021/orders-soe-03042021.pdf.

For information about online events and activities designed to make staying home a little easier, visit Safe at Home Manitoba at www.safeathomemb.ca/.

© Virden Empire-Advance